Nintendo could be bring VR to its console Switch this year. It’s been many years since the news first broke out about Nintendo filing a patent for a VR-like system for Switch. And in recent months, we’ve been hearing a lot of rumors regarding a new hardware update for the Switch. So could it be true? Could this all be leading to the Switch VR finally being announced?
According to reports from Nintendo World Report‘s Emily Rogers, Nintendo is planning to make a Switch VR related announcement this year. Also some first party games could be updated shorty after with an added VR support. Nintendo still faces the challenge regarding how it would port the Switch’s 720p display into a VR system. But it should still be interesting to follow this news as it develops further into the year. Emily Rogers was also responsible for leaking information about Nintendo’s upcoming games earlier this month.
For a long time Nintendo tried to downplay any interest in VR technology. It wasn’t until early in 2017 that the company’s Pesident Tatsumi Kimishima finally revealed that the company was indeed doing research in VR technology. And late in 2018, Reggie Fils-Aime, the President and COO of Nintendo of American, had revealed that the company was actively experimenting with VR.
This following image was leaked late in 2016. It is from a patent registered by Nintendo for what appears to be a Switch VR system.
Nintendo’s First Brush With VR
Most of us have forgotten Nintendo’s 1995 Virtual Boy. The ill fated console promised to be the first portable console capable of delivering true 3D graphics. But not only was the system too large and bulky, but the display was really bad, limited to a monochrome of red-and-black. Also, since Nintendo was way ahead of its time with this technology, no one knew if this technology was safe. So Nintendo had to put a lot of warning messages in the console. The Virtual Boy was a massive failure, managing to sell less than 800,000 units.
But its been over 20 years now, and technology has come a long way. Companies like Sony and Oculus could be leading the VR race, but we could expect more companies to jump into the trend soon enough. VR and AR are among the fasted growing sectors in tech. In the third quarter of 2018, it was reported that VR was growing at a year-over-year rate of 8.2%. And the market for this technology could increase by 69% this year.
Nintendo would definitely be an interesting addition to this race, given the company’s long history of innovating gaming technology.