Nintendo Switch VR Headset Design Leaked In Patent Filing
Nintendo has already brought somewhat of a VR experience to its Switch console with the Labo VR kit (as shown above), but if you are hoping for a somewhat better implementation, you might be in luck. Well, maybe. A recently published patent design by Nintendo shows a design for a VR accessory that appears to slightly different than the Labo VR kit.
It's also somewhat similar. Nintendo applied for the patent in February 2018, and it was published on August 22, 2019. The patent application describes a "3D image display system and 3D image display device," and there are accompanying design images. Here's a look at some...
The images above depict a design whereby the user does not strap the VR accessory to their face, but instead holds onto the attached Joy-Con controllers. That is similar to the Labo VR kit. However, Nintendo's patent application calls for a foam lining for added comfort. In addition, the lenses are shielded through the housing, and the contraption is made of plastic rather than cardboard.
It is not clear if this is something Nintendo actually plans to launch. As designed, it is a bit of an odd duck in the VR space—all of the major VR headsets on the market are designed to be worn, rather than squished against the user's face.
If Nintendo is serious about VR on the Switch, it should considering an implementation similar to Samsung's Gear VR. That's to say, we'd like to see a solution that is worn, with the Switch console sliding into the headset. This would free up the experience to wave around the Joy-Con controllers.
The challenge, of course, is that VR is still a relatively niche market. Nintendo might be hesitant to jump in, beyond its Labo VR kit or something similar. It's entirely possible (and maybe even likely) that if Nintendo truly entertains the idea of VR, it won't be until there is a successor to the Switch.