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!”
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.
 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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