The Nintendo Switch is one of the most successful consoles of the past few years and it’s selling like hot cakes. However, it has yet to unveil its full potential, at least judging by a few patents that popped up online. There’s a new patent application that may hint at a successor or even at a system that may be present on the Switch.
Nintendo did have multiple misleading patents over the years, so we try not to read too much into what they’re proposing this time. The latest published patent shows a system where there’s a multi screen, tracked and multi touch action, for a potential future console. The sketches you see here detail how a game system could operate with multiple screens and input surfaces.
The patent dates from all the way back in April 2017 and it describes several situations when touchscreen systems may be useful. The device shown in the documents feels like a Switch sans the Joy-Cons, or perhaps even a bunch of phones and tablets connected together. We see multiple screen orientations, plus screen pairs that touch, screen pairs that don’t and large groups of 3 or 4 screens with unified displays.
Two of the images from here show an even cookier concept, which involves real time recognition on any of the Z-axis orientations. One example also shows a bowling ball rolling down one screen towards another screen’s bowling pins. This means that the gameplay is able to continue on the different screens, much like we expect to see on the upcoming foldable devices.
There’s no limit to this multi screen setup, that’s for sure. It’s not very clear how the devices hook together: magnetically, via slots, pins, ports or Bluetooth. Some believe that the Switch already has this feature and in the future we may unite more units to play games like this. The console’s Broadcom wireless communication chip may serve for that. In the meantime Nintendo Labo, a Toy-Con Garage ships next week, letting Switches and Joy Cons talk to each other for a multi screen mini game.