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Nintendo patent reveals new Joy-Con attachment featuring a stylus

(Image credit: USPTO)

Nintendo has filed a patent (opens in new tab) for a new Joy-Con attachment that features a stylus. The patent, which appears to have been published  on January 16, 2020, shows a new Joy-Con attachment not unlike the one already available with a wrist strap, only it also features a "touch pen" stylus on the top end of the controller attachment. 

The patent includes a detailed description of the new Joy-Con attachment, including how it will work in practice with the Switch's touchscreen functionality, and how the attachment slides onto the Joy-Con controllers just like the current wrist strap version. 

With diagramed images of the new touch pen feature shown, the patent states that the touch pen will cause the Joy-Cons to vibrate when objects are touched on screen. Interestingly, it also demonstrates how the stylus-like feature can draw thin lines on the screen, with the ability to also draw thicker lines by pushing what appears to be the X button on the Joy-Con. 

(Image credit: USPTO)

The patent appears to have been filed in June 2019 around the same time as the release of the stylus pen Nintendo put out for use with compatible games such as Mario Maker 2, where you can sketch out your own Mario courses using the stylus. The pen also works with recent releases such as Dr Kawashima's Brain Training. 

The addition of a touch pen stylus that actually attaches to the Joy-Con themselves is an interesting move. While there are plenty of games you could use the stylus with already on Switch, the patent could also hint that more games that make use of this functionality may be joining the Switch library in future. 

Here are all of the upcoming Switch games for 2020 (and beyond) (opens in new tab)

I started out writing for the games section of a student-run website as an undergrad, and continued to write about games in my free time during retail and temp jobs for a number of years. Eventually, I earned an MA in magazine journalism at Cardiff University, and soon after got my first official role in the industry as a content editor for Stuff magazine. After writing about all things tech and games-related, I then did a brief stint as a freelancer before I landed my role as a staff writer here at GamesRadar+. Now I get to write features, previews, and reviews, and when I'm not doing that, you can usually find me lost in any one of the Dragon Age or Mass Effect games, tucking into another delightful indie, or drinking far too much tea for my own good.