YouTuber manages to test 3D virtual reality video on Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch may be able to handle virtual reality, though early testing suggests there would be some major drawbacks. Using an off-the-shelf virtual reality headset and a hack that makes it possible to hijack the browser on his Switch, one YouTuber has watched 3D video content using the Nintendo hardware, suggesting that Switch VR may well be doable if Nintendo decides to take a swing at it.

Since the PSVR was first debuted for the PlayStation 4 there has been much talk of fellow generational systems like the Xbox One and Nintendo Switch offering much the same. While Project Scorpio should have the power to make it a (virtual) reality, many have wondered whether Nintendo could do so with the Switch, perhaps leveraging its tablet display.

As Nintendrew found in his testing, it is sort of possible. Using an aftermarket VR headset designed for generic tablets of the Switch’s size, he managed to get a 3D video running on it and view it through a pair of lenses.

The experience isn’t exactly ideal, as the its screen has only a 1280 x 720 pixel resolution, far lower than that of other consumer-grade VR headsets. Also, due to the physical size of the Switch’s screen, only a section of it was visible in the custom setup that the Nintendrew created.

However, as he points out in the video, as a proof of concept, it does actually work. It’s not a perfect solution and would certainly not have sufficient specs compared to the likes of the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, PSVR or even the Samsung Gear VR, but the potential is there.

If Nintendo could come up with a way to mitigate the aliasing and screen door effect of such a low-resolution display being placed mere inches from a person’s face, it already has decent motion controls that could be used for in-game interaction.

However, the Switch doesn’t have any sort of camera on it, so unless Nintendo released a headset with sensors and trackers or some sort of inside-out tracking solution, positional tracking with the system wouldn’t be possible. At that point, if Nintendo were to bring VR to the Switch, it may be better off building a brand new headset and having the gameplay stream wirelessly from the Switch base station instead.

But then you run into issues with latency and we haven’t even begun to addresses the potential problem with the industry- accepted 90-frames-per-second minimum that is required for virtual reality experiences to be comfortable for the user.

The real answer to the question of whether the Switch can handle VR, for now, is “maybe.” It may technically be able to display some aspects of virtual reality content, but it would have far weaker capabilities than its competitors. Though Nintendo has been able to do a lot with lower specifications with traditional gaming in the past, it’s hard to imagine it being able to compete on a VR front with the Switch.


From the road to your wrist, see how Android has evolved over the past 10 years

Android started out as just a mobile operating system, but 10 years in it's pretty much everywhere. Check out our round-up of all the different Android variations that have cropped up so far, and what might be coming in the future.

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now, from Super Mario Odyssey to Fortnite.

The most common Nintendo 3DS problems, and how to fix them

The Nintendo 3DS has seen its fair share of issues since it launched in 2011, including poor battery life and fragile Circle Pads. Here are some of the most common, as well as the steps you can take to solve them.

PS4 vs. Switch: After weighing the pros and cons, which one comes out on top?

Nintendo Switch versus PlayStation 4: Which one has better overall value? We break down the pros and cons of each platform to tell you which of these consoles is truly worth the money.
Emerging Tech

Here’s all the best gear and gadgetry you can snag for $100 or less

A $100 bill can get you further than you might think -- so long as you know where to look. Check out our picks for the best tech under $100, whether you're in the market for headphones or a virtual-reality headset.

Oculus VR could upgrade the Rift with a new display in 2019

Oculus could be set to release a new version of its Rift headset in 2019, but it will be more of a modest upgrade than a true sequel. The Rift S, as its purportedly called, will have a new display, and inside-out tracking.

Google awarded patent for using eye tracking to detect expressions in VR

Google was awarded a patent that involves using eye tracking to infer facial expressions using machine learning in virtual reality. The tech could help make virtual reality a whole lot more immersive than it already is.

Immerse yourself in a new universe with these incredible PSVR games

The PSVR has surpassed expectations and along with it comes an incredible catalog of games. There's plenty of amazing experiences to be had so we've put together a list of the best PSVR games available today.
Virtual Reality

Prototype Valve VR headset leaked: HTC Vive challenger confirmed?

Leaked images revealed that a Valve VR headset is in development, even amid Valve's partnership with HTC for the HTC Vive. Sources confirmed the device, which may be bundled with a Half-Life VR game.
Virtual Reality

Is the Vive Pro better than the original Vive? Our answer might surprise you

HTC Vive vs. Vive Pro, which comes out on top? That's the subject of our latest comparison, which looks at everything from tracking solutions, to controllers, and the brand new headset that could set a new standard for VR.

The best HTC Vive games available today

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.

A Google patent shows a way to make VR even more immersive

Virtual reality can be a really immersive experience, but it does sometimes it does have boundaries. Google has addressed this problem by patenting shoes with a flexible region on the bottom.
Virtual Reality

Think virtual reality is just for games? These awesome apps will change your mind

Virtual reality isn't all about gaming. Swim with turtles, paint in 3D, and immerse yourself in some unique experiences the platform has to offer with our curated list of the best VR apps.

Dive head first into the best experiences available now on the Oculus Rift

The Oculus Rift brought back virtual reality and put a modern twist to it. Grab your Touch Controllers, put on your VR headset, and jump into the fun with some of the best Oculus Rift games available now.