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Nintendo Switch’s Operating System has references to VR hidden in its code

| August 29, 2017

Nintendo Switch's Operating System has references to VR hidden in its code News  VR virtual reality Nintendo Switch

A portable handheld and a full home console; what more could you want with the Nintendo Switch? I guess there’s VR! After all, PC’s are doing it, the PS4 has the PSVR, the Xbox One X will eventually allow VR (one day), and even your phone can do it. Well fret not Nintendo fans, for reverse engineer and security consultant Cody Brocious has discovered some intriguing code hidden within the system’s OS.

In a recent post on Twitter, Brocious posted a small image of the system’s alleged system code. Above system checks like displaying the system’s default resolution and updating the firmware of your wireless controllers, the Switch hides some references to a VR mode of sorts. Two lines designed to check whether VR mode has been enabled and one to set the system into VR mode have been are shown, and Brocious states that the code is “definitely” from Nintendo, not Nvidia who were responsible for the console’s Tegra X1 GPU.

Bar a VR headset, the Switch already has everything it needs for VR

Filed alongside patents for the Nintendo Switch’s Tablet, Joy-Con, Dock, Controller Grips. and more back in 2016 was a small and rather crude version of a VR headset. Using two tenses and a strap that’s connected to the sides, users would slide the Switch’s tablet down into the headset much like they already do when putting the system in the dock. This would then connect via USB C and display the image across two halves of the screen which projects into the two lenses–much like using a mobile phone with Google Cardboard.

Nintendo Switch's Operating System has references to VR hidden in its code News  VR virtual reality Nintendo Switch

While the Switch itself is rather underpowered for the larger VR games like Batman VR and Job Simulator, the system does have everything it needs–bar the headset–to play games in VR. With the motion sensors located in the Joy-Con controllers for immersive VR play, all Nintendo have to do is provide a headset and some thoroughly optimized games for Switch users to discover the joys of Virtual Reality. Let’s just hope they don’t play Switch VR whilst on the train…

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