Nintendo Switch to Boast VR Capability?

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Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
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Nintendo Switch to Boast VR Capability?

You have to give Nintendo credit for being full of surprises; no more the hidebound also-ran, Nintendo is coming back from the disaster that was the Wii U in a big way, and the Nintendo Switch is leading the charge. How? There are new reports that suggest it may have a virtual reality-style headset to come with its oddly modular design.

The Switch already delivered some unusual design choices, with its strange mix of stationary and portable concepts, but now, reports showed off the complete Switch patent, including a kind of headset that could be used for VR applications.

It's referred to as a "head-mounted display" in the patent applications, which means it may not actually be VR related, but it certainly could be. Some have even projected it could be similar in design to the various smartphone-based devices on the market like the Samsung Gear VR.

The idea of a virtual reality system included in the Switch isn't impossible, but it does seem unlikely. What seems a bit more likely is the other kind of reality that we hear about technologically: augmented reality. Here's the concept I project: what if instead of a virtual reality system, this headset were instead an augmented reality system? Instead of putting heads-up display information directly into the game, why not put it into an augmented reality overlay? That lends an unusual and unexpected new twist to gaming that's worth paying attention to. Virtual reality isn't out of line; some reports suggest the Switch could handle it even if it isn't quite as powerful as the other new systems. Augmented reality might be a bit easier to pull off, though, so it's a possibility as well.

With Nintendo planning an event for January 13, we'll likely see the full story come out before too much longer. Whether the headset is virtual reality, augmented reality, both, or neither, it's still a noteworthy appearance that will be well worth watching more closely.

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