A glimpse of a not so distant future
Late last year, patents filed by Nintendo and made public by some keen observers gave us insight into the plans Nintendo has for Switch, and not just for the present, but also the future. Among the schematics on the console, Joy-Con, and other accessories, was a very peculiar add-on, the VR headset.
Considering the current screen on the Nintendo Switch has a resolution of 720p, it’s not optimal in giving you a proper VR experience like the ones you can find on the market, in particular the Vive, Rift, or even the PSVR.
But what this showed is how forward-thinking Nintendo is when preparing for the possibility of embracing the Virtual Reality spectrum at some point in the near future, even when they continue to deny it by saying that they will consider it once it makes sense.
Then, the Nintendo Switch Presentation came and went in January, and we were left with some very important details. Even though Nintendo never said outright that they were preparing for a very real VR experience at some point during Switch’s lifetime, there was enough evidence to suggest that all the necessary ingredients were falling into place.
First, the overlooked and underappreciated 1-2-Switch offers a sample of how the Joy-Con can be used.
A game that has divided the fanbase, 1-2-Switch is regarded as a title that is too expensive at $50 dollars and that instead should have been a pack-in game for Switch. What this has done is overshadowed what the title represents. Much like Wii Sports on the Wii, 1-2-Switch is as much a party game as it is a crash course on Joy-Con functionality.
With 28 different mini-games included, the game accentuates the versatility of the system and its controllers, from slashing like a samurai, to shaking a soda, and yes, even milking a cow.
Then you have the Joy-Con themselves.
Before the presentation, everyone assumed that the Joy-Con was merely a glorified Wiimote. A device that introduced motion controls to the masses back in 2006, but one that by now had somewhat outdated technology. But what was at one point considered a small and simple controller, ended up packing quite a large amount of technology in its small frame.
With both Joy-Con included in the box, and the Switch console screen’s portable nature, two key ingredients for a VR experience will be available for anyone who purchases the Switch. This is different than the PS4 requiring a $400 dollar add-on in the form of PS VR, or the Vive and Rift requiring excess of $600-$700 investments on top of a strong enough PC to handle them.
Then, you have companies being more proactive in taking chances. Yes, First Person mode on Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers is very basic in nature, but this indicates that companies are willing to try it on Switch. Add a VR headset or a Head-Mounted Display to work much like the Wii U Gamepad on Nintendoland, and you have the makings of something special.
Switch is not yet ready for VR prime time, but with some Nintendo magic and emphasis on their simple and creative graphical charm, Switch could provide a VR experience not unlike the ones found on Samsung and the Gear VR.
It is obvious that the Switch as it stands cannot provide the same experience as the aforementioned VR options, but consider this. In a world where Take-Two has $1,414 billion dollars in revenue and is completely outshone by NetEase, a mobile game company that generated over $3.3 billion dollars in revenue in 2016, Samsung Gear VR is outpacing all other VR experiences in revenue.
Samsung Gear VR was by far the biggest selling option in the market. When viewed against the others, it is comparatively weaker, but by it being cheap, and available to virtually anyone with a smartphone, it get people the option to use it, and it paid off.
I see Nintendo Switch adopting a similar approach to VR. It won’t be able to compete against the others graphically, but what will greatly separate it from them would be two essential things. One, all you would need is a head-gear to slide your Switch console in, which could retail for as little as $30-$50, and Two, it would provide a cordless VR experience, which will be strengthened by the Joy-Con.
Then again, Nintendo might not be quite ready and we could be forced to wait until Switch 2.0 with a 1080p screen comes out, but the possibilities of Nintendo entering the VR fray are too exciting to ignore.
Source: Venture SuperData Article
Source: Capcom YouTube Channel