Sections

Virtual reality, touchscreen hinted at in Nintendo Switch patents

Diagrams indicate Gear VR-style accessories for forthcoming Nintendo console, as well as smartphone-style multi-touch screen

New patents filed by Nintendo have surfaced that suggest virtual reality functionality could come to the firm's upcoming Switch console.

Discovered by a user on NeoGAF, these documents from the US Patent and Trademark Office show a new device that the Switch tablet would be able to slot into, resembling a virtual reality headset. Eurogamer notes the open slot for the tablet makes the set-up very similar to mobile solutions such as the Samsung Gear VR and newly-released Google Daydream View.

As always, a patent filing is not confirmation that plans for such a device will be put into effect - and Nintendo has so far been less than enthusastic about the promise of virtual reality, with NOA president Reggie Fils-Aime describing the tech as "not fun" and "not social". However, the revealed documents do play up to rumours doing the rounds in June 2016 that Switch - then codenamed NX - had been delayed to 2017 in order to incorporate virtual reality.

Elsewhere in the patents, GamaSutra reports that questions as to whether the Switch's screen is touch-sensitive may have been answered. The filing refers to a device matching the description of the Switch with a panel capable of multi-touch input, although it also mentions the firm reserving the right to swap it with a single-touch one.

So far the only demonstrations of Nintendo Switch have been in the reveal trailer back in October and a short appearance on the Jimmy Fallon show earlier this month. The console-handheld hybrid is due for release in March 2017, with Nintendo promising more information during a worldwide reveal on January 12th.

You can check out the diagram of the virtual reality accessory below.

Related stories

Nintendo UK charging up to 180 for cracked Switch repairs

One in five users experience this fault but platform holder claims it is accidental damage not covered by warranty

By James Batchelor

Nintendo lawsuit against Colopl won't block developer's Switch release

Platform holder says ongoing patent dispute and defendant's games business are “completely separate matters”

By James Batchelor

Latest comments (3)

Andrew Jakobs Lead Programmer A year ago
How in the world would they be able to get a patent on the HMD part, there is so much prior art for it.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing A year ago
@Andrew it's mostly to head off cheap knockoffs. They can use the patent to shut them down. Very likely this would be a piece of kit that's pretty cheap to make, because it's probably a lot like Gear VR. Some additional sensors and a mounting system easily replicated.
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Adam Campbell Game Production Manager, AzoomeeA year ago
At 720p?
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.