Nintendo President: Switch Will Get VR Support If Comfort Issues Can Be Resolved

by David Jagneaux • February 1st, 2017

What many people have suspected to be the case for quite some time turns out to be true: Nintendo is definitely experimenting with VR capabilities on its upcoming game console, the Switch. In an interview with Nikkei, current Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima stated that the company was “studying” ways to add VR features to the console.

“If we are able to resolve the issues with playing [VR] comfortably for long hours, we will support it in one form or another,” Kimishima elaborated, but was unclear on any sort of timeframe.

The potential for VR on a Nintendo console has been rumored for quite some time, even though there were initially no hints towards the feature being included. Despite speculation about the Switch being VR capable, when it was finally revealed, VR wasn’t actually discussed at all. In November, Kimishima went on record as saying that the company “can’t say no” to the idea in the future.

We still don’t have any sort of timeframe, but it’s reassuring to now know this is something that’s actively being worked on, or in his words, studied at the moment. Two particular pieces of information seem to lend additional hope to that premise, as the Switch’s Joy Con motion controllers appear to be tailor-made for VR experiences and a recent patent points to an HMD-type display for VR experiences on the console.

nintendo-vr

If a company with as much history, success, and innovative ideas as Nintendo ever decides to take the plunge back into the VR market, it would be a major move for the industry. Something tells me that, at least to some degree, they’re eager to help people forget that the Virtual Boy ever happened and what better way to do that than simply make something even better now?

Which Nintendo franchises would you want to see in VR? Here are some of our picks. Let us know in the comments below!


Featured Image Credit: TIME

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  • If even Nintendo will enter VR, it would be super-awesome for the ecosystem!

  • Michael Quiroz

    I love the idea of Nintendo doing VR – but is a 720p display hooked up to your face sound like a good VR experience to anyone? And if it is a separate HMD accessory with it’s own screen – can the GPU even output the graphics neccessary at a higher res to even compete with future models of the Gear/Galaxy getting refreshed every year? The Switch seems like it would be a terrible VR play for Nintendo.

    • Sebastien Mathieu

      yes, i don’t want to undermine the creative power of Nintendo, but the hardware just don’t cut it…. it’s been a long time that i think that Nintendo should give up hardware and making games for the other platforms….. would’nt you play some Mario on a PC downloaded on steam!!! I WOULD!!!:-)

      • Jim Cherry

        Maybe they’ll surprise everyone and do a NEW nintendo switch in 2019 that does 1080p vr. of course by then we’ll hopefully be hearing about psvr2, vive2 and rift2

  • Sebastien Mathieu

    they already did enter the VR market!!! they almost created it!!! BEHOLD THE VIRTUAL BOY!!!!! the switch doing VR come on…. seriously at 720p and 40% less power not on the cradle, Nintendo can say what they want, but the switch does not have the guts to do VR….

    • KLEEBAN KLIBAN

      I am thinking the same thing. Maybe if they have a head piece that somehow adds power it could be stronger. Otherwise, I mean it’s cool that it’s portable.. better be portable. I hope Nintendo does get into VR. We need more developers coming up with ideas. Nintendo always tries outside the box stuff, which usually annoys me but in this case it could inspire my PSVR games so I’m all for it. Nintendo is good with kitty games that effectively use relatively weak tech, what I call kitty games, and this is why they have fallen behind in the age of advanced tech that their kitty games couldn’t properly utilize, but right now kitty games are a huge part of VR experimentation and even PSVR is pretty limited so Nintendo could potentially excel in early VR experiences, but will again fall behind next gen when VR has much stronger hardware compared to Nintendo software. Even if Switch VR fails, good will come of the ideas they bring to the table, so while I’m not going to buy (unless it’s really cheap for the head piece), I hope Nintendo enters the VR space and offers little pieces of innovation that other developers can expand on.

    • NooYawker

      I tried one of those at Toys R Us when I was a kid. Even then I thought, this sucks. But you can’t say Nintendo didn’t take risks or have guts.

  • Ugur

    I’m curious to see what Ninti comes up with. It’s easy to dismiss them automatically for the in comparison low res screen, but i look forward to what they come up with there, i expect at least some interesting impulses from them.

  • “If we are able to resolve the issues with playing [VR] comfortably for long hours, we will support it in one form or another,” if that’s what their main hurdle is, they’re absolutely going to make a stand-alone console for it if they do it at all. there’s no way a handheld system slapped into a headset can be comfortable for long hours, it’s barely comfortable for a few minutes.

  • Taun

    Research will happen, but they won’t do anything until a Switch Pro VR comes out in 3 years time with a 1440p screen & 4K docked capabilities. The Switch’s power is too low & 720p is WAY too low a resolution. They would also have to have a screen with low persistance.