Technology content trusted in North America and globally since 1999
8,339 Reviews & Articles | 63,567 News Posts

Nintendo Switch is perfect fit for VR and AR, says dev

Due to its modular form factor, varying scaled performance, and compact housing, the Nintendo Switch is a 'match made in heaven' for VR developers
By: Derek Strickland | Gaming News | Posted: Jan 11, 2017 9:33 pm

Thanks to its dual form factor and dynamic hardware scaling, the Nintendo Switch console and handheld hybrid is a perfect conceptual fit for VR and AR. In fact, one VR/AR dev goes so far to say the Switch is a "fit made in heaven."




Stephen E. Dinehart IV, a confirmed Nintendo Switch game developer, has recently posted up an interesting read on Nintendo's history and how the Switch is the next major evolution of the company's brand. In this post, Dinehart, who may be or may not be developing an AR/VR game for the Switch, says that the console-handheld hybrid is a perfect fit for the emerging mixed-reality platform.


"It only seems natural with the launch of Nintendo's new platform The Switch, a modular HD game console, that VR would be on the product roadmap. Given the right specs, ones yet disclosed, there's no reason VR peripherals wouldn't show for the system and just maybe something more. As a Nintendo and VR/AR developer I can't say much, but I can say the fit is one made in heaven.


"In fact, Nintendo was the first into the 3D market, dare I say VR/AR, with their Nintendo 3DS - still the best selling video game console of all time.


"Nintendo has arguably always been ahead of the curve starting with the global game boom of the late 1980's. With R&D periods that span decades and the launch of a new powerful console, the Nintendo Switch, it's only natural that one of the first players in the home VR market would once again stake its claim.


"Now as part of the Nintendo team few moments in my life as an emerging tech developer have filled me with so much anticipation - this is one step in evolution you won't want to miss."


Nintendo has already confirmed it's officially researching VR, claiming to have the core technology for the platform ready.


"I heard VR was a hot topic at #E3, so I went to check it out. It was on display, but it wasn't what I expected. We're also researching VR, so we have the core technology. Long play sessions are an issue.


"We want to release something that can be played for long periods, carries value, and is affordable. We want parents to feel at ease," Shigeru Miyamoto said at a 2016 Nintendo Investor Relations meeting.




The company has also filed official patents for VR functionality with the Nintendo Switch; in these patents, the Switch tablet slots into a mobile HMD for easy and self-contained virtual reality experiences. This configuration is not unlike Samsung's Gear VR headset, which requires a docked smartphone to power VR content.


Nintendo has yet to confirm VR or AR functionality with the Nintendo Switch, but it seems like a given, especially due to the tablet's decent size, varying performance, and modularity.


The Nintendo Switch launches in March 2017, and will be formally unveiled during a special Nintendo Switch Presentation 2017 event tomorrow, Thursday, January 12 at 11PM EST.


Check below for more information about the Switch, including specs, confirmed details, hardware analysis and more.




Expected Nintendo Switch specs and performance


(Note: most of this information has not been officially confirmed)


Console Mode


  • Chip type: highly-customized, revamped Tegra, possbily 20nm Maxwell or 16nm Pascal
  • Power: USB Type-C, charged docked
  • Video out: HDMI
  • GPU clock: 768MHz (max, could be variable based on game/app/program, won't always hit max perf)
  • CPU clock: 1020MHz (consistent perf)
  • System RAM: 4GB unified memory (unified VRAM and DRAM)
  • Resolution output: native 1080p switched over from handheld's 720p resolution
  • Unreal Engine 4 GFX display settings: High


Handheld Mode


  • Chip type: highly-customized, revamped Tegra, possbily 20nm Maxwell or 16nm Pascal
  • Power: USB Type-C, external charger
  • Video out: N/A
  • GPU clock: downclocked to 302MHz (maximum based on game/app/program, won't always hit max perf)
  • CPU clock: 1020MHz (consistent perf)
  • System RAM: 4GB unified memory (unified VRAM and DRAM)
  • Battery Life: ~3 Hours?
  • Resolution output: 720p resolution in 6.2-inch tablet handheld
  • Unreal Engine 4 GFX display settings: Medium


Nintendo Switch Info and Specs


  • Nintendo Switch handheld tablet uses non-removable, rechargable 3.7V Li-Ion battery
  • Both 2.4GHz and 5GHz 802.11ac MIMO Wi-Fi supported
  • No LTE/cellular internet support
  • USB Type-C confirmed
  • No Ethernet port in the Switch cradle/dock, requires USB-to-ethernet adapter, compatible with Wii's LAN adapter
  • Switch handheld supports MicroSD for expanded memory
  • Laptops can be hooked directly to the cradle
  • Detachable JoyPad controllers are connected via Bluetooth
  • Low-power Bluetooth, likely Bluetooth 4.0 +
  • AC Adapter output (from dock to handheld) DC 5 V - DC 15 V, 2.6 A - Switch has max power draw of 39W while charging on cradle, supports Type-C quick-charge*
  • AC Adapter input (from wall to dock) AC 100 - 240 V, 50 / 60 Hz, 1 A - standardized power, hinting the Switch may be region-free (the Wii U's adapter, however, is similarly rated and isn't region-free)


*Basic formula to convert volts to watts is Watts = Volts x Amps, so we plug in the Switch's 15V times the 2.6A to get 39W, meaning the Switch will draw a max of 39W while docked.


At TweakTown we've extensively covered all Switch reports and news, and you can find a full catalog of our content here. You can also scroll down below for a bullet list of all the pertinent details.


The Nintendo Switch launches in March 2017, possibly at a $249 and $299 price point, with a major reveal including full specs, launch lineup and more being held on January 13-15, 2017. Check below for everything we know about the Nintendo Switch so far, including confirmed details, analyses, rumors, specs and more.



Everything we know about Nintendo Switch so far:



Related Tags

Got an opinion on this news? Post a comment below!