Specifics on an alleged sequence of patent applications submitted by Nintendo in November 2022 have emerged, unveiling the idea for a fresh dual-screen gaming device concept that can be divided into two parts. However, it’s important to keep in mind that even a granted patent–let alone an application for one–does not guarantee the existence of an actual product.
Shared on the World Intellectual Property Organisation website (via ResetEra and initially spotted by GameRant), Nintendo’s device bears resemblance to its DS and 3DS handheld consoles, which employed a dual-screen setup for games on those platforms. As per the application, the upper and lower halves can function independently, a capability that the DS and 3DS handhelds lacked. Even when the two halves are closed, a screen is still visible from the outside.
Image credit: WIPO
“This electronic apparatus comprises a first device and a second device,” the patent application states. “The first device and the second device can be detachedly attached to each other. The first device possesses a first surface, and a first display and a first connection unit that are positioned on the first surface. The second device possesses a second surface, a second display situated on the second surface, a second rear surface located on the opposite side of the second surface, and a second connection unit positioned on the second rear surface.”
It’s worth mentioning that Nintendo has submitted numerous patents in the past for new devices, including an oval-shaped handheld device, and many of these concepts have never materialized beyond the application stage. At present, this could be another instance of Nintendo safeguarding its technological advancements in case it decides to once again release a dual-screen handheld gaming console.
What is known about the upcoming Nintendo console is that the transition from the current Switch to its successor could potentially be smoother. Doug Bowser, the head of Nintendo of America, has affirmed that the Nintendo Account system currently in place on the Switch will carry forward to whatever Nintendo is rumored to be developing. Shuntaro Furukawa, Nintendo’s CEO, has also previously addressed this, stating that the next Nintendo console will utilize the same Nintendo Account system as the Switch. However, whether this means that Nintendo’s next system will support backward compatibility with Switch games remains to be seen.
Reports suggest that the company may have unveiled its new system to developers at Gamescom in August, and there have been claims that certain studios may already possess the console.