Nintendo recently filed a patent for a handheld device with a design that might surprise you. The patent reveals a handheld that looks a lot less like what you might expect of the upcoming Switch 2, and more like if the 3DS had a third screen.
The patent, first spotted by Game Rant, shows schematics for a dual-screen device that can operate like a 3DS—which flips open to reveal two playable screens—when joined with an extra, exterior touchscreen that works even when the device is shut. The handheld can also be split into two separate devices. According to Games Industry.Biz, Nintendo submitted the patenting application for the handheld on November 11, 2022, which could hint at what the company envisions for its next generation of gaming devices.
Here are images of the dual-screened device.
Although Nintendo filing a patent for the dual-screen device doesn’t guarantee it will ever be released, the device would certainly be a big win for video game conservation if it lets you play games from your DS library. Perhaps the handheld device could also be a (knock on wood) less expensive alternative to buying a Switch 2 for folks without disposable incomes. More selfishly, I’m hoping the bizarre device—should it ever see the light of day—will allow me to play the upcoming remaster of Another Code: Two Memories the way it was originally meant to be played: with two screens, DS-style. A boy can dream.
Kotaku reached out to Nintendo for comment.
Speculation aside, the design for the handheld is pretty bonkers even by Nintendo standards. While I respect the bold decision to give the DS another screen, my biggest query is what happens to the bottom-facing screen on the detachable part of the device when the device is in two-player mode? Will it revert to a black screen that is unusable for the player, or will it function just as a display screen that shows the time or in-game information? Also, could you mix and match different device parts together into one dual-screen handheld Switch JoyCons? It confounds me.