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Nintendo patents bendable Joy-Cons for extra grip

Do you find the Nintendo Switch uncomfortable for extended play sessions in handheld mode? Perhaps the rigid Joy-Cons are the problem. Polygon has uncovered a Nintendo patent filed in Japan that suggests the company will be rectifying this issue soon with some odd looking bendable controllers. 

As you can see from the pictures above, the Joy-Cons will bend for the top third on each side, meaning you get the analogue stick on the left one, and the face buttons on the right. The controllers will still slot neatly into the Switch, as the rail continues along a flat edge that isn’t part of the hinge.

Related: Best upcoming Switch games

This seems to be designed for ergonomics when connected to the Switch directly, because there are pictures further down the patent of the Joy-Cons bent out flat when disconnected, for two-player Mario Kart 8 and the like. There’s also an alternate design with an ever more curvy design at the bottom:

A labelled diagram of a cruved gaming controller on white background

Personally, I’m not sure how much this would add for me, but then I’m not anywhere near a  pro Smash Bros Ultimate player. 

There’s also the question of what adding a hinge would do to the internals, considering the missing features on the unremovable Joy-Cons of the Switch Lite, which lost rumble in its downsize. 

Related: Best Switch games

Then, of course, there are the usual health warnings that accompany any patents: just because a company patents something, doesn’t mean it will necessarily ever form part of a product that you can buy. 

Still, it’s interesting that Nintendo is not only considering ways of making the Switch more ergonomic, but is doing so in a way that could apply to the design limitations of this current generation, rather than with one eye on a Switch 2.

Do bendable Joy-Cons look like an improvement to you, or are you happy with them as they are now? Let us know what you think on Twitter: @TrustedReviews.

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