Gaming giant Nintendo might be making advances for a virtual reality (VR) device for the Switch successor. However, neither of them had a particular date of launch. Some published documents indicate that the company has filed a patent for the mentioned equipment. The company launched its Labo VR Kit in 2019.
Can This Be Nintendo’s Successful Attempt in VR?
Gaming news website Game Rant reported that the company has filed a patent for a virtual reality device. Publicly issued filings indicate the apparatus bears a resemblance to their Labo VR system. Filings on the devices list it under different categories like 3D model manipulation tools, optical systems or apparatus, video games, and more.
The publishing date is November 16, 2023, however, the filing date shows July 26. The device may reportedly feature eye tracking similar to Apple’s upcoming Vision Pro and Meta Platform’s Quest Pro and Quest 3. In another filing, the company filed for a dual-screen device in October.
A rumor went over the internet in September that Nintendo was working with American technology company Google in VR development. The leaks highlighted the former was testing micro-LED displays from Google-owned subsidiary Raxium. However, nothing has been confirmed regarding the leak since it circulated on X (formerly Twitter).
Switch has been among the flagship products of Nintendo since its launch alongside Wii and Game Boy. The console has shipped over 130 Million units to this date. Despite being a hybrid, the company addresses it as “a home video game system that can also be used as a handheld.”
News also suggests that Switch 2 might struggle with 4K output. Sources reportedly told gaming analyst Digital Foundry that the device may need a deeper learning accelerator (DLA) capability, a hardware architecture to enhance gaming experiences.
It prevents deep learning super sampling (DLSS), a family of upscaling technologies by GPU maker Nvidia, from being contained under 1080p or possibly 1440p resolution.
Nintendo’s initial attempt in the virtual reality segment goes back to 1995 when they released Virtual Boy. Sadly it was a commercial disaster. It enabled players to wear a console as a head-mounted device (HMD). Difficult portability, health concerns, monochrome display, and more were attributable to the failure along with hefty prices.
The gaming industry is evolving rapidly given the technological advancements in chipsets, displays, gaming physics, and more. Metaverse, a notion depicting immersive virtual worlds, has given a push to technologies such as augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR).
Major titles like Resident Evil 4, Minecraft, Sniper Elite, and more have their VR versions already in place. Covid-19 sparked an interest in VR, bringing about telescopic changes in consumer patterns. While it proved handy for work and education, gaming and entertainment were the peak utility during the pandemic.
The virtual reality market is expected to grow with more participation of developers and publishers trying to make it big in the market. However, shipping of AR and VR units is likely to fall from over 9 Million last year to around 7.5 Million in 2023.