What just happened? Nintendo has never been afraid to innovate when it comes to creating new gaming devices, and not all of them have brought equal levels of success. According to a new patent, the Japanese giant might be considering a dual-screen, detachable device in the future, a design that some speculate could be used in the Switch 2.

Game Rant posted images of Nintendo's recently filed patent, which at first glance bears a striking resemblance to the 3DS, the 12th best-selling games console of all time with just under 76 million units sold during its lifetime.

There are a couple of big differences between Nintendo's patent and the 3DS, which was officially discontinued in 2020. The new design shows a touchscreen on the outside of the handheld, allowing owners to use the device even when it has been closed. This brings to mind foldable mobiles such as Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold 5 and the Google Pixel Fold.

Another feature that sounds interesting is the top and bottom halves of the device being detachable. The separated halves could communicate wirelessly, allowing two people to play games together without requiring a second handheld.

Whether parts of this design end up being used in the Switch 2 is debatable. It's noted that the device in the patent appears to be a handheld-only machine rather than a hybrid console with a dock. Given the incredible success of the Switch in such a short amount of time – it is now the third best-selling console ever after releasing in 2017 – it's hard to imagine Nintendo making such a drastic change. And like all patents, there's no guarantee this one will ever become an actual product.

Back in September, sources claimed that Nintendo held closed-door presentations of the Switch 2 during Gamescom 2023 in Germany a month earlier. Those in attendance were shown various tech demos highlighting the system's beefier specs including a tweaked version of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Nintendo has said more than once that its next-generation console, presumably the Switch 2, will use its Nintendo Account system to make the transition from the Switch as seamless as possible.

"In the past, every device we transitioned to had a whole new account system. Creating the Nintendo Account will allow us to communicate with our players if and when we make a transition to a new platform, to help ease that process or transition," said Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser.

In other Nintendo news this week, the company has updated its content guidelines to specify that it will issue DMCA takedowns for material, including videos on social media, featuring modified games, emulators, and anything extracted from data mining.