Nintendo has patented a new Joy-Con design which would allow for controllers shaped a little differently - with the top half of each tilted downwards.
There doesn't seem to be any added functionality here, just a potentially more ergonomic fit into your hand.
Each Joy-Con could then still dock onto the main Switch unit using a hinged attachment rail.
Nintendo has a history of patenting ideas which never leave the idea stage. Remember the sleep monitor with a ceiling projector? The working Game Boy shell for your smartphone? The controller with scroll wheels?
What about the flexible Nintendo Switch hoop? Oh, wait - that one is actually real.