The Game Theorist Believes The Nintendo Switch Has Secret Plans For Greatness
(Last Updated On: March 3, 2017)

This is a rumor article, and if you know me, I don't get into video game rumors often. However, The popular YouTube Channel The Game Theorists, hosted by YouTuber Matpat, has come up with a pretty convincing theory about the Nintendo Switch that has won me over.

The Game theory video is close to 13 minutes long, but I'll try to recap the video as quickly as possible to catch you up to speed. The video in question, which I linked below, is The Game Theorist's Newest video titled "Game Theory: Nintendo’s SECRET PLAN for the SWITCH!"

Nintendo Switch

If you follow Nintendo news closely then this will be old news for you, but for everyone else you may find it interesting. We already know that the Nintendo Switch can be removed from the base dock so that you can carry it around portably, and we also know that the controllers can be detached to be used similar to miniature Wii-motes, as illustrated in the pictures. What you may not know is that Nintendo also took out a patent for a VR headset that the Switch will be able to plug into, and this is what the basis of the Game theorist's theory revolves around. The Switch VR Headset was first discovered by NeoGAF user Rösti, that searched through the patent and found some interesting images, such as the ones below.

 

[0778] FIG. 60 is a diagram showing an example HMD accessory to which the main unit 2 can be attached. An HMD accessory 230 shown in FIG. 60 includes a housing 231 and belts 232a and 232b. One end of the belt 232a is attached to one end of the housing 231, and one end of the belt 232b is attached to the other end of the housing 231. Although not shown in the figure, the other end of the belt 232a can be removably connected to the other end of the belt 232b. Thus, the housing 231 can be mounted on the head of the user by connecting together the two belts 232a and 232b around the head of the user. Note that there is no particular limitation on the mechanism for allowing the HMD accessory 230 to be mounted on the head of the user.

There is a lot of mumble jumble in the above quote for the patent, but in simple terms, it is describing a VR headset with motion control functions, with the Switch sliding in and plugging into the main headset. The Switch tablet even has an acceleration and velocity motion sensor that can detect movements to change your perspective in the game, so that depending on how you turn your head in the real world with the headset, the camera in the game will follow that motion.

Matpat points out that the Nintendo Switch and the VR headset doesn't appear to have a camera located on the device itself to use for Virtual reality, however, he also points out that it doesn't need one. Because if you remember the Nintendo Switch Joy-con presentation (the fancy one where the HD haptic feedback can rattle ice), apparently the controllers themselves have a motion depth infrared sensor that can pick up the outside world and feed the images into the controller itself, then send it up to the Switch so that you can visually see the recreated image through the controllers.

The Joy-Con can pick up the distance, motion, and even different shapes of objects, and as named above, can simulate weight such as ice or marbles moving around inside the controller, which will give a far more realistic feeling to augmented reality games since you will be able to interact with the world in a deeper way, by feeling the environment around you.

Nintendo has also announced that the controllers will soon be able to record video as well, however, I'm not sure if this is in-game video capture from the system or cellphone style video recording to capture the real world. If it is the latter, essentially, you could use the Joy-Con like that creepy eye monster in Guillermo Del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth to see the world around you.

Yeah, I don't think that will cause problems at all. Even without the camera, Matpat goes on to say that Nintendo could come out with an accessory camera that could easily attach to the Switch to turn it into a proper VR/Augmented reality headset since you can easily Switch out the parts and controllers.

The Game Theorist also talked about how Nintendo has been testing the Augmented reality formula for awhile now with the 3DS and their AR card games, and more recently, Pokemon Go, which is literally a giant augmented reality game where you can capture Pokemon in the real world. Based on the sales from Pokemon Go,  it looks like they did a pretty awesome job with it to capture people's attention... at least until the hype died down.

My guess is that Nintendo has been planning this design for a long time now but first wanted to test the water to see if the market was ready for their big plans, and after the success of the 3DS and Pokemon Go they have decided to push ahead with their plans.

If Nintendo decides to take control of the gaming market by bringing video games to the real world with augmented reality headsets and advanced haptic feedback controllers, they would be competing with all forms of gaming devices ranging from home consoles to VR headsets and even mobile devices.

But at the same time, Nintendo would be doing something new and innovative that no one else is currently doing right now by bringing Nintendo quality titles to the Augmented reality market, and at a far cheaper price point in comparison to other VR headsets that are currently on the market, with an attractive $299 USD price tag.

I would be interested in seeing Nintendo quality VR games instead of the stuff we currently have because it could be really cool and different from what other Vr developers are doing right now (Yay, Links Crossbow Training 2).

The only main concern I have with this is the Nintendo Switch tablet has a 720P resolution touch screen, and I think if you have that jammed up to your face for hours on end it could create problems for your eyes since it isn't in clear Super HD quality. Cue headaches and motion sickness! Only time will tell, so we'll see how that turns out.

I was afraid that the Switch would also be too large and heavy for a headset to take it outdoors and wear it on your face, but after researching it I found the tablet itself only weighs about 10 ounces (a little under 300 grams), which is a little bit more than an Xbox One controller in weight.  I think 10 ounces is a reasonable weight, I see no problems carrying an Xbox One controller on my face.

The Game theorist concluded his video by saying that even if Nintendo didn't want to go the route of augment reality and VR gaming, the Switch is already capable of it and the patents are in place, so if they wanted to go ahead and do it they can use his idea to take the Switch to the next level.

Of course, this is all just rumors and game theories based on Nintendo's patents, so there is no telling how much of this is really true.  Do you think the Game Theorist is on to something?

Make sure to watch the above video, then comment below and share your thoughts.


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About

Helping provide news, previews, reviews and info on new and upcoming indie titles and mainstream games, Nick’s passion for gaming and eye for detail extends across various genres and styles. Need to contact this author? Use our Contact page.

  • LurkerJK

    I doubt it will happen with a console that can barelly do 30 fps at 720p outside the dock

    But i completely agree that they seem to be gathering technology for AR and VR

    Which leads to plans to put consoles in a treadmill similar to cellphones with updates every year or two, something that also microsoft and sony have hinted at, im not excited for that future i have to say, hopefully well still have PCs

  • Gozu Tennoh

    I just wish that some calamity happens and nintendo go out of business, everyone that works there gets banned from the games industry, SEGA get given all their money and invest it in making late 90’s level games again, they then release a new console to give sony some much needed competition.

    we all profit.

    • alex9234
      • Smug

        long time no see faget

        • alex9234

          Ah, so you’ve returned.

      • Gozu Tennoh

        Just a wish. Don’t get butthurt.

    • SEGA get given all their money and invest it in making late 90’s level games again,

      They would just blow it all on cocaine and hookers, just like what they’ve been doing for the past two decades.

      • Gozu Tennoh

        In The.Untold.History.of.Japanese.Game.Developers, some of the employees get interviewed from back in the day and apparently SEGA was internally still a nightmare even during the glory days so maybe the drugs and hookers were of a higher quality back then.

        To be honest, anything is better than nintendo for me personally.

    • SEGA get given all their money and invest it in making late 90’s level games again

      Make it early 90’s too for Streets Of Rage

  • Shelly the kid

    Another money, another steal. lol

  • you could use the Joy-Con like that creepy eye monster in Guillermo Del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth to see the world around you.

    still better looking than PeeBee

  • Disqusted

    Yeah, I already saw that shitty first person Street Fighter 2 bonus game. Clearly designed with VR in mind.

  • mikebrand83

    Nintendo has also announced that the controllers will soon be able to record video as well, however, I’m not sure if this is in-game video capture from the system or cellphone style video recording to capture the real world.

    It’s the former, and currently it only does screenshots. As for the IR camera, that’s only in the right Joy-Con (that for some reason, is also the side with the NFID reader), so I’m not even sure why they bothered including it.

    The circumstantial evidence does support the idea that Nintendo is gathering tech that could work together for a quick and easily assembled VR experience… But every piece of the Switch hardware themselves seems to be at least one step short of what’s required.

    Maybe the Switch U, lol.

    • Nick

      Yeah I caught that with the video capture so I fixed it before publishing the article. I originally wrote “Full motion video recording”, because that is what I thought they meant when I originally watched the demonstration, until I looked into it deeper and Nintendo simply said it could take screenshots and soon record video, and then I realized they didn’t mean record live action video. However, they could still design a wrist snap accessory to add a working camera, similar to how iPhone’s have the snap-on camera lens for photography.

      Also, I agree that it seems to fall short of all the needed specifications. So the big question that baffles me is, why make the patent for the VR headset?

      Is there a working prototype with a functioning VR Switch headset that they have in their design lab?

      Maybe they are planning to use VR/augmented reality in a way we’ve never seen before?

      If so, perhaps we are missing something and it has all the parts it needs to function in the way they intend, they are just holding off before they announce it/show it to us.
      (because once the news is out their competitors will steal the idea)

      • mikebrand83

        (because once the news is out their competitors will steal the idea)

        Coming soon: The Sony Dualshock Split controllers, which can split into two separate controllers for VR use!

        • Nick
          • mikebrand83

            I thought that was just a joke image, but it’s a real Sony patent from 2012!?
            http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20120302347.pdf

            Well, I suppose now that Nintendo has made a practical implementation of detachable controllers, I genuinely wouldn’t be surprised if Sony does revive this idea in some way too.

          • Nick

            Yep, its real. And the balls apparently were designed to pulsate and change colors while you wiggle them in the air and play. Who wants to play with blue balls? 😀

            On a serious note, I guess they’ll just upgrade those and keep on doing what they’re doing.

            So this makes me think, I wonder if Microsoft will keep on with the Kinect or if they’ll ditch it?

            And SPEAKING OF THAT!!! This has been bugging me for ages!

            Cortana comes standard with Windows phone and is your digital assistant, just like Siri or Alexa. So if the Xbox One came with a voice activated menu, WHY WAS CORTANA NOT THEIR PERSONAL ASSISTANT?!?!

            Could you image how cool that would be if you could have the choice to start the Xbox One up and a digital assistant Cortana pops up! -As in, an actual 3D model.

            You could say “Cortana, Xbox On! Cortana, check my Friend messages. Cortana, forward those to my Phone. Cortana, Play Battlefield 1. Cortana, record that!”

            And the digital assistant Cortana could respond and interact and carry out requests (of course with the option to turn her off).

            Similar to how Star citizen and Elite Dangerous has the VoiceAttack assistant.

            That would have been the perfect marketing scheme to keep Halo relevant and as their flagship game and a fun gimmick for advertisements to also promote their Windows phones.

            Even if it was crap and didn’t work right day one (like the Kinect), I think a lot of gamers would just have fun interacting with the personal assistant and seeing what type of responses she could come up with.
            #EndRant

            EDIT: The 4 minute mark of the video is kind of funny, haha. 😀

            https://youtu.be/fYgFriRo5FQ

    • Disqusted

      Of course. They always leave stuff out on the first editions of their hardware, and make people pay for extra parts. That’s why people say Nintendo are peripheral salesmen.