Nintendo Switch trademark hints at the console's future

Princess Peach looking shocking in front of a Nintendo Switch console
(Image credit: NIntendo/Future)

Nintendo has filed a Switch-related trademark that's inevitably sparked a great deal of speculation online – but is there really anything to it?

This latest Nintendo Switch trademark has been filed in Europe under the name "NSW." Originally spotted by users over on Resetera, speculation began as to whether or not the trademark will amount to anything substantial.

'NSW' is Nintendo's official shorthand for the Nintendo Switch console and a trademark for the abbreviation could mean a number of things. The question is, why would Nintendo want to trademark the initials.

If we were to let our speculations run ahead of us, then it could mean Nintendo is planning on rolling out some new hardware, such as another revision like the Nintendo Switch Lite or Nintendo Switch OLED. Or better yet, it could be a sign that the long-rumored Nintendo Switch 2 is on the horizon.

Should we really take stock in a trademark?

Ultimately, though, I think it's best not to get too hopeful about this latest Nintendo Switch-related trademark. The more likely reason for the filing simply comes down to Nintendo wanting to protect its IP. That, and to further officiate the 'NSW' abbreviation as something tied to Nintendo Switch systems. The people of New South Wales in Australia may take issue with Nintendo's initials grab, but that shouldn't get in the way of Nintendo's lawyers.

It's not the first time Nintendo would've done something like this, and very likely won't be the last. Earlier this year, as reported by Nintendo Life, Nintendo renewed its trademarks for The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, and Donkey Kong franchises. This is very likely to be a bit of trademark spring cleaning on Nintendo's part.

There's no doubt that the 'NSW' trademark comes at a curious time, though. Nintendo has recently launched its Wide Care repairs service in Japan. This is a subscription-based service that covers damages for Nintendo Switch consoles, Joy-Con controllers, and more. As such, there's a slight chance this latest trademark could hint at a European launch for the Wide Care service. But that's nothing more than speculation on my part.

I'm keeping my expectations low for now, but any kind of plans for the Nintendo Switch's future is certainly enticing. Fans have long been wanting an 'upgraded' Nintendo Switch model, thanks to the console's lack of hardware power when compared to the likes of the PS5 and Xbox Series X. It's harder to ignore the question, is 'the Nintendo Switch worth it in 2022?' when the competition is so much more powerful.

And considering we're half a decade into the Switch's lifecycle, the handheld hybrid is definitely pretty long in the tooth at this point. A Switch revision, then, couldn't come at a better time than now.

Rhys Wood
Hardware Editor

Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.