Nintendo’s Next Console Could Support VR

Highlights

  • Nintendo has filed a patent for a new virtual reality device, suggesting they may be exploring VR technology for future consoles.
  • The patent describes an image display system in the form of a goggle apparatus, similar in appearance to the Nintendo Labo VR system.
  • While the filing of a patent doesn’t guarantee the device will be developed, it adds to the speculation surrounding the next generation of Nintendo consoles and their potential for innovative features.

Revealed in recently published documents, Nintendo has filed a patent for a new virtual reality device. Though the company’s previous ventures into VR with Nintendo Labo were lukewarm, the possibility of Nintendo taking another shot at VR could work well with the next generation of Nintendo consoles.

A powerhouse in the gaming and entertainment industries, Nintendo is one of the top competitors in the console sphere, best-known for its family-friendly games, iconic characters, and unique innovations. Nintendo has previously experimented with gaming technology, such as with the Wii, Wii U, and Switch, and a potential venture into the realm of VR may be on the way.

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According to publicly issued filings, Nintendo is patenting a design for a virtual reality device. The patent describes “an image display system” in the form of a goggle apparatus. Upon first glance at the patent drawings, the device is similar in appearance to the Nintendo Labo VR system. The United States publication date of the patent is noted as November 16, 2023, but the initial filing date on this series of documents is listed as July 26. Curiously, the priority date on the patent, or the first time any related documents were first filed, is noted as March 20, 2019, with Japan listed as the country of origin.

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Nintendo VR Device Patent Details

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The patent filings on the Nintendo VR device list the invention under several classifications, including video games, optical systems or apparatus, stereoscopic video systems, and 3D model manipulation tools. Further analysis of the patent classifications and their subcategories reveal that the Nintendo VR device is described as having the following:

  • Head-mounted heads-up displays
  • Virtual cameras with changing parameters
  • Multi-view video systems with image reproducers
  • Mixed reality, incl. images for computer graphics
  • Optical systems or apparatus with display position adjusting
  • Input arrangements for transferring data
  • Dynamically adapting virtual camera to keep a game object or game character in its viewing frustum, e.g. for tracking a character or a ball
  • Data monitoring related to the user e.g. head-tracking, eye-tracking

If Nintendo were to move forward with producing this device, it would signal another major shift in the company’s console technology endeavors. Rumors of the Nintendo Switch 2 have heavily focused on improved performance and innovative designs, which may pair well with a potential Nintendo VR device. However, it is key to note that companies frequently file patents that are never finalized or actualized, so this filing is no guarantee that Nintendo will move forward with VR development.

As audiences continue to speculate on the possibilities of the Switch 2, Nintendo continues to file patents that pique the curiosity of fans. A Nintendo patent for a dual screen gaming device was published just last month and had many discussing the future plans of the company. With the publication of this new potential VR device sparking more questions about the gaming giant’s development work, Nintendo fans will want to stay tuned for updates on what the company is creating.

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Nintendo

Nintendo is a Japanese video game company headquartered in Kyoto, Japan. While producing highly popular hardware consoles like the Switch, the company is known for its many first party video game franchises like Super Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Fire Emblem, Pokemon, and many more.

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