New Nintendo Switch Controller Possibly Leaked

A new Nintendo Switch controller may have just leaked, or possibly the controller for the rumored Nintendo Switch 2. The leak comes straight from Nintendo itself, courtesy of a patent for a new controller that very much looks like a prototype controller, but not necessarily for the Nintendo Switch as it shares a minimal resemblance to the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con. In other words, if something does come from this patent, it will likely be for a Switch successor or another piece of hardware entirely.  Unfortunately, a description of the patent offers minimal insight as it's brimming with technical jargon and inconsequential details, like most patents.

"A game controller according to the present disclosure includes: a housing; and an internal structural body accommodated inside of the housing," reads the patent's abstract. "The internal structural body includes at least: an internal frame having an installation surface and a recess adjacent to the installation surface; a battery that is accommodated in the recess of the internal frame and has a first surface that opposes a bottom surface of the recess and a second surface on a side opposite to that of the first surface; and a flexible substrate that is installed on the installation surface of the internal frame and includes a conductive pattern. The flexible substrate is arranged so as to cover at least a portion of the second surface of the battery accommodated in the recess."

Below, you can check out an image that accompanies the patent:

If you read the patent, you'll see it was filed back in 2021, but it wasn't published until this year and it's only now surfacing thanks to the Twitter user above. What should be made of it? It's tough to say. Patents are hard to give much weight. For one, patents regularly never graduate past the conceptual and prototypical stages into an actual consumer product. Over the years, many Nintendo patents have -- seemingly -- gone absolutely nowhere. In addition to this context, it's important to remember patents are sometimes about specific ideas and mechanics rather than a larger product. So, something may come of this patent, but it doesn't mean it will be in the form of the controller above. Lastly, Nintendo will also patent work it discards for future-proofing, so this could be an example of this.

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At the moment of publishing, Nintendo has not commented on this patent and the speculation that it has ignited. It never comments on patents or speculation or speculation born from patents, so we don't anticipate this changing, but if it does, we will update the story accordingly.