Information found on FCC ID's website suggests that Nintendo is patenting a new Switch controller. Looking at images found on the site, the controller looks to be modeled after an SNES controller.
Nintendo has had several announcements for its hybrid console, from a revision that gives the Switch a longer battery life, to a handheld-only model of the console called Switch Lite. Nothing has been confirmed regarding this new controller design, but it might mean that Nintendo has more surprises up its sleeve for the holiday rush.
FCC ID shows that Nintendo recently uploaded new documents for a "Wireless Game Device" for the Switch. This wouldn't be newsworthy on its own, but one of the files uploaded gives a better picture of what this product is. The Label ID PDF shows a picture of the back of the controller, which is shaped like a Super Nintendo controller. There are no pictures of the front of the controller at this time.
The fact that this is on the FCC ID site, as opposed to a copyright website, lends extra credibility for this rumor. For a wireless device to be sold in the US, the item needs to be tested and the results sent to the Federal Communications Commission for approval. While companies can file copyrights just to protect IPs and ideas without ever using them, filing information with the FCC is a step farther than a copyright renewal.
So what exactly does this all mean? If this SNES styled Switch controller passes the FCC's evaluation, it wouldn't be a stretch for Nintendo to announce the new controller heading to store shelves. However, there currently aren't any SNES games on the Switch which begs the question: Why a SNES controller? Twitter user Nebellion notes that Nintendo released the NES styled controllers when it announced NES games coming to Nintendo Switch Online (NSO). It's reasonable to assume that if the SNES controller is coming, there are also SNES games coming to Nintendo Switch Online soon.
Looks like Nintendo might release a bluetooth SNES-style controller for the Switch in the futurehttps://t.co/YrEhebzmBjhttps://t.co/ApMQYh5kRY— Nibel (@Nibellion) August 13, 2019
via Link83 https://t.co/r3zxotXvLO
(Nintendo released NES-style controllers when they revealed NES games coming to NSO) pic.twitter.com/OXfJSEHE0i
But while an FCC ID number and documents are more concrete evidence than a copyright filing, that doesn't mean Nintendo is going to go through with selling the controller. The item may fail the FCC inspection, or Nintendo may decide not to move forward with production for some reason. Even if Nintendo plans on releasing this SNES controller and SNES games to Nintendo Switch Online, that doesn't mean this is coming soon. It may be a year or more before we hear more about this controller.