Well well well, fancy seeing you here, Nintendo lovers. Yeah, I know it’s you. You couldn’t resist some news about a possible 4DS or some news about the Switch 2. Luckily there has been something leaked; something intriguing and controversial. A little tease for our game-addled brains and the obsession we have with new and old tech. Recently, the big N filed a patent for what appears to be a handheld gaming device, and the internet went bonkers with speculation: “It’s clearly the patent for a successor to the 3DS,” “It is most certainly the Switch 2, just much different than we expected,” “It’s a clamshell and that is literally ALL I care about!”
The patent, however, may not really be evidence of….anything at all. So, what are we to think of this whole situation? Should we be getting our hopes up? Should we temper expectations? Does Big Daddy ‘Tendo have something marvelous up their sleeve? Join us as we try to separate some of the rumors from reality when it comes to the patent and its significance.
First off, let’s have a look at the diagrams themselves, shall we?
So…what do we see here? The first thing that caught our attention was the screen-focused design. The first picture shows what initially looks just like a 2DSXL, so nothing really stands out. But if you glance at that second diagram, you cannot help but be struck by the notable square on what looks like the top of the device. Meaning, whatever this device may be, it is being theorized that it will have THREE screens. On top of that, it has been said that the top screen may be detachable, which would lead to a whole other world of possibilities. The thought is simply mouth-watering, but cool your jets before you get too worked up. The square is not confirmed to be a screen, just like the diagrams are not confirmed to be a project Nintendo is actively working on. In fact, they have said themselves that the patent was filed with them knowing the public would see it, and they mentioned that it does not mean a new handheld is planned for production. They also said that the Switch 2 rumors surrounding the patent are unsubstantiated.
That sort of sucks the wind out of our proverbial sails, huh? Well, allow us to blow some smoke anyway. This idea could be a gold mine for the Japanese company as the clamor for a true successor to the 3DS line has been around for quite some time. Sure, the Switch obviously dominated the handheld gaming market (not like there has been much competition) since its release and one could argue that a 4DS would be unnecessary for them to make. But I know many of us here at RH and many folks in our community feel like a modern clamshell device that could play Nintendo’s newest games and hopefully a lot of the back-catalog too would be nothing short of awesome. Add the third screen for functionality while closed, and maybe some hall-sensor sliders on the interior, and we think they could have a recipe for a successful successor.
The main thing standing in the way of such a device heading to production could actually be the Switch 2. We find it hard to believe that Nintendo would stray so far from the original Switch design when it relates to making the 2, and their focus is quite certainly going to be on making the launch of that console as profitable as possible. So, where would that leave this patent? If it is not the mock-up of the new Switch, will it even come to light as a full-blown product? Will the Big N release TWO new devices next year? Will we ever get the 4DS? As of now, only time will tell…and maybe Nintendo.
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