With the seventh anniversary of the Nintendo Switch fast approaching, rumors of a next-gen console from the gaming giant have been circulating. It’s highly anticipated that the successor to the beloved Nintendo Switch, tentatively referred to as the “Switch 2,” will be officially unveiled early next year, with a reported launch date in Fall 2024. While the actual appearance of the Switch 2 remains shrouded in mystery, a recent Nintendo patent publication has given us some intriguing insights into potential design changes.
As reported by Game Rant, this patent, filed in late 2022 and published in October 2023, reveals four detailed drawings of a portable gaming device. While it bears a resemblance to the Nintendo Switch, there are several notable deviations in the design:
1. Integrated Controls: In the first drawing, we can observe a joystick and four face buttons on the front of the handheld device. If this patent pertains to the Switch 2, it implies a significant shift in Nintendo’s approach. The detachable Joy-Con controllers, a defining feature of the original Switch, appear to be replaced by built-in controls on the console. Additionally, there are shoulder buttons on top of the device, further emphasizing this shift in design.
2. A Familiar, Yet Different Form: The design, in many ways, is reminiscent of the more compact Nintendo Switch Lite. However, it notably lacks a second joystick and a traditional D-Pad. This aligns more closely with some of the Switch’s recent competition, including retro handhelds and portable PCs like Valve’s Steam Deck.
3. Relocation of the Home Button: A notable change is the relocation of the home button to the bottom of the console. Nintendo’s reasoning behind this move is the assertion that players seldom need to access this button during gameplay. It’s an interesting shift that could streamline the design and enhance user experience.
4. Button Swap and Unchanged Features: Game Rant also points out that the volume rocker and the power button seem to have swapped positions on the Switch 2. On the other hand, the headphone jack and cartridge slot remain in their familiar locations.
5. Pressure-Sensitive Touch Screen: The patent also hints at a pressure-sensitive touch screen, suggesting Nintendo’s commitment to innovation. Touch screens have become a staple in Nintendo’s consoles, and it’s likely that this feature will continue in the Switch 2.
It’s important to approach this information with a degree of skepticism, as it’s based on a patent and not an official announcement from Nintendo. However, these design changes are certainly exciting and could represent the direction Nintendo is considering for the upcoming Switch 2. As we await more concrete details from Nintendo, it’s clear that the gaming world is in for another thrilling evolution from the iconic company.