There we were hoping for news about the Nintendo Switch 2 or Nintendo Switch Pro, and along comes a completely different rumour. According to someone who has provide accurate leaks before, Nintendo has developed a prototype VR headset.
There's little detail about what the headset would offer or how it would be marketed, but it seems that it won't be a Nintendo Switch accessory, at least not exclusively. Perhaps most intriguingly, Google is said to be involved (see our pick of the best Nintendo Switch deals for bargains on Nintendo's current line up).
Raxium, empresa adquirida por Google, posee múltiples patentes para “paneles MicroLED de alta resolución rentables y energéticamente eficientes”Nintendo tras probar esta tecnología MicroLED en su prototipo VR, se podría haber planteado implementar estas pantallas en Switch 2 https://t.co/Fg0rTt6LXw pic.twitter.com/mAOjsCUzXmSeptember 4, 2023
According to Nash Weedle, Nintendo is testing micro-LED displays for a standalone mixed-reality headset that would be intended for home use, not theme parks. The rumour is that the displays themselves have been provided by Raxium, a company that Google snapped up last year.
Needle suggests that the micro-LED displays will make the device cost-effective and energy-efficient, and there would be no need to hook it up to a console. There's been some speculation that since Google is involved, even if it may be indirect involvement, it could be a chance for the company to launch its rumoured XR operating system following the reported abandonment of is own XR headset.
Now, the rumour is very thin but Nash Weedle did accurately predict Metroid Dread's release for Nintendo Switch a year before the fact, so we're not dismissing it. And it would also make good sense, since if any brand can invigorate VR gaming, Nintendo is surely it.
We can assume that a Nintendo VR headset isn't something that would be aimed to compete with the Apple Vision Pro, but it could provide competition for the likes of the Meta Quest as a purely recreational product. And we can totally imagine games like Pokémon Snap, Animal Crossing and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom in VR.
Nintendo does have some form in the VR headset space too. Way back in 1995, it launched the Virtual Boy 3D console (see picture above). OK, this wasn't actually a VR device but a headset that displayed a stereoscopic image for 3D play games, but it shows the brand's continual exploration of different forms and media for gaming. It more recently launched the Nintendo Labo VR Kit, which added some rudimentary VR to the Switch.
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