Better ergonomics for the people, hinges have appeared in a plan for the Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons.
A strange patent application Nintendo filed in Japan has fans guessing at its purpose, even before the necessary speculation of whether it’ll actually become something that people can buy for the Switch. But there it is, a pair of Joy-Cons with a hinge.
The hinge flips the upper portion of each Joy-Con (left thumb-stick on the left; face buttons on the right) downward, or away from the user, at about a 20 to 30 degree angle (eyeballing here). Shown against the natural posture of a hand with its thumb in the stick, this seems to be an ergonomic improvement.
There appears to be a second design with the bottom of the controller slightly angled as well, for extra ergonomic functionality. The Joy-Con retains a straight inner railing so that it still attaches to a standard Nintendo Switch unit. And since the dock’s housing doesn’t extend past the screen’s width, that’s of no concern for a Switch fitted with a couple of these.
Images further down the patent application show that this is a moving hinge, with the Joy-Con locking flat for use in its traditional detached, two-player way. Connected, I suppose this would be for power users who do most of their playing handheld and want some better grip.