Ask any Nintendo Switch owner what the most underutilised part of the console is and the most common answer is likely the touchscreen. That may not be the case going into the future, however, as a touch pen attachment for the Joy-Cons has recently come to light thanks to a patent.
On 4th June 2019 Nintendo filed a patent for the “touch pen attachment, controller system and game system”. This patent was published recently and can be read in full here.
The attachment takes the place of the standard wrist strap that comes in the original Nintendo Switch’s box. Like the strap the touch pen slides onto the Joy-Con rail and locks into place.
This layout means that the touch pen will not be 100% percent compatible with the Nintendo Switch Lite, which does not feature removable Joy-Cons. We suppose there’s nothing stopping you from using the pen separately, but that use case will come down to how potential games make use of the peripheral.
From looking through the pattern some examples of potential gameplay can be seen, such as the pen working in conjunction with rumble and simple drawing mechanics.
As with all news that comes from patents it’s worth noting that this idea may never become a commercial product. It’s very common for companies to patent new and exciting ideas just so that they have it under their belts and no on else can use it.
When this news broke many commentors pointed out that this is such an obvious idea that they’re surprised it had not been patented before. That may be exactly the point, with Nintendo hoping to have it before a third party can come and claim it.
Regardless we hope to see the original Switch and the Switch Lite having their screens used in more interesting ways in the future.Siliconera]