Forward-looking: Nintendo is not letting a recent class-action lawsuit thwart input innovation. The Japanese gaming giant is experimenting with what appears to be a flexible Joy-Con controller that could lead to improved ergonomics in the hands of gamers.
Outlined in a recently discovered patent, the new game controller features a pivoting upper portion where the analog stick (on the left side) and the action buttons (on the right) / triggers reside. It’s tough to tell from the diagrams alone but it looks as if the end pieces are tilted at around a 20 to 30 degree angle.
Presumably, this design is a bit more ergonomic, granting easier access to the triggers.
Nintendo could tackle the design in one of two ways. The first would be to use some sort of flexible electronic PCB. Optionally, and perhaps easier, would be to use a multi-part PCB design that simply relies on bendable cables to bridge the gap between the moving parts.
It’s unclear if such a design would sacrifice functionality in any way. The controllers are already small so modifying their design might mean the removal of other features.
Worth noting is the fact that Nintendo filed for a similar patent in Japan way back in February 2018 so it’s not a new idea from team Mario. Still, with the Joy-Con drift issue, now could be the perfect time to address that and create some new buzz for a system that has been making a lot of noise lately.