Nintendo Has Registered Patents For New Switch VR Headset Design
Nintendo is launching its Switch Lite on September 20th but the tech giant is also working on some new innovations. The company has recently filed a patent for a new Joy-Con controller design which will be hinged according to information discovered yesterday in the US Patent Office website. The patent had been submitted in February 2018 and was published on 22 August 2019.
The hinged Joy-Con controller design will see Nintendo’s troublesome controllers get a little flexibility. At this stage, this is only a patent and it may not necessarily see the light of the day but the design and functionality is something that many users will find quite interesting:-
The patent shows the Joy-Con controller that is designed with a hinge right below where the user’s thumb would naturally sit, thereby enabling the device to bend backwards. The controllers work both when attached to or detached from the Switch device. Nintendo had filed a similar patent last year in Japan.
The hinge design to the top is geared at making the device more comfortable for users to hold. The current flat Joy-Con design can begin to get a little uncomfortable on extended play sessions.
The hinge in the Joy-Con controller design has zero functional impact on the gameplay. The controller is also shaped differently, the top half of each of them tilting downwards. The design appears to be simply more of an ergonomic addition to fit the user’s hands with no added functionality. Each of the Joy-Cons can still dock on the main Switch unit with the hinged attachment rail.
The controller was invented by Kumpei Fujita for Nintendo. From the diagrams, it is clear this isn’t a brand new controller design. Rather, it’s an updated version of the original Joy-Cons and it will ship with every Switch.
Below is a picture of the patent drawings along with a mock-up of the possible virtual reality glasses:-
The new Labo model resembles the current cardboard glasses. However, the front part has been padded with foam and the lenses are now better protected from light.
It does not have an integrated headband so you have to hold the glasses in front of your eyes while playing which makes it extremely difficult to play extended VR games for more than just a few minutes.