Virtual reality is an obsession for video game developers. They want to create a game that users will immerse themselves into like they’ve been air-dropped from their living room into a different world. They want users to feel like they’re in Tron without a terrifying CGI Jeff Bridges lurking in the background.
Nintendo is the latest company to take a crack at the genre. They’re transforming your Switch into a VR headset.
Until this announcement, you could only get VR-Style Headsets for the Nintendo Switch from third party sources. The company exklim created a headset called the NS Glasses that used color-switching technology to modify the resolution so that the games looked like they were designed for the 3D experience. Unfortunately, reviews like one from Alex Olney of Nintendo Life admitted that the glasses were uncomfortable to wear and made for disappointing rounds of gaming.
Now, Nintendo is offering up their own VR adaptation of the Switch through Nintendo Labo. You may be familiar with Nintendo Labo as the line of build-your-own cardboard kits that use Switch components to create interactive toys. The range currently offers a robot kit, a vehicle kit and a variety kit that includes toys like a piano, fishing rod
Now Nintendo Labo is offering sets for VR Goggles that you can assemble with the kit pieces and the Switch console. Always willing to push the boundaries right out of the gate, they have also devised creative expansions for the goggles to make for unique gaming experiences. So far, their expansions include these formats:
- A blaster
- A camera
- A wind pedal
- A bird
- An elephant
Reviewers are concerned that the Nintendo Switch goggles won’t be ideal for virtual reality gaming because the quality can’t stand up to the VR headsets already on the market. The Switch has 720p resolution, which can make games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild look gorgeous but not enough to be immersive. Even if the visuals are bright and fun, users aren’t going to feel like they’ve dropped into the game’s world.
Anyone who hasn’t experimented with the previous concoctions of the Nintendo Labo might be worried about putting their expensive Switch in a cardboard craft project and then hoping it doesn’t fall out. Rest assured that the Nintendo Labo cardboard has proven itself to be surprisingly sturdy and reliable, even when in the hands of young children. As long as you actively don’t try to destroy it, it will probably hold up just fine.
If you are anxious about your Switch getting scratched or scuffed, get yourself a powerful tempered glass screen protector and skin. As a bonus, you can give your console, Joy-Cons and dock fresh new looks — have you seen these amazing skins? You could have a black carbon fiber design. Or green camouflage. Or you could have a custom combination of bright colors. Whatever floats your boat.
These simple protections can help you rest easy when you’re testing out your VR goggles. They’re more likely to come in handy when you’re too rough with your Switch, sliding it across the coffee table or dropping the Joy-Con during a hectic game of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
It can also protect a new console against the Nintendo Switch dock, which can make hairline scratches on the screen’s bezel. It will be much easier than some of the MacGyver solutions that users have tried in the past, like shoving foam padding or microfiber cloths into the dock.
Nintendo’s foray into VR doesn’t sound perfect, but if you’re a fan of the genre and the Labo’s other products, it could be worth testing out. The company doesn’t seem to be shooting for a realistic, immersive experience. Their version looks like it will be lighthearted, creative and out-of-the-box. In other words, classic Nintendo.