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New Patents Suggest Nintendo Switch May Have a Virtual Reality Headset

New Patents Suggest Nintendo Switch May Have a Virtual Reality Headset

It’s December 2016—a scant few days away from Christmas—and at this point, we know  Nintendo’s next console is the Nintendo Switch, and we’ll get our hands on the hybrid console/handheld in March 2017. But back in July 2015, though, the Switch was merely the Nintendo NX, a just-revealed rumor that we knew virtually nothing about. Speaking of “virtually,” we also speculated that virtual reality would be a strong move for Nintendo to make with its next console, and perhaps a necessary one to push the gaming giant back into the limelight after the so-so reception of the Wii U.

We’ve since come to find out that VR won’t be a defining feature of Nintendo’s upcoming console, but it turns out that it could potentially be part of the Switch experience if newly published Nintendo patents are to be believed (via IGN).

United States Patent and Trademark OfficeAbove is Fig. 60 from the new patents, which were first discovered by NeoGAF user Rösti. It shows that the Switch core tablet can be placed into the “HMD (head mounted display),” much like VR works on Google and Samsung’s smartphone VR platforms. The patent also notes that the detachable controllers would be used with the headset, but gave few specifics as to how, like if motion control would be involved.

It’s worth nothing that while these patents were only approved this week, they were filed back on June 10, meaning it’s been decided long ago whether or not elements of them will be included in the Switch—just because Nintendo filed a patent doesn’t mean it’s going into the console, it only means they want to legally protect their work.

What do you think about Nintendo potentially foraying into VR? Is it the wave of the future, or should they stick to more traditional control schemes? Let us know what you think in the comments!

Images: Nintendo, United States Patent and Trademark Office


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