Shigeru Miyamoto mentions using a pen on the Switch's tablet during an interview with TIME, leading to speculation that Nintendo might have a stylus accessory in development.
While both the Wii U and the upcoming Nintendo Switch both prominently feature a touchscreen, there are some key differences between the two. Obviously, the Wii U's touchscreen is built into the main controller for the system while the Nintendo Switch provides an actual tablet that two Joy-Con controllers can latch onto for gaming on the go. One additional key difference is that the Wii U's touchscreen is resistive like on the Nintendo 3DS whereas the Switch's multi-touchscreen is capacitive like on an iPad or iPhone.
The reason most gamers see this change as good news is because capacitive touchscreens can be operated with just a person's fingers, making no stylus or pen required. However, during a recent interview with TIME, Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto may have let it slip that the Switch will be getting some kind of pen or stylus accessory for players who want one.
Miyamoto was responding to a question about the Joy-Con controller's HD Rumble feedback when he began to describe using the Switch tablet with a pen:
"What's incredible is that it's not just this monotone vibration, but you can feel the taps. So when you put your pen on the screen, it's not just this dull vibration, you can feel the tap that the tip of the pen makes on the screen."
It's unclear if Miyamoto was referring to a literal pen, meaning a writing instrument that he was using while testing out the Switch, or if he was using some kind of unannounced accessory for the Big N's new console. It's also possible of course that there was some miscommunication in an interview that Time said was "lightly edited," or that Miyamoto was referring to using some kind of virtual pen or stylus on an unannounced game.
From our point of view, we can't really see most people wanting to use a stylus on the Switch if the touchscreen is indeed as good as advertised, but perhaps it would work if Nintendo designed a specific game with a pen or stylus in mind. At any rate, the games media seems to be running wild with speculation over this statement this morning, so perhaps Nintendo will put out a clarification sometime soon. Then again, this is the same company that still hasn't officially told us about the Switch's Virtual Console 18 days away from launch, but we digress.
Miyamoto also talked to TIME about why Nintendo isn't ready to jump into virtual reality, stating concerns about the technology and how it might affect young children. Of course, the Switch's hardware might not be powerful enough to support a decent VR experience anyway, but we will just have to wait and see which direction Nintendo decides to go.
The Nintendo Switch releases worldwide on March 3, 2017.