Back in June, Nintendo filed for several patents in the United States, and as you guessed, they’re about the Nintendo Switch. The patent applications were published today, allowing us to take a look at them (courtesy of Rösti, who waded through many pages, looking for the best bits). And it turns out there’s some pretty juicy details in there, but nothing absolutely groundbreaking, though!
Here’s some of the interesting details we noted down (NB: please note that the following are not 100% confirmed to be present in the Nintendo Switch, it’s just that they are mentioned in the patent documents):
- there seems to be an Ambient Light Sensor on the main unit, to automatically control the brightness level of the main unit screen;
- there seems to be a cooling fan inside the main unit (the big duct made that one pretty obvious)
- there seems to be a touch screen on the main unit (seemingly confirming rumours/leaks)
- each Joycon seems to have its own vibrator and gyroscope (seemingly confirming rumours/leaks);
- one of the Joycons seems to have NFC and IR units (seemingly confirming rumours/leaks about motion controls);
- one of the Joycons seems to have a record button (screenshots?)
- you could have up to four-player splitscreen on the screen of the main unit (with two sets of Joycon controllers);
- you could have two-player splitscreen on the screen of the main unit (with two sets of Joycon controllers, one for each player);
- (+ several other configuration options)
- it looks like the main unit could be inserted into a HMD (Head Mounted Display… think VR) accessory. Do note this does not mean the Nintendo Switch will have VR, it simply means the main unit could be used with such an accessory. It’s most likely Nintendo making sure the console (and its patents) are future-proof;
- the main unit could use a wired connection for internet (USB > Ethernet adapter, Ethernet);
- the LED on the Joycon grip LED could be used for both player number and battery level (like on a Wii Remote);
- Joycon controllers could be charged via the Joycon grip;
- there could be several type of Joycon controllers (like one with a proper D-Pad, for example);
- there seems to be should buttons on the connection-side of the Joycon controllers.
Here’s the many slides from the patents applications (again, courtesy of Rösti!):
The Nintendo Switch will be launched in March.