Nintendo files new patent for hinged Joy-Con controller

What you need to know

  • A new Joy-Con patent from Nintendo recently showed up in Japan's official patent database.
  • The patent shows hinges placed alongside the Joy-Con charging rail.
  • The new Joy-Con patent appears to make the Joy-Con bendable both while attached to the console and while detached from it.
  • There is no guarantee that this will become an actual product.

Nintendo has been making minute changes to its Switch hardware and software for a while now, but it looks like the most drastic change is being considered. Recently in Japan, a new Nintendo patent popped up in the official patent database.

It shows a Joy-Con with hinges along the side of the charging rail. You can also see by looking at pictures that the hinges would be able to move both while the Joy-Cons are attached to the Switch console and when they are detached from it.

In the past, I know I've heard several people complain about how uncomfortable it is to hold the Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons. Doing so for long stretches can cut off circulation to your fingers or just feel awkward. Perhaps this patent is a way for Nintendo to address these complaints by providing a more ergonomic controller.

As with all patents, this is just an idea that Nintendo is considering, it doesn't mean that this Joy-Con design will become a reality. We'll keep an eye on this new controller design and will let you know if Nintendo reveals any more plans to make it a real accessory. At any rate, it's nice to see that the Japanese gaming company is considering new controller designs. Hopefully Nintendo will create something that works better for the majority of Nintendo Switch gamers.

Rebecca Spear
Gaming Editor

Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.