Nintendo‘s latest patent tackles a common gamer problem: hand strain during long play sessions. It proposes removable grips for their controllers, designed to improve ergonomics for players of all ages.

Detailed in patent filing US20240042310, which surfaced last week, the concept proposes snap-on side grips for a controller body with distinct front and rear sections. These hollow grip pieces attach to handles extending from either side of the controller.

The grips are designed with contours to cradle a player’s palm, improving support for hands and fingers. Additionally, an option to angle the grips downward could encourage more healthier wrist positioning, also helping to prevent fatigue.

These ergonomic considerations aim to reduce the hand and wrist strains often associated with long gaming sessions. As games have continued to expand in scope and length, demanding longer play sessions, controller designs haven’t always kept pace.

A diagram from the patent outlining how the detachable grips would work.
A diagram from the patent outlining how the detachable grips would work.

Beyond the core wellness and comfort motivations however, the modular snap-on grip approach also offers creative customization opportunities should Nintendo’s new controller design come to the market.

Different sized grip modules could be combined to suit proportional player hand variations. Mass producing S, M, L & XL grip scales, for example, allows more tailored configurations – ideal for households with adults and children using the same console.

Interchangeable grips also opens up opportunities for user personalization and accessories, like grip sleeves to match console skins.

While there are undoubtedly challenges in bringing this to market – such as potential increases in production costs and ways of ensuring the reliability and durability of the removable parts – this patent tackles a genuine issue in gaming controller design.

It hints at a future of greater customizability and comfort, and if Nintendo manages to address the technical hurdles, this concept could positively impact player health.

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