New Nintendo Switch 2 rumors paint console as either dockless hybrid or dividable dual-screen handheld

Potential Switch 2 patent image
(Image credit: Nintendo)

As The House of Mario continues to keep tight-lipped on its much-rumored Nintendo Switch 2, the interwebs tittle tattle surrounding the company’s next machine just keeps getting juicer and juicer.

X user @For_Ataraxia (thanks, NotebookCheck) doesn’t appear to have much previous in terms of breaking gaming hardware stories with any real credibility before. Still, that hasn't stopped them from claiming the Switch 2 will apparently be called ‘Nintendo Super Play’, will feature “the same button structure as the Super Famicom” (or SNES, for our US/UK readers) and that it “will maintain the existing concept of being able to play inside and outside the home, but will not use a dock like the Switch.” 

See more

Those dollops of heavy speculation are going to take me some time to fully digest. First up, if the Switch’s successor ends up rocking the moniker ‘Nintendo Super Play’, I’ll go out and buy a Mario hat then physically ingest it. Secondly, going back to the same button structure as the SNES is a less outrageous claim, but let’s see on that one. As for the notion of a Switch 2 without a dock? That would semi surprise me.

I’ve only got back into using my Nintendo Switch OLED in Docked mode since buying the incredible LG G3 OLED TV, as its image upscaling is so good, it makes Switch titles look almost 4K good. Granted though, before I upgraded to one of the best OLED TVs ever made, almost 100% of my Switch gaming was in Handheld mode. 

Nintendo must surely have a reasonable grasp on the numbers when it comes to how many Switch users are actually using their docks, so if it gets ditched for Switch 2, you’d assume solid data exists to justify the rumored cut. And for added context, don't forget this is a company that has already released the dock-less Switch Lite.

The second big Switch 2 rumour currently swirling around comes via a leaked patent (thanks, GameRant), so it would appear to be more credible than the speculation above. And it’s a humdinger. 

Leaked patent images from Nintendo point to Switch 2 looking a whole lot like the Nintendo 3DS. That’s not a sentence I’d thought it’d be typing when I got up this morning.

Not that there’s anything in the patents that suggest Switch’s successor will have any 3D features, but its clam-shaped design is certainly reminiscent of the 3DS. Even more fascinatingly, the console featured in these designs appears to be able to be split into two separate halves, with the screen then apparently communicating wirelessly once detached. 

Potential Switch 2 patent image

(Image credit: Nintendo)

There also appears to be an additional touchscreen on the outer case of the console, which I’m already incredibly worried I’ll definitely end up scratching if this thing truly is the Switch 2 in its final form. That said, it would allow gamers to interact with the console when it’s closed, which could open up some interesting features. Customizable animated wallpapers for when your little handheld is shut, anyone?

Again, these patents show no signs of a dock, potentially lending further credence to the rumors that Switch 2 will be a purely handheld device, unlike the current handheld/console hybrid that can be played through a TV using its dock.

Obviously, as with many other companies, Nintendo files patents that never end up becoming finalized consumer products. So please don’t take the above with just a mere grain of salt; treat these rumors with a truckload of sodium chloride.

More from Tom's Guide

Dave Meikleham
UK Computing Editor

Dave is a computing editor at Tom’s Guide and covers everything from cutting edge laptops to ultrawide monitors. When he’s not worrying about dead pixels, Dave enjoys regularly rebuilding his PC for absolutely no reason at all. In a previous life, he worked as a video game journalist for 15 years, with bylines across GamesRadar+, PC Gamer and TechRadar. Despite owning a graphics card that costs roughly the same as your average used car, he still enjoys gaming on the go and is regularly glued to his Switch. Away from tech, most of Dave’s time is taken up by walking his husky, buying new TVs at an embarrassing rate and obsessing over his beloved Arsenal.