Nintendo Switch Pro set to scrap handheld mode in design overhaul

A new Joy-Con patent suggests Nintendo Switch Pro is losing its handheld mode

Nintendo Switch
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Since Nintendo launched the Switch in 2017, the console has proven itself to be a huge success. Last year, it got a handheld-only version with the Switch Lite which sacrificed some features for affordability and portability. 

But with the PS5 and Xbox Series X on the horizon, Nintendo is rumoured to be working on its own, more powerful console, and a leaked patent may have just tipped us off about the design.  

Nintendo Switch Pro Joy-Con

(Image credit: Nintendo)

VGC spotted the patent for a brand new Joy-Con design that was filed in 2018, but published this year.

The Joy-Cons in their current state are only compatible with the Nintendo Switch, and form part of the console; and they can be detached to use with a range of other peripherals.      

The Joy-Con in the patent is described as a "controller for computer" and has a new design that indicates it stands alone and won't be slotting into another device. 

If that's the case, it's possible that the Switch Pro will ditch the handheld mode and act as a dedicated home console, lending weight to the rumour that it'll be able support the 4K graphics we've been hearing about.

Given that the majority of TVs out there have 4K resolution, Nintendo isn't missing out on anything by ignoring a next-gen novelty like 8K. 

The company already sells Joy-Con's individually, in a range of colorways so that fans can kit out their consoles using their favorite color combo, so it's unlikely that a controller-only redesign is on the cards.

The Switch has only been on the market for three years, so a mid-gen upgrade to a home console with refreshed controllers and more powerful graphics could do as well as the Lite, and tap into a much wider audience. Nintendo has confirmed it won't be launching any new hardware this year, so we'll just have sit tight for an update.       

Source: VGC

Shabana Arif

Shabana worked at as News Editor covering tech and gaming, and has been writing about video games for almost a decade (and playing them since forever). She's had bylines at major gaming sites during her freelance career before settling down here at T3, and has podcasts, streaming, and video content under her belt to boot. Outside of work, she also plays video games and should really think about expanding her hobbies. If you have any tech or gaming tips, shoot over an email or DM her on social media.