Nintendo Patents Strange New Bendy Hinged Switch Joy-Con Controllers


Since the launch of the Nintendo Switch, fan opinion has been split on the system’s unique Joy-Con controllers. Some love the itty-bitty detachable gamepads, some find them to be a little on the gimmicky side. Of course, there’s also been some issues with durability, with many Joy-Cons suffering from analog stick drift issues (I can attest I’ve been a victim of this).

Well, it seems Nintendo may be planning to make some changes to the Switch’s Joy-Cons. A new Japanese patent application has been uncovered, which seems to show a new flexible version of the left and right Joy-Cons. The controllers still connect to the side of the Switch as usual, but the top portion of the controllers are on a hinge and can be flipped downward at about a 30 degree angle. You can check out some diagrams from the patent application, below.

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It isn’t entirely clear what the purpose of these hinged Joy-Con controllers might be. I suppose the intent might be to make the Joy-Cons more ergonomic, but I’m not sure they actually look any more comfortable? Maybe this is a roundabout fix for the analog stick drift issues, but I feel like a controller with a hinge in the middle of it would be even less durable. Knowing Nintendo, the answer is probably weirder than we expect – like, they’ve made one specific game that requires bendable Joy-Cons for some reason.

What do you folks think? Would you have any interest in a bendy Joy-Con? Do you even still use your Joy-Cons all that much? Personally, I’m holding out for the plus-size Joy-Cons I assume will come with the rumored Switch Pro. Until then, I’m pretty much a Switch Pro Controller guy.

The new Nintendo Switch Lite, which doesn’t have detachable Joy-Cons at all, hits shelves on September 20. A patent for a Nintendo Switch VR headset was also recently uncovered.