Monday, January 20, 2020

Nintendo Switch Patent Reveals Touch Pen Attachment for Joy-Cons

A new patent has been published for an official touch pen attachment that would work with the Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Cons.

The US Patent office revealed the patent, filed by Nintendo on June 4, 2019 and published on January 16, 2020, with a bunch of images and plenty of information on how exactly the touch pen attachment would work.

The stylus-like device is designed to work when the Switch is in handheld mode and the Joy-Cons are not attached to the touchscreen. You slide the attachment on to either Joy-Con - accommodating both left and right handed use - and then use it to draw onto the touchscreen.

Nintendo Switch draw

The patent showcases that when drawing with the touch pen you are able to use the buttons on the Joy-Con too. In one example, the player draws a line with the touch pen, and then presses one of the Joy-Con buttons to change the thickness of that line.

The Joy-Con’s HD rumble function is also shown working in another illustration. The player touches one of three boxes displayed on the touchscreen and the Joy-Con vibrates in response to the interaction.

Nintendo Switch boxes

It’s worth noting that there is already a Nintendo Switch stylus available that allows for easy drawing on the touchscreen. However, it doesn’t work in tandem with the Joy-Cons and their features. Nintendo has also previously sold touch pens for its handheld consoles, such as the DS, 3DS, and Wii U.

This new touch pen adds more functionality due to being an attachment for the Joy-Cons, which could open up more gameplay possibilities for compatible games, including Super Mario Maker 2, Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

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With reports of a Nintendo Switch Pro on the way this year, it’s possible that a Pro model be designed to make the most of ideas like this touch pen attachment. Is this our first look at how Nintendo will be responding to the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X?

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Chris Priestman is a freelancer who writes news for IGN. Follow him on Twitter.


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