Nintendo Switch Could Gain VR Headset According To Patent Filing, Switch Touch Screen Display Confirmed

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo of America CEO Reggis Fils-Aime was pretty lukewarm on the idea of bringing virtual reality gaming to the masses when he lasted addressed the topic, saying last June that VR technology is too expensive and the audience too small at this point in time. That might be true, but don't rule out VR gaming on the Nintendo's upcoming Switch console that is slated for release in a few months.

Around the same time Fils-Aime was making those remarks, Nintendo was busy filing a patent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that shows the Switch being paired with what looks to be a VR headset of some sort. To be clear, this is just one part of the lengthy patent application showing a potential use, but it is interesting nonetheless that Nintendo thought to include it.

Nintendo Switch Headset
Source: Nintendo/USPTO

The design is somewhat reminiscent of Samsung's Gear VR powered by Oculus. As envisioned by Nintendo, the handheld Switch would slide into the back of the headset. Users would view the Switch's isolated display through a pair of lenses while wearing the headset, which looks to secure to the wear's head with a pair of straps.

Nintendo describes the above diagram as an "example accessory to which the main unit can be attached." It doesn't actually refer to it as a VR headset, though does explain that the head mounted display "may present images of a wide viewing angle bo a user by enlarging the viewing angle of the images on the display through the lenses." Nintendo's patent application also notes that "this can enhance the immersion for a user looking at the images."

Nintendo Switch Display

In addition to possible VR capabilities, Nintendo seemingly confirms the presence of a touch screen display. This a feature that has been rumored, but not verified by Nintendo.

"The main unit includes a touch panel on the screen of the display such that display functions as a touch screen. The touch panel may sense position, pressure or other characteristics of touch. In the present embodiment, the touch panel is of a type (e.g. the capacitive type) that enables a multi-touch input," Nintendo states in its patent application.

A touch screen would make the Switch all the more compelling, let's hope Nintendo doesn't nix it from final production.