Way back in 1995, Nintendo tried something ahead of its time with the Virtual Boy. The VR headset concept didn’t really take off back then, but there has been a resurgence of interest over the last few years, with plenty of well-made VR headsets on the market. Nintendo has been quiet on the subject of returning to VR, but it looks like the company is at least testing the waters, as a hidden VR mode has been discovered for the Switch.
Hackers have been digging through the Nintendo Switch since it first launched. Late last year, references to a VR mode were found within the Switch OS, with ‘VrModeEnabled’ and ‘SetVrModeEnabled’ functions. Nobody had actually tested it until earlier this month, when OatmealDome posed the question to the community. As Arstechnica points out, Switch modder ‘random0666’ then stepped in with a short follow-up, utilising a homebrew app that activates VR mode functions on the Switch.
Since twitter fucked up the resolution here is the screen with a better quality pic.twitter.com/Oenq1sOMir
— random (@random666_kys) August 8, 2018
In the videos posted by random0666 we can see that the Switch splits the screen vertically into two half-sized images for virtual reality. This is similar to how current VR headsets function in order to achieve a stereoscopic 3D effect.
Obviously, this isn’t confirmation that Nintendo will officially support VR on the Switch. However, Nintendo does appear to at least be testing the idea behind closed doors.
KitGuru Says: The Virtual Boy was not a success, but VR technology has come so far since then. The Nintendo Switch might not be the best console to build a headset around, but it would be interesting to see what Nintendo could come up with.