Let’s put my fanboy logic aside and debate this purely on strategic grounds. Smartphones occupy 40% of the gaming industry by size, and 50% by revenue… which is why a Nintendo Gaming Smartphone sounds like a pretty incredible idea. It takes the Switch lite’s portable form factor and adds smartphone capabilities to it too. Nintendo can now expand its product line while still keeping people locked within its gaming ecosystem. Now that we’ve got that elevator pitch out of the way, let’s take some time to drool over Sophia Yen’s Nintendo gaming phone concept.
Titled the Nintendo Delight, this smartphone concept builds on the success of Nintendo’s Switch, making it even more portable and adding a few extra features to it. The Nintendo Delight replaces the need to carry your phone along with your gaming console. By combining the two together, it becomes your go-to device for gaming, browsing, social media, and everything in between. Designer Sophia Yen makes a pretty astute observation when she points out that the Switch is already an Android device (YouTuber Linus Tech Tips even demonstrates how to run Netflix on a Switch), and the Nintendo Delight simply builds on it, adding network capabilities and a camera to the mix.
The Nintendo Delight is smartphone gaming at its very best. Designed by Nintendo, the Android device would already have access to Nintendo’s current Switch gaming library, but would even be able to support Android gaming, Stadia, and other game-streaming services, bringing the entire world of gaming right into your handheld device. Oh, and you can even use it as a phone – making calls, browsing the web, chatting with friends, and clicking pictures with that rather insane-looking 4-lens camera setup!
The camera setup is perhaps the Nintendo Delight’s most brilliantly creative design detail. Its diamond-shaped layout exactly mirrors the XYAB button layout seen on the Switch, so while it is, in fact, a camera module… it’s also a rather clever branding exercise that goes wonderfully with the phone’s black, red, and blue color scheme.
The gaming smartphone comes with a traditional touchscreen interface to play games, but even sports a shoulder button on the top left to give you more control as you play. There’s even a battery-level indicator on the back so you can see how much juice your device has while your phone’s charging. Quite like the Switch Lite, the smartphone doesn’t come with pop-put modules and controllers, although it’s much slimmer and lighter than the Switch Lite.
This obviously is a fan-made concept, although it does make a very compelling argument that smartphone gaming is a seriously expanding category, no matter what gaming purists say. Just like the Sony PlayStation 5G concept we featured last month, the Nintendo Delight creates the perfect hybrid device for serious console gamers as well as casual smartphone gamers. It could easily replace devices like the Switch Lite, while firmly placing Nintendo smack-dab in the middle of a smartphone market that’s desperately trying to reinvent itself. Besides, I’d pick this over that extremely glitchy and buggy version of Stadia Google is trying to ship.
Designer: Sophia Yen