As it turns out, the Nintendo Switch supports virtual reality — well, sort of. Since Nintendo announced the console last year, fans have been clamoring for some sort of possible VR add-on.
Such a thing seems implausible for a number of reasons, but a new discovery seems to suggest that Nintendo is considering it. A Twitter user who writes homebrew and modding tools for the Switch recently took to Twitter to share their most recent find: a “Test VR Mode” option.
Nintendo Switch VR Mode
In the video, toggling on VR mode splits the screen into two, although not with actual games. VR, for the uninitiated, is a more dynamic version of 3D, meaning it employs one video output for each eye, which, when combined, provides depth effects. There are third-party devices that can turn phones into VR headsets, but some of them are unwieldy and bulky to use. Given the Switch’s large dimensions, it’s hard to imagine how it would be integrated into a VR headset.
It’s clear Nintendo is toying with the idea, and perhaps it’s been doing so for about a year now. In 2017, one Twitter user posted lines of code added to the system via the 3.0.0 update. There were two separate lines that caught the interest of Switch fans: 50 and 51, which showed an option to enable VR mode. It wasn’t enabled, however, and Nintendo doesn’t appear to have made any changes to this specific part of the code since then.
Why The Nintendo Switch Won’t Have VR
So will Switch fans eventually see a VR mode on Nintendo’s hybrid console? Possibly, but Nintendo has made it clear that it has no intentions to experiment with VR, at least in the context of Switch. While it’s entirely possible the company is working on something related to VR, it could be for another device altogether since the Switch is primarily a handheld gaming console and wasn’t made with VR in mind. The display’s resolution isn’t even up to snuff — the Switch’s 720p screen just isn’t going to cut it since VR calls for higher-resolution displays for optimum experience.
There’s Still A Chance Nintendo Is Working On VR
That being said, nothing is impossible. If there’s one thing Nintendo is good at, it’s maximizing consoles and peripherals to deliver unique gameplay experiences that other companies would never have thought of. Labo, a line of cardboard accessories that work with the Switch’s infrared capabilities, is a testament to how genius Nintendo is when it comes to thinking of absurd but excellent play styles. Perhaps it’s doing something interesting with VR, perhaps not. Time, however, will tell.