Leaked Nintendo Patent Reveals Switch VR Headset

Nintendo’s patents for the Nintendo Switch have been found, and they hide some interesting secrets. Most importantly, it shows that Nintendo has in fact been working on a VR headset for the Switch. In the patent, it says:

The information processing system [tablet] may include an accessory to which the main unit 2 can be attached. An HMD accessory to be described below as an example accessory can be used as a so-called HMD (head mounted display) with the main unit 2 [tablet by itself] attached thereto.  FIG. 60 is a diagram showing an example HMD accessory to which the main unit 2 can be attached. […] With such a configuration, a user can view images on the display 12 when the HMD accessory 230 with the main unit 2 attached thereto is mounted on the head of the user. That is, the HMD accessory 230 with the main unit 2 attached thereto functions as a so-called HMD. Note that the HMD accessory 230 may present images of a wide viewing angle to a user by enlarging the viewing angle of the images on the display 12 through the lenses. This can enhance the sense of immersion for a user looking at the images. Note that the main unit 2 may perform a predetermined conversion process on the images displayed on the display 12 so that appropriate images are viewed through the lenses. Note that in the present embodiment, the main unit 2 includes the acceleration sensor 89 and the angular velocity sensor 90, and can calculate the movement and/or the attitude of the main unit 2 based on the detection results of these sensors. […] In the present embodiment, since the controllers can be removed from the main unit 2, it is possible to reduce the weight of the device or devices to be mounted on the head of the user. A user can perform operations using removed controllers.

In case all that legal speak confused you (I know it confused me), here are some bullet points:

  • Nintendo is developing a VR headset for the Switch
  • You take the Joy-Cons off to use as controllers for the headset
  • The tablet tracks head movement, while the joy-cons track hand movement

Nintendo also showed a sample of the VR headet, seen below:

The patent itself is quite big, and might hold even more secrets about Nintendo’s upcoming console. If anything else is revealed, we’ll be sure to update with more info.


Currently interning at Niche Gamer. I've been playing video games since I was three years old.

  1. totenglocke
    December 15, 2016 at 10:33 am

    Goddammit. No, Nintendo, NO! VR fad 2.0 will be over before this even hits the market.

  2. Lodmot
    December 15, 2016 at 10:48 am

    Given what we know about the size of the tablet, I feel like this thing’s weight would completely crush your nose… xD

  3. phagette
    December 15, 2016 at 10:56 am

    Everybody go home, they fell for the VR meme. It’s going to be another Wii U they won’t know what the fuck to do with.

  4. Grayares Fakcot
    Grayares Fakcot
    December 15, 2016 at 11:04 am

    VR is only a meme if you’re too poor to afford one.

  5. Michael Richardson
    Michael Richardson
    December 15, 2016 at 11:05 am

    Can’t wait to hear how Reggie “VR isn’t fun” Fils-Aime tries to justify this one if they actually launch it.

    The Switch won’t be powerful enough for good VR. The base PS4 barely is, for god’s sake. Don’t expect this to be any more impressive than Google Cardboard with the tech it’s running on.

  6. Taedirk
    December 15, 2016 at 11:19 am

    Meh. It’s a mix of CYA-patent and proof of concept that somebody in the test labs was tinkering with anyway. Switch’s handheld screen is too large to make an implementation like this not bulky and awkward as hell.

  7. Wonderkarp
    December 15, 2016 at 11:44 am

    if they do this, please let this be called the Virtual Boy

  8. sanic
    December 15, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    Please let it be made of unsold virtual boy shells!

  9. larverto365
    December 15, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    I feel like VR is going to take over most or all of gaming someday. If so, hopefully it’s at least something like what they had in Sword Art Online.

  10. Didney Worl
    Didney Worl
    December 15, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    They should call it the Virtual Boy Color.

  11. Didney Worl
    Didney Worl
    December 15, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    So does this mean Virtual Boy on Virtual Console is confirmed?

  12. Didney Worl
    Didney Worl
    December 15, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    Everybody has a price.

  13. Mr0303
    December 15, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    I highly doubt that the detachable tablet portion of the Switch will have the power to properly run VR games. Perhaps this is for video.

  14. Uncle Ocelot
    Uncle Ocelot
    December 15, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    Reminder that patents don’t always lead to products.

  15. OSad
    December 15, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    Well, it clearly is a Google Cardboard wannabe if the diagram is to be trusted, and probably not meant to be anything more impressive than that. And at least you won’t have to buy a 500+ dollar headset to use it.

    At worst it’ll be some 30 dollar plastic thing that the unit slides into, it gives you a bit of extra novelty for a little while, so sure, why not?

  16. catazxy
    December 15, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    Heh, nintendo VR, I kinda wanna see what they can do with it, since it needs more juice then nintendo ever had. If nothing else, there will be another thing to laugh at.

  17. scemar
    December 15, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    yeah the switch is not powerful enough to do it right but who cares

    bring on the nintendo VR!


  18. SuuLoliBoob
    December 15, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    B-but VR is only good when you have to pay that extra $400 for cheap piece of plastic and $60 screen!!!

  19. SuuLoliBoob
    December 15, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    Well, thankfully this is only a proof of concept and not an actual product then. Because proof of concept does not mean they will make it, just means someone came up with the idea.

  20. Scorching Sirius
    Scorching Sirius
    December 15, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    And hopefully people won’t actually get killed in-game. lol

  21. Zombie_Barioth
    December 15, 2016 at 8:46 pm

    You realize that’s only one man’s opinion don’t you? One man isn’t going to stop an entire company from doing something, short of being the President/CEO.

    A lot of that was also centered around the Wii U being a family system, they don’t seem be going in that direction with the Switch.

    I wouldn’t put it past Nintendo to try and find a way of making VR more interactive though.:P

  22. GameZard
    December 15, 2016 at 9:04 pm

    Switch is not a system for young families? Where did you get that from?

  23. GameZard
    December 15, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    Not the first time Nintendo lied.

  24. GameZard
    December 15, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    No good games are on VR right now.

  25. Gin Tosh
    Gin Tosh
    December 15, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    can’t wait to put the burning hot device up against my retinas as it desperately tries to pump out virtual realities

  26. SuuLoliBoob
    December 15, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    But this isn’t the Ps4 pro… :D

  27. Zombie_Barioth
    December 15, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    I mean as in everyone playing together.

    The Wii U was built around the idea of “asymmetric play”, while the Switch if anything is closer to old-school/traditional consoles.

    There’s a lot less emphasis on gathering around the console, so far anyway.

  28. buddyluv324
    December 16, 2016 at 12:08 am

    If this thing comes out, I wouldn’t be surprised if the thirsty Nintendo fanboys get all over this like bitches in heat.

  29. Tejan
    December 16, 2016 at 3:46 am

    Some things for people to think about before getting into arguments:
    1. Gear VR and Google Cardboard exist, if they can play video games so too can the Switch. How well they could potentially play those games is unknown, don’t expect high resolutions at 60fps though that is certain.
    2. This is just a patent, which doesn’t mean that this is what the product will be. Remember the Switch patents that were found before and everyone thought it was going essentially just be a Wii U with a capacitive touchscreen controller?
    3. Also remember that Gear VR and Google Cardboard have dozens of cheap knock-offs, this could be Nintendo making a patent on the idea of putting the Switch inside a HMD so that other companies can’t try to mod it to do so.

    Now then, back to s**t posting about Reggie hating VR.