Nintendo Switch patent filing hints at potential for VR

You might slip your game system into a headset.

Nintendo might have some big surprises in store when it sheds more light on the Switch game console in January. NeoGAF forum member Rösti has noticed a slew of just-published patent applications for the hybrid system, and one of them hints that the Switch might have virtual reality support. Effectively, it would turn the Switch into a larger-than-usual Daydream View or Gear VR -- you'd slot it into a headset and use the console's detachable controllers to play. Suddenly, Nintendo's misgivings over VR seem like temporary roadblocks.

There's no guarantee that Nintendo will have a VR headset ready and waiting for the March launch, or at all. This is just a patent application, and even fully granted patents don't necessarily translate to shipping products. Nintendo may just be patenting the concept so that a rival console maker can't implement the concept themselves. With that said, this is an extremely straightforward and logical idea -- it wouldn't be hard to add a basic VR experience to the Switch. Our only misgivings are over the display quality and processing power: if the Switch isn't using at least a 1080p display and a reasonably quick CPU, its take on VR may be underwhelming.