Nintendo surprised the gaming world when it had unveiled the Switch, a home and handheld console rolled into one, in October 2016.
Nothing like it has ever been released and at once, it reinvigorated hope for Nintendo's future after a time of misfires and blunders with the ill-fated Wii U.
The State Of Nintendo Switch
Fast forward to the present, the console is selling like hotcakes. Good decision after good decision, such as making Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild a launch title, and bringing Wii U ports to take advantage of the handheld, has made the Switch a must-have console.
Then a couple of months ago, Nintendo unveiled Labo, a suite of cardboard peripherals that incorporate the Switch's built-in infrared camera in a variety of ways. It's simple, unique, and exactly the kind of genius only a company like Nintendo could have come up with. However, the company is not be done just yet.
Is Nintendo Developing A New Console Already?
Nintendo has always championed innovation, even though its attempts to redefine gaming haven't all been successful. Remember the Virtual Boy? A new patent proves Nintendo hasn't lost its drive to push boundaries.
The company could now be working on a new concept that reimagines multiplayer. As published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office on April 12, the patent application illustrates a game system that has "a plurality of information processing apparatuses that are capable of communicating with each other."
These processing apparatuses are built into standalone screens and by lining them up beside each other, information from one screen may jump to another screen, simulating a synchronicity between the separate consoles presumably in real time.
Examples from the filing include dragging a finger from one screen to another as the system keeps track of it. Another shows a ball moving from screen to screen uninterrupted.
One more example indicates that the screens don't even have to be that close. There's one illustration showing a gap between two screens and a visual element still able to cross it regardless.
In a sense, these examples are reminiscent of the Wii U, more specifically Nintendo Land, which incorporated the Wii U GamePad and the TV in similar methods depicted in the patent.
Here's where it gets more interesting. In all the aforementioned examples, it appears the screens are all laying flat. However, there are other examples showing that the screen can be tilted or angled in a way that can affect gameplay. For instance, angling a screen upward can cause a ball to acquire momentum as it falls down toward the second screen.
Although the patent is strikingly innovative and novel, it's worth noting that companies can file them even with no intent of ever making them. Most of the time, a patent serves as a preemptive measure to prevent stealing of ideas.
Make sure to check out the full patent to view more examples of how Nintendo's notional game console could work.