The Nintendo Switch 2 might use a completely new kind of Joy-Con controller, if a recent Nintendo patent is any indication.
A patent filed by Nintendo back in 2018 but recently granted by the USPTO, has some illustrations of a new controller design that suggests that there's no plans for the Switch 2 to have a handheld mode.
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The patent, which bears the unexciting title of "Controller for computer," is a lot more interesting when you look at the images. They show the unmistakable shape of the Switch's Joy-Con, but without the side rails that allow them to connect to the sides of the console's central display unit. There's no new discussion of components or technology though; it's purely a patent on the design.
Last year saw the release of the Nintendo Switch Lite, a cheaper handheld-only version of the Switch. It would give the Switch line-up a pleasing symmetry if Nintendo introduced a docked-only version that offered additional functionality and more power over the standard model.
We're apparently due a Nintendo Switch 2 (or Switch Pro) in early 2021 according to a recent report. This alleged console will be capable of 4K image output and may be accompanied by a big batch of currently unannounced first-party games.
Although 4K is a huge improvement on the 1080p max output of the Switch (only available when docked), don't expect a new Switch to be on par with the upcoming Xbox Series X or PS5 when it comes to graphics. Both of those consoles will support features such as a max resolution of 8K, 120 fps gaming and instant load times. But that power gap hasn't stopped the current Switch from being the hottest-selling console of the year, so expect the Nintendo Switch 2 to follow a similar path.