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The Nintendo Switch has been out for over a month now, and it’s still going strong. I play mine almost daily, even after finishing the full main story in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. New games are coming out every week, including Mario Kart 8 Deluxe this Friday, and the portability and versatility make it easy to pick up and play in tons of situations. But the one big thing Nintendo doesn’t have their toes in yet that the rest of the gaming world appears to have embraced is virtual reality.
Late last year the company patented a VR headset that appeared to be designed to hold the Nintendo Switch tablet, but naturally people questioned its feasibility. Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima also went on record earlier this year as stating that if comfort issues with prolonged play are resolved for VR, then the company “will do it.” Presumably they’re already testing it.
In the video below (also embedded at the top of this article), YouTuber Nintendrew decided to leapfrog past Nintendo’s R&D team and use some workaround solutions to see what the screen looks like inside of a VR device. Using a tablet-focused VR headset called the Durovis Dive 7, he found that the Nintendo Switch actually fit just perfectly. From there, he recorded his own footage of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D from the Nintendo 3DS and displayed it back as side-by-side footage on YouTube. Then, he just had to slide his way into the Switch’s web browser, pull it up on YouTube, and he was good to go.
It’s not ideal by any means. Based on his test, the screen width for each eye is only about 500 pixels wide and the overall resolution of the screen in general isn’t very good. The tablet is also a bit bulky and heavy when compared to something like a smartphone. All that being said though, it seems that it’s absolutely possible.
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If the only real barrier between the Nintendo Switch and exciting new VR games from The Big N is Nintendo’s own willingness to develop them, it’s a good sign. Hardware limitations haven’t stopped them in the past, I’m sure if anyone can design around them for VR then Nintendo can.
Last month we got a glimpse of what an officially crafted Switch VR headset might look like from industrial designer Antoine Beynel and the possibilities (teased above) are quite exciting. What do you think about the feasibility of the Nintendo Switch as a VR device? Which games would you want to see on Switch VR? Is the resolution issue and size of the screen too much of a problem, or could Nintendo work around it?
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