Nintendo has filed a patent for a new controller which would include a ‘smart fluid’ in its joysticks, in a change that may help stop stick drift - a problem which has affected Nintendo Switch owners since the release of the console in 2017.
As VGC reports, the patent describes the utilization of “magnetorheological fluid” - a type of smart fluid that can change in viscosity when subjected to a magnetic field. In this context, this can seemingly be used to cause resistance when a user moves a joystick.
Most importantly, as VGC points out, the process described in the patent sounds similar to Hall effect joysticks which are already on the market. These detect movement by using magnets, but have no connecting parts, so stick drift can never occur.
Over the years, many Nintendo Switch owners have reported running into stick drift issues - where their Joy-Con controllers have begun to detect incorrect joystick inputs over time - so if this new patent has been filed with the intention of fixing this problem for good, it’d be a huge step forward for Nintendo fans.
Interesting Switch 2 news.Nintendo has patented a new controller design that seems to include magnetic (hall effect) analogue sticks.No guarentees, but if this is for Switch 2, this should end analogue stick drift issues next gen.https://t.co/laetwK9d6CSeptember 11, 2023
“By changing the viscosity periodically between the first viscosity state and the second viscosity state, it is possible to provide the user with an unprecedented feeling on the operation element and an unprecedented operation feeling thereof, while ensuring movement of the original element autonomously returning to the initial position,” the patent reads.
It’s worth keeping in mind, however, that a patent being filed doesn’t necessarily mean that a product utilizing these features will definitely be developed, so this is by no means hard confirmation of a new Nintendo controller.
In other Nintendo news, it was reported last week that tech demos for the unofficially titled Switch 2 took place at Gamescom in August, with one of these demos being an improved version of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. TRG sources confirmed these reports.
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Catherine is a News Writer for TechRadar Gaming. Armed with a journalism degree from The University of Sheffield, she was sucked into the games media industry after spending far too much time on her university newspaper writing about Pokémon and cool indie games, and realising that was a very cool job, actually. She previously spent 19 months working at GAMINGbible as a full-time journalist. She loves all things Nintendo, and will never stop talking about Xenoblade Chronicles.