Between the Oculus Rift headset, the HTC Vive and PlayStation VR, interest and support for virtual reality gaming is steadily growing. But according to recently uncovered information, support for VR headsets and games could be on the way from a major player.
That’s according to one technology sleuth who claims to have spotted a clue for Nintendo Switch VR support in the operating system of the new console. A reverse engineer and security consultant, Cody Brocious posted a snippet of the Switch’s IPC interfaces on Twitter, highlighting the phrases that say ‘IsVrModeEnabled’ and ‘SetVrModeEnabled’. Although some wondered if it was code leftover by Nvidia (Nvidia’s chips power the Switch) or that it was Android code, Brocious was adamant that this code was Nintendo’s creation.
Some also question whether the ‘Vr’ in the Nintendo Switch code could really stand for virtual reality, or whether it is referring to something else. One popular theory was that it stands for ‘video recording’ as Nintendo has already stated that the Switch’s screenshot button will eventually support video recording. However, this suggestion was quickly dashed when fans pointed out that gameplay recording is mentioned in the operating system code but with completely different language (seen here.)
— Cody Brocious (@daeken) August 27, 2017
Also lending itself to the Nintendo Switch VR theory is that Nintendo itself has hinted at VR headset support several times before. Earlier this year, Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima confirmed that the company is ‘studying’ Switch VR support. Kimishima has also previously spoken of the ‘opportunity’ for Switch VR support, and hinted that Nintendo may makes it very own virtual reality games.
It should also be noted that Nintendo filed patents for a VR headset last year, before the Switch was released. It suggests that Nintendo is taking this very seriously and does not see the technology as a ‘passing fad,’ a term used by those who doubt that virtual reality gaming has any staying power. Combined with the code found in the Switch operating system, Nintendo may be actively preparing to release that VR headset and those VR games and it isn’t just a pipe dream.
Unfortunately it’s unclear when that VR support might be available. Even if Nintendo is actively working on putting things in place, this doesn’t mean that the company is anywhere ready to lift the lid on its plans just yet. Announcing VR support so soon in the console’s life cycle may confuse potential players. It could also muddle the messaging as the console’s main selling point is portability and so it may be a while yet until Nintendo Switch VR content is made available for fans.
Source: Cody Brocious – Twitter