Best of Conceptual Design – Yanko Design Awards 2023

At YD, we live by the fundamental belief that there’s nothing more powerful than an idea. Concepts have always enthralled us, because they represent what our future could look like, and that’s where designers come in with their unique skill – imagining this conceptual alternate reality on behalf of all of us. As we come to a grand close to 2023, we look back at some of the concepts that we (and you, surely) loved. These concepts represent some of the most intriguing ideas and visions of the year, like imagining what a proper PlayStation Portable in the modern age would look like, or even the Gen-2 CyberTruck for instance. We’re even crowning one of these concepts as our “Best Concept Design of 2023” for its sheer vision, attention to detail, and the fact that it just ever so slightly made us want to throw money at our screens. Want to know what it was? Want to also see the other concepts that made it to this ‘Best of’ list? Scroll down to find out!

1. MOI3D Gaming Console by Vadim Danilkov (Best Concept Design of 2023)

We loved this console for a few reasons. Aside from the fact that it’s detailed down to the last screw and capacitor (check the video), it’s also a tsunami of absolute nostalgia. The MOI3D is a handheld console concept that’s designed to run any PlayStation CD right back to the 1994 PS One. It comes with all the bells and whistles, starting from a screen on the front and a CD-reader on the bottom to action buttons (including L1/L2 and R1/R2), HDMI out, USB-C charging, a CD tray button, and front-firing speakers. Notably, it lacks a 3.5mm audio jack but more than makes up for it with backward compatibility with games from as long as 30 years ago when the PlayStation first debuted!

Why it’s noteworthy?

The Best Design title doesn’t come easy. We rate our designs on their brief, their output, the level of detail, their originality, and their overall appeal and the MOI3D smashed it out of the park on all levels. The amount of detail is dizzying, and the prospect of being able to play all your favorite PS games on one handheld console is even more exciting!

2. Tesla Cybertruck 2.0 by Dejan Hristov

As the Cybertruck FINALLY begins delivering to customers who first ordered it back in 2019 (if they were ready to pay that tear-jerking new price), we decided it was time to plan for the next big thing. Dejan Hristov’s Cybertruck 2.0 really caught our fancy for its unique design. It was eye-catching and iconic without being polarizing, and still somehow stuck to the Cybertruck’s design language without looking like it was made using origami. The gentle curves do a wonderful job of reflecting light and the world around it, creating the truck’s overall appeal, and if that rear truck bed wasn’t enough storage, this one also sports a frunk that opens like a drawer cabinet!

Why is it noteworthy?

Hristov’s design paints an arguably less polarizing picture of the Cybertruck but retains its overall soul. When Musk made a point that all pickup trucks looked the same, he wasn’t wrong. Hristov carries that torch but creates an EV that looks different without looking ugly.

03. Apple iPhone Ultra by Jimmy Huynh

We all thought Apple would drop an iPhone Ultra this year, but the company delivered something just as good – an iPhone Pro series made from titanium, with USB-C, and an Action button. Sure, it doesn’t look as captivating as this particular concept by Jimmy Huynh, but we love it all the same. As far as this iPhone Ultra concept goes, Huynh retained the Watch Ultra’s aesthetic beautifully, with a gorgeous crown, orange action button, and that nude titanium finish that culminates in those speaker grills at the bottom. Sure, some might find that odd bump on the side unappealing, but we appreciate anything we can rest our fingers against as we hold this phone up.

Why is it noteworthy?

It’s been a hot minute since Apple announced any new iPhone range. The Watch got an Ultra debut last year, but Apple’s stuck to the iPhone, SE, and Pro range for years now. Although some say there wouldn’t be much difference between the Pro and the Ultra, we disagree. The Ultra isn’t a creative-aligned iPhone. It’s an iPhone that’s built like a brick. Incredible sturdiness, game-changing resilience, and the kind of software security that would make it perfect for government officials (perhaps even the ones in the CCP)!

04. Nothing Power Bank by Subhav Menon Srivastava

Last year Nothing created waves with its first transparent-bodied smartphone, and while we got the Nothing Phone (2) this year, we were hoping for a few phone-adjacent accessories. A Nothing Power Bank, for example. This transparent portable charger from the mind of Subhav Menon Srivastava has us drooling because of how gorgeous it looks. While most power banks have nothing more than an Li-ion battery and a PCB, Srivastava makes things interesting with printed elements on the outer glass, and an LED display that shows the battery percentage of the power bank. You’ve also got a whopping 10,000 mAh battery on the inside, and a few LED lights that bring the power bank to life when plugged in.

Why is it noteworthy?

Our readers certainly loved the Nothing Power Bank, with 60,000 views on the concept. That pretty much affirms that there’s public demand for the Nothing Power Bank, so if Carl Pei is reading this…

05. Apple Mac Nano by Le KBM

Sometime in 2022 (or probably earlier) a patent surfaced for an Apple keyboard with its own Mac computer built into it. Given that Apple was developing its own silicone line, at the time this made absolute sense. Fit an entire Mac into a keyboard and you had yourself a makeshift Mac Mini with you! Plug a display in and you were ready to go (maybe you’d need a trackpad or mouse too, but you get my drift). Designer Le KBM decided to build out this vision, creating the Mac Nano concept. The concept features a rejuvenated Magic Keyboard with a touchbar on top and an M-series chip inside, giving it laptop-worthy computing power in the format of a keyboard. Hook an iPad or an iPhone to it and you have yourself a renegade Mac with a touchscreen. What’s not to love?!

Why is it noteworthy?

Conceptually, the Mac Nano seems somewhat strange but then again, the Mac Mini was an odd concept too. Why create a portable Mac when the MacBook Pro was already a thing? Well, the Mac Mini sort of found its own place in the Apple ecosystem, and for people looking for an ‘Air’ version of that, the Mac Nano is the perfect choice! Plus, we haven’t seen a ‘nano’ Apple product in a while!

06. PocketMan P1 Handheld Console by Grzegorz Rozwadowski (Twig Studio)

The PocketMan P1, inspired by Teenage Engineering’s raw, industrial design, boasts a sleek metal-first aesthetic with exposed screws. It features essential controls like a D-pad, action buttons, multiple joysticks, and four shoulder buttons. It also offers a USB-C port, a 3.5mm aux jack, and card readers on both sides for game loading. The black-and-white screen gives it a retro touch, possibly with an option for a color display. While currently a concept, the P1 showcases minimalist metallic design, rejecting the need for excessive ergonomics and RGB lighting in gaming hardware.

Why is it noteworthy?

Aside from that nostalgic handheld form factor, there’s a lot to be appreciated about how wonderfully cyberpunk the PocketManP1 looks. When your eyes aren’t immersed in the game, they’ll probably be admiring every inch of the P1’s metallic design while your hands familiarize themselves with every single button, trigger, and joystick.

07. Note Digital+Analog Desk Accessory by Harshit Sahu

Part digital clock/calendar, part whiteboard, and part pinboard, this Note-taking desk accessory has the best of all worlds. It’s essentially a compact whiteboard that can flip over, doubling your writing space. One side features a dotted grid for diagrams, while the other can be plain or carry the same design. Sticky notes can also find their place on this versatile board. What sets Note apart is the addition of a multi-purpose vertical screen on the left side, displaying the time, calendar, and synced appointments from your phone. It even offers functions like a timer, world clock, and music player.

Why is it noteworthy?

“Paper can be simple, and apps can be quick, but not everyone needs all the commitment that these two different note-taking methods sometimes require,” says our Co-Editor-in-Chief JC Torres. This piece of digital stationery may not be a revolutionary device, but its creative integration of analog and digital concepts makes it a focused and efficient tool for specific needs. It simplifies your workflow without overwhelming you with unnecessary features, ensuring that your productivity remains the top priority.

08. Sony Playstation XPERIA by Santosh Palaniappan

This one’s a classic case of “what could have been”. Designed by Santosh Palaniappan, the PlayStation XPERIA is the perfect hybrid between a smartphone and a gaming device, combining the company’s two successful product lines. Featuring a sliding display that reveals gaming controls underneath, along with a triple-camera setup, it offers versatility beyond gaming. Messaging, internet browsing, selfies, movie watching, and social media game streaming become seamless possibilities. The PlayStation Xperia strikes a balance between smartphone and gaming device aesthetics, combining the functionality of a smartphone with the visual appeal of the PS5. Its white and black design with textured grips and the iconic PlayStation symbol microtexture on the rear exudes elegance. Front-facing speakers enhance the media and gaming experience, and sliding the screen transforms it into a handheld console.

Why is it noteworthy?

With a focus on both gaming and smartphone capabilities, the PlayStation Xperia concept offers a promising vision for Sony’s future product lineup, blending the best of both worlds for tech enthusiasts and gamers alike. It doesn’t compromise on anything a gamer would want in their phone or their handheld console, and let’s be absolutely honest, it looks positively drool-worthy!

09. Ford Mini Bronco by Naoto Kobayashi

Ever seen an off-roader coupe? Well, feast your eyes on the Ford Mini Bronco, a two-door off-roader that we absolutely wish was real. Crafted by designer Naoto Kobayashi, the Ford Mini Bronco boasts a unique design with distinctive pixel-inspired headlights in the front and dynamic taillights at the rear. It’s ideal for a group of two or three adventurers looking to hit the off-road and embrace an eco-friendly lifestyle. This compact EV offers SUV-like excitement without the fuel consumption of larger Ford vehicles. However, it’s important to note that the Ford Mini Bronco is currently just a concept, a vision of what the future of transportation could hold. We can only hope that one day, this remarkable concept will become a reality.

Why is it noteworthy?

The Mini Bronco is a small-format-large-ambitions car that really doesn’t compromise on space or features. The lack of two extra passenger seats means the Mini Bronco has a spacious rear, perfect for storing your outdoor gear. Its short wheelbase and minimal overhangs (on the front and rear) promise enhanced off-road capabilities, and Kobayashi even managed to fit a large-size tent on the top that people can sleep in!

10. Google G Spot Tracking Device by Obi Fidler

Google will help you search for a lot of things, but this is a first! Meet the G Spot, an audacious concept from the mind of Obi Fidler that doubles as Google’s first-ever tracking device. The G Spot is a sleek and compact GPS smart tracker that takes inspiration from Apple’s popular AirTag. This innovative device boasts a conveniently small form factor, making it a breeze to carry around discreetly. What sets it apart is its seamless integration with Google’s robust ecosystem, allowing you to effortlessly track its whereabouts through the Find My Device and Google Maps services… and obviously that name, which I will never tire of saying!

Why is it noteworthy?

This one makes the list just for how much of a belly laugh it gave us as we first saw it online. The entire project is an absolute riot, making fun of what could be Google’s tracking device. Hilariously named the G Spot, this tracking device comes equipped with a tensor chip and a whole lot of double entendres!

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AYANEO Flip DS handheld PC takes inspiration from a different Nintendo star

The Nintendo Switch is hailed as the design that brought the handheld gaming market back to life, but it’s hardly the only notable product from the gaming giant. Almost two decades ago, Nintendo launched the evolution of its Game Boy line, the Nintendo DS with its odd yet interesting second screen. It’s still debatable whether that feature was a success or just a gimmick, but there’s little argument that it became an iconic design that few have been able to emulate successfully. One of the rising names in the handheld PC segment, however, is taking a stab at bringing that uniqueness to this fledgling market, with a micro laptop design that includes not a keyboard but a small second screen, a feature that could be even more quirky and gimmicky than it was on the Nintendo DS.

Designer: AYANEO

It’s hard not to see the Nintendo DS as a bit gimmicky. Almost all the controls you need to play handheld games are mostly covered by buttons and joysticks, so you actually need to craft specific games to take advantage of that second screen. Because of the custom design, those games won’t work on any other console without heavy changes or some special emulation. That said, a second screen might actually have more utility on a different platform like Windows, where a different display could be used for displaying information or custom controls.

That seems to be what AYANEO is aiming for with the Flip DS launching on Indiegogo next month. The handheld laptop design is nothing new and AYANEO, in fact, has a variant with that design, the AYANEO Flip KB. That squeezes a basic QWERTY keyboard in between split gamepad controls, allowing for quick text input in games or Web browsing. The AYANEO Flip DS, however, switches out the keyboard for a 3.5-inch touch screen, providing a second display that could augment the gaming experience, at least in theory.

In practice, that touch display can be used to show anything as long as the operating system or games support it. At the most basic level, it can give quick access to the most used settings, like toggling Wi-Fi, muting the mic, or even shutting down the PC. It can also display the system’s current operating conditions, for gamers who are concerned about frame rates, power draw, and temperatures. Given the more open Windows gaming ecosystem, it’s conceivable that this screen can also be used for additional in-game controls that are just a thumb tap or swipe away. It could even be used as an on-screen virtual keyboard!

That said, additional features could also mean additional burdens on the system as well as the buyer’s wallet. These are features that are not exactly critical to enjoying games on the go, as proven by the half-dozen handheld gaming PCs now on the market. It’s still an interesting exercise in design that looks to another Nintendo product for guidance, because as popular and innovative as it may be, the Switch isn’t the be-all and end-all of handheld gaming.

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5 Crazy Nintendo Patents that were almost turned into real products

Did you know Nintendo *almost* made a smartphone case with a built-in Game Boy? Well, now you do…

Nintendo has always been a pioneer in the gaming world, known for its innovation and creativity. Starting out selling gaming cards, the company practically led the charge on gaming innovation, starting with their entertainment systems, to the birth of the world’s first handheld gaming console (Apple TV has an entire movie on how Tetris made its way to the first Game Boy). That was just a milestone for the company, which went on to revolutionize gaming with Super Mario, Pokemon, Legend of Zelda, and an entire host of other games that hold legend-status in the gaming world. The Game Boy then transformed into the Nintendo DS, which led to the Wii, and finally the wildly successful Switch. But did you know that not all of Nintendo’s ideas have seen the light of day? Or rather, some of their less-than-brilliant ideas that remain languishing in a patent office.

The folks at NeoMam Studios partnered with Guide Strats to bring some of these patents to life and let’s say, we would have loved to be a fly on the wall at the Nintendo office when these products were being pitched. From a Joy Con-enabled horse saddle to a smartphone case with a Game Boy built into it, these concepts are bizarre, to say the least…

Designers: NeoMam Studios for Guide Strats

Nintendo Inventions That Stayed On Paper

1. Nintendo Playable Game Boy Smartphone Case

(Patent No: US20180275769A1)

Somewhere down the road execs at Nintendo saw the rise of smartphones and thought – what if we turned the iPhone into a GameBoy?! This slap-on case for your smartphone basically acts as a physical emulator, blocking most of the screen to allow you to only see a small portion of it, where the game would be displayed. Buttons on the front tap the screen when pressed, allowing you to effectively get the Game Boy experience on a modern-day smartphone. The pros? Peak nostalgia and tactile buttons. The cons? Pretty much everything else, including the clunky GB cover that would practically consume your smartphone’s entire aesthetic.

2. Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons with Hinges

(Patent No: JP2019146737A)

A little less weird conceptually, but equally absurd on a technical level, Nintendo patented ‘bendable’ Joy-Cons for their Switch device. The reason? Ergonomics in general, given that the Joy-Cons aren’t as ergonomically shaped as other controllers on the market like Sony’s DualSense controller or Microsoft’s Xbox Wireless Controller. These unique controllers, however, have hinges in them that allow them to bend away from you, enabling a natural gripping position while still having the screen facing you clearly. Given that ‘drifting’ is already a problem within the Joy-Cons, having more moving parts that could compromise accuracy seemed like a bad idea, which is why the patent was left as it was.

3. Nintendo Wii Football Controller

(Patent No: EP2090346B1)

Given how the Wii’s controllers made them perfectly suited for workouts and sports like boxing, skiing, and table tennis, the good folks at Nintendo thought it would make sense to have a football (or rugby ball) accessory for the Wii remote, allowing people to pass, throw, dodge, and run in the game. The solution was an incredibly odd-looking accessory that felt like shoving a remote control into an existing football. “The game-playing public generally expects a football video game to provide a reasonably accurate model of at least some aspects of the actual game of football,” argued Nintendo’s patent. What Nintendo didn’t realize at the time, was that it wasn’t realistic to expect people to play football indoors without breaking bones, furniture, and possibly even your Nintendo Wii. Luckily, sanity prevailed and the Nintendo Wii Football Controller was scrapped.

4. Nintendo Portable System with Interchangeable Controls

(Patent No: US20140121023A1)

This one might be the least absurd because you can really see Nintendo’s thinking at the time. The “Nintendo Portable System with Interchangeable Controls” was filed as a patent 10 years ago, long before the Switch was released. The idea – a Nintendo 3DS-style handheld console with interchangeable controls that could slide in and out, allowing you to swap between joysticks, action buttons, and a D-pad based on the game you wanted to play. Eventually, this concept evolved into the Switch as we know it today, and these tiny removable modules were effectively adapted into removable joy-cons, which many will argue was a much better idea in hindsight!

5. Nintendo Wii Inflatable Horseback Riding Peripheral

(Patent No: US8277327B2)

Let it be known that the Wii years should go down into the annals of history as some of Nintendo’s weirdest years. As the company saw success with its motion-sensing console/controller system, the company decided the best way to build out the Wii ecosystem would be to create accessories. If the football accessory wasn’t enough, the Nintendudes decided to patent this ridiculous exercise-ball-inspired “Inflatable Horseback Riding Peripheral”. The idea, you’d sit on it with the Wii remote docked between your legs, rocking back and forth to control the horse’s movements. Thankfully for Nintendo and all the gaming fans out there, a particular Jim and Dwight scene from The Office helped Nintendo understand exactly how ridiculous this would look…

Image Credits: Guide Strats

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LEGO Brings Animal Crossing to Life with 5 Nintendo-Themed Play Experiences

After the runaway success of LEGO’s Super Mario build, the company is partnering again with Nintendo to make brick-based versions of scenes from their hit game, Animal Crossing. Made popular on Nintendo Switch, the company’s highly popular handheld gaming console, Animal Crossing is a game where players inhabit and civilize a desert island, turning it into a burgeoning, flourishing society. LEGO hand-picked some iconic scenes from the game, introducing popular characters in the form of minifigures that children can play with. Parents, however, will appreciate the fact that this entire endeavor is screen-free!

Designers: LEGO & Nintendo

The lineup consists of five unique sets, each beautifully capturing the essence of Animal Crossing’s most beloved characters and locations. Prices range from a wallet-friendly $14.99 to a more premium $74.99, ensuring there’s something for every fan, regardless of their budget. The sets vary in complexity, with piece counts ranging from a modest 164 pieces to an impressive 535 pieces, offering both simplicity and challenge for builders of different skill levels.

The series kicks off with “Isabelle’s House Visit” (Set 77049), boasting 389 pieces and featuring characters Isabelle & Fauna. It’s a medium-sized set, priced at $39.99 USD, and stands over 6.5 inches high and 10 inches wide when assembled. For those seeking a more compact experience, “Julian’s Birthday Party” (Set 77046) offers a 170-piece build featuring the character Julian, priced at $14.99 USD. This set measures over 3.5 inches high, 6.5 inches wide, and 4 inches deep in its standard configuration.

“Bunnie’s Outdoor Activities” (Set 77047) is another delightful addition, comprising 164 pieces and priced at $19.99 USD. This set captures the whimsical outdoor adventures of the character Bunnie. The “Kapp’n’s Island Boat Tour” (Set 77048) is a slightly larger set with 233 pieces, featuring characters Kapp’n and Marshal, and is priced at $29.99 USD. The crown jewel of the collection is undoubtedly “Nook’s Cranny & Rosie´s House” (Set 77050), the largest set with 535 pieces, featuring Tom Nook & Rosie. This elaborate set is the most expensive, priced at $74.99 USD.

Each of these sets not only stands out on its own but also forms part of a larger, interconnected LEGO Animal Crossing world. The possibility to interchange elements between sets adds a layer of customization and creativity, allowing fans to create their unique versions of this beloved universe. In sum, the LEGO Animal Crossing series is a dream come true for fans, combining the immersive world of the game with the hands-on creativity of LEGO building. So, whether you’re a fan of Animal Crossing, a LEGO enthusiast, or both, these sets are a perfect way to bring a bit of that peaceful, playful spirit into your home. Just remember, unlike the game, you can’t pay for these with bells – get your wallets ready for some real-world currency action!

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Analogue Pocket Classic retro gaming handheld puts the color in Game Boy Color

Just because you’re trying to design a retro interpretation of an old design doesn’t mean you have to copy the original inch for inch. In fact, it might even be illegal in some cases to be an exact replica of the product you’re trying to pay homage to. It’s definitely a good opportunity to address the flaws of the past or to implement designs that were intended but couldn’t be implemented because of the limitations or tastes of ages past. It wouldn’t make sense, for example, for a modern recreation of the Game Boy Color to display the extremely limited palette of the original in this day and age. Fortunately, Analogue had the sense to equip its retro gaming handheld with modern capabilities while staying faithful to the original’s essence. So faithful that it, in fact, even tried to recreate the playful colors of the Game Boy Color while also expanding that selection with almost all the colors of the rainbow and then some.

Designer: Analogue

Even by yesteryear’s standards, the Game Boy Color’s chunky design clearly earmarked it as a toy for kids. Those kids, however, have now grown up, and many of them want to relive those fun-filled days but probably with something that doesn’t look like it was plucked out of a time capsule. The Analogue Pocket is an attempt to feed this hunger while also making the design and the heritage accessible to a lot more people. Its more modern and sleeker aesthetic easily appeals to gamers of all ages but still exudes that charm that made the GBC an icon. Still, the retro handheld seemed to be missing one particular element that would really set it apart from other Game Boy Color recreations.

That missing piece of the puzzle was delivered by the “Classic” edition of the Analogue Pocket, which basically gives the device a colorful paint job. The very first GBC was a rather boring and very industrial gray, but the market eventually exploded in a variety of colors, including a transparent one. The Analogue Pocket Classic brings back not just one or two or five of these but offers no less than eight hues. That’s on top of the plain black, white, transparent, and glow-in-the-dark editions that came out in the past.

The full palette includes Indigo, Red, Green, Blue, Yellow, Pink, Orange, and Silver, all of which Analogue boasts have been color-matched to the original models. It might just be a change of hue, but it immediately gives the Pocket a vibrant character befitting of a gaming device. With these accurate colors and the overall design of the handheld, there is very little doubt that this retro revival truly captures the spirit of the Game Boy Color as faithfully as it can without tripping over legal landmines.

The story doesn’t end on a high note, unfortunately, with all variants of the Analogue Pocket now declared to be completely sold out. That’s true for this colorful yet limited run of the “Classic” edition as well as the original models. It’s uncertain if these will ever return to shelves, and collectors will have to stay on their toes while waiting for hopeful news in the coming days.

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8bitDo Retro Mechanical Keyboard turns an old iconic console design into a fun-looking keyboard

When you talk about video games, most people will probably think of game controllers immediately, even if a large chunk of these aren’t played that way. Even disregarding mobile games that only use touch screens, many are actually played with good, “old-fashioned” keyboard and mouse. There are, of course, keyboards made for gaming, with noisy mechanical switches and bright RBG lights, but most of these are designed to match the aesthetics of most computers, which is to say they almost always come in black, a few in off-white. Nothing screams “gaming,” however, more than a keyboard that’s designed to look like a gaming console. Ever the masters of making old things new, 8bitDo is coming out with its very first keyboard, one that pays homage to a gaming classic in an endearing and tasteful way.

Designer: 8bitDo

8bitDo is a brand best known for its multitude of game controllers catering not just to console owners but also to PC gamers. Although many of these look like your typical gamepads, the company has a penchant for applying the design language of past gaming controllers to present products, giving an ode to the rich history of video games. Its portfolio, however, has been growing recently to cover other accessories and gadgets, including a wireless charging pad, a wireless speaker, and a computer mouse. For the first time, it’s dipping its toes into keyboard territory, and what better way to start that venture than with one of the most iconic consoles in history?

Launched in the 80s, the Nintendo Entertainment System or NES, which was called the Family Computer or Famicom in Japan, kickstarted Nintendo’s own journey from making playing cards to the gaming giant it is today. Although it is hardly the first home gaming console to be launched to the masses, it is one of the few to have gained worldwide acclaim to the point of being an icon. The new 8bitDo Retro Mechanical Keyboard pays tribute to this landmark gaming device but does more than just get a paint job to match the gray or red themes of the NES and Famicom, respectively.

The retro keyboard is filled to the brim with details that will really give you that old-school vibe, from the fonts used on the keycaps to the analogy dials for volume and for switching between Bluetooth or Wireless modes. There’s even a classic power light that thankfully uses a more modern LED. The package also includes two giant programmable red buttons in the style of the A and B buttons of the original NES controller. You can connect up to four of these pairs via a 3.5mm headphone jack, which is a pretty old-school connector by now.

As for the keyboard itself, it’s a tenkeyless keyboard, which means you don’t get a numeric keypad on the side. Like with many mechanical keyboards, you have the option to change not only the keycaps but even the switches to your liking. It can connect via Bluetooth, the included wireless RF receiver, or a USB cable. Unlike most gaming keyboards, however, there is no backlighting at all. The 8bitDo Retro Mechanical Keyboard costs $99.99 and will ship starting in September. If you really dig the NES motif, you might be tempted to also grab the brand’s N30 wireless mouse which was also inspired by the classic console.

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Nintendo Switch 2 Console Renders Hint At Smaller Bezels and Redesigned Joy-Cons

Even when the folks at Nintendo don’t say anything, they say a lot! The rumor mill has been ABUZZ with speculation about the Nintendo Switch 2, which many people close to the matter say should arrive in 2024. While Nintendo has been extremely tight-lipped about the release of its highly-anticipated next-generation handheld console, it’s rumored that multiple studios have gotten access to the developer kit, confirming that the Switch 2 is, in fact, coming. This would be big for Nintendo too, as they’ve never released a ‘2nd edition’ of any of their consoles – the name has always changed ever so slightly, but the number 2 hasn’t featured in this new name. Take the Wii and WiiU for example, or the Nintendo DS and 3DS, or the Game Boy and Game Boy Advance if you want to look even further back.

The Switch 2’s reputation precedes it, following a 1st gen console so infamous, it remained sold out through multiple production runs and still is the most popular handheld console today, even though it was first unveiled six years ago. This Switch 2 concept, designed and envisioned by Salvo Lo Cascio and Riccardo Cambò Breccia, embodies everything we fans expect from Nintendo, peppered with a few healthy leaks and rumors. Let’s dive in!

Designers: Salvo Lo Cascio & Riccardo Cambò Breccia

Outwardly, the Nintendo Switch 2 concept embraces and really highlights its predecessor’s black, red, and blue color scheme. The format remains entirely the same too, with a few pretty visible tweaks, but all in all, it’s as unabashedly Nintendo as it gets.

We start with the Joy-Cons, which now sport a slightly chunkier, more rounded design that has a playful appeal to it. The controllers are a pleasure to hold as a part of the console as well as independent units, and come with a sliding panel built into its design – but more on that later. The main unit, on the other hand, is significantly different too, with drastically slimmer bezels than on the original Nintendo Switch. Rounded corners give the display unit a cutting-edge tablet appeal, although the only thing missing to make it a tablet is the presence of cameras!

A comparison between the old and new Joy-Con design

The new Joy-Cons’ strange sliding panel has an incredibly clever utility to it. Although designed to be used as a standalone unit, the Switch originally boasted of being able to handle two-person gaming too. All you needed to do was pop the Joy-Cons out and they would transform into dedicated handheld controllers. The problem was that these controllers weren’t designed to be symmetrical when held horizontally. Salvo and Riccardo’s clever design workaround fixes that problem entirely, creating a set of handheld controllers that feel ergonomic and comfortable to use even when held on their own. The GIF below explains how this works.

The designers also hid an easter egg in the Nintendo Switch 2’s speaker grill by shaping it into the waveform of the iconic Super Mario Bros. theme!

The rumor mill has been going on and on about Nintendo probably launching two Switch 2 models together. The second, according to Bobby Kotick (CEO of Activision) is suspected to be as powerful as a PS4, shattering through all benchmarks to make this new Switch model Nintendo’s most capable one yet. Dubbed the Nintendo Switch 2 MAX, Salvo and Riccardo gave this a significantly upgraded design too, in the form of an all-black colorway, and a larger screen sans the lower chin seen in the Switch 2. According to Kotick, the developer kit of the Switch 2 MAX was allegedly powerful enough to handle Triple-A games without breaking a sweat. Most Switch users have complained that the console’s graphics are its biggest limitation, and the Switch 2 MAX may just be exactly what they need.

The Nintendo Switch 2 MAX has a much larger, edge-to-edge display

The all-black controller on the Switch 2 MAX is a deviation from Nintendo’s Blue and Red color-way, but after all, a beast needs its camouflage! The Switch 2 MAX controller also has backlit XYAB keys, allowing for low-light high-octane gaming.

The last part of the Nintendo Switch 2 to receive a redesign is the hub, which docks the screen. Designed to both charge as well as work as an HDMI pass-through for the console, this new dock has an almost smart-home-like quality to it. Its design is soft and pebble-like, and accepts the Switch 2’s screen with absolute ease, mirroring its display onto a larger screen like a television, monitor, or projector.

Salvo and Riccardo’s design couldn’t come at a better time, with gaming technology in a bit of a lull given the uncertain future of E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo), the biggest exhibition in gaming. Although the actual device isn’t due till next year, this concept feels like a perfect culmination of fan requests and legitimate rumors. Let’s hope Salvo and Riccardo’s design is on the money, because if the Switch 2 looks anything like this, it’s sure to be a winner!

The post Nintendo Switch 2 Console Renders Hint At Smaller Bezels and Redesigned Joy-Cons first appeared on Yanko Design.

Ferrari Nintendo steering wheel for intense racing action on and off the circuit

Playing racing games on the Nintendo Switch is total fun when a Joy-Con Wheel is used. Giving you a tactical edge in gaming titles like Mario Kart, Star Wars Racer or FAST RMX. You just slot your Joy-Cons into the 5-inch diameter of the wheel, eventually making the game much easier to play. Third-party steering wheels of the standard size can also be connected, but they can sometimes have a glitchy experience.

Reason enough for Nintendo to graduate to the big boys club with a racing wheel that can give the likes of Logitech G29, Thrustmaster T300RS or Fanatec CSL Elite a good run for their money.

Designer: Braz de Pina

Carrying a discrete vibe compared to any other real-life gaming steering wheel, or even a concept creation, this Ferrari Nintendo racing wheel boasts an arcade-styled theme. The best-suited matching accessory for speeding past opponents or drifting in Mario Kart skirmishes. But a closer look reveals this is a steering wheel designed for a nerdy supercar fan who loves to keep a Nintendo Switch handy. One in a million chance of this combination!

The button layout is so comprehensive it could just make the cut inside the Ferrari 2023 SF-23 F1 dashboard. Well, that’s an even bigger hypothetical stretch of imagination… but what’s stopping me. Alright, back to reality, the concept racing wheel will piquet the interest of F1 and supercar fans, since such advanced steering wheels are only made for circuit racing machines. Things like the pit lane speed limiter, current and best lap times, driving mode, or KERS battery charging status.

The use of light color shades of white and light brown matched with the signature blue, red and green of the Nintendo lends this concept a distinct appeal. Not only Switch titles but this Ferrari gaming controller would be fit for racing sims like Test Drive Unlimited, Forza Motorsport, or The Crew Motorfest.

The post Ferrari Nintendo steering wheel for intense racing action on and off the circuit first appeared on Yanko Design.

Nintendo Unveils OLED Model of the Switch, Bundled with Exclusive Zelda Content

Nintendo is set to launch its new OLED model of the popular Nintendo Switch gaming console on April 28. The new model will feature a larger OLED screen, improved audio quality, and a sleek new design. Additionally, it will be bundled with a special edition of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild game, titled The Legend of Zelda – Tears of the Kingdom Edition. The OLED screen is a significant improvement over the current LCD screen, offering higher contrast and more vibrant colors. The improved audio quality will be a welcome addition for players who value immersive sound…

The post Nintendo Unveils OLED Model of the Switch, Bundled with Exclusive Zelda Content first appeared on Trendy Gadget.

Nintendo Switch Phone is a capable gaming device and reliable daily driver fused into one

It’s been more than five years since Nintendo made a comeback with its hybrid gaming console dubbed Switch. Little did they know that gaming phones would mildly jeopardize their dominance in the space.

Even though factual arguments would shun the idea of any current gaming smartphone snatching the lion’s share from Nintendo, a capable mobile device could be a real threat in the coming years. So, why shouldn’t Nintendo annihilate any threat before it becomes a major irk?

Designer: Ivan Llaneza

The Nintendo Switch Phone is an idea culminating from the need of having a portable gaming device that doubles as a smartphone when not playing games. For someone like me who appreciates the kind of titles available for mobile gamers, but still craves the next big leap to a Switch, this concept has reasons enough to meet fruition someday.

The IP68-rated device sporting a 7.1-inch OLED display (120Hz LTPO panel) is capable of playing Nintendo’s best titles courtesy the Qualcomm’s latest and greatest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor. That big display and the graphics-intensive titles require a capable power source, hence, the 7000mAh battery paired with a 60-watt fast charger makes complete sense.

While all these above-mentioned specifications might seem normal to a gaming freak, those magnetic Joy-Cons will gravitate interest. When you’re in the mood for gaming, the attachments seamlessly hook onto the phone and instantly turn it into a portable gaming device. The gadget is far better than a gaming phone or modern mobile gaming controllers for powerful smartphones. Both the blue and red Joy-Cons have a system lock at the back to keep the whole unit in one piece as gaming action intensifies. When using the mobile device as a daily driver, the lids conceal the exposed magnetic tethers.

Both aesthetically and functionality-wise, the Nintendo Switch Phone makes complete sense in a world crowded with similar-looking phones, gadgets and the accompanying accessories. While we may never see such a phone released by Nintendo, still it lets us cling to the idea of this concept design!

The post Nintendo Switch Phone is a capable gaming device and reliable daily driver fused into one first appeared on Yanko Design.