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Nintendo patent details a handheld that splits into two

Portable hardware's clamshell design would include a third screen visible when system is closed

As spotted by GameRant, a Nintendo patent application published last week details a new handheld reminiscent of the company's DS and 3DS systems, but with a third screen and the ability to physically separate the unit into two devices.

After that report, ReserEra user Hexa identified the original World Intellectual Property Organization filing that served as the basis of GameRant's report.

The handheld would consist of two separate devices with screens, the second of which would also have a screen on its reverse side.

The application specifies that the second part of the device can attach to the first in one of two different ways, changing whether or not the second part's rear screen covers the screen on the first part.

The filing indicates that Nintendo originally submitted the patent application on November 11, 2022, and also requested early publication so it would be made public before the standard 18-month time frame.

Earlier publication means Nintendo could cite the application as prior art from an earlier date, which could benefit it against the kind of patent suits it repeatedly faced over the DS, the Wii, the 3DS, the Wii U, and the Switch.

It's also important to note that patent application don't always lead to actual products. For example, in 2021 Sony applied for a patent on a technique for playing video games with a banana.

It has also previously applied for patents on a "Fragrance Presentation Device" to increase immersion by blowing smells into user's face while they played, and one that would let livestream viewers pay money to remove a player from the game.

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Brendan Sinclair avatar
Brendan Sinclair: Brendan joined in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot.
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