Nintendo looks to be planning an all-new set of Joy-Con controllers for its hugely-successful Nintendo Switch console that can bend and flex without damaging. The pliable controllers appear in a new patent filed by the Japanese gaming company.
According to the official document, the controllers would flex at the halfway point to allow gamers to bend them into a more ergonomic shape during gameplay. Of course, this would work while the controllers were attached to the console for gameplay on-the-move as well as when playing on the big screen, with the Joy-Cons detached and held in each hand, or inside the Switch Charging Grip (opens in new tab).
The patent (opens in new tab) was unearthed by the eagle-eyed folks over at Dutch technology blog LetsGoDigital (opens in new tab). The Nintendo Switch Pro controller (opens in new tab) launched alongside the console has a more ergonomic design, with a curve designed to fit comfortably in players' hands during long gaming sessions.
In comparison the Joy-Cons are extremely flat and don't offer much in the way of ergonomics – like Nintendo's portable offering, including the 3DS XL, 2DS XL, and others. Even the Wiimote, which was used to control the Nintendo Wii and resembled a traditional television remote, had a curved indent for the trigger button on the back that helped it fit snuggly into the hand while playing.
As such, it makes a lot of sense for Nintendo to bring a more curvaceous, comfortable design to its feature-packed Joy-Con controllers. Unfortunately, it's unclear when we'll ever seen these controllers hit the market.
The US version of the international patent was published in February 2018. The latest update to the Nintendo Switch design was the launch of the Switch Lite – a portable-only twist on the console that keeps the Joy-Cons firmly glued to the side of the console, with no change to the ergonomics at all.
Since then, Nintendo was quietly rolled-out a new version of its Nintendo Switch with detachable controllers that has improved battery life. However, there are numerous rumours of a significant upgrade – dubbed Nintendo Switch 2, or Switch Pro – with an edge-to-edge OLED touchscreen and faster processor. Whether this long-rumoured console could also see the launch of flexible Joy-Cons remains to be seen.