While the Nintendo Switch isn’t slated to release until March 2017, news surrounding its functionality isn’t slowing down. In some recently released patent documents (as picked up on by Polygon), it looks like the system could one day support virtual reality gaming.
The documents were submitted to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in June, alongside detailed images showcasing the system. Also included were plans for what appear to be a head-mounted unit, which the Switch’s handheld would slot into.
While the patent doesn’t mention virtual reality, the design is similar to Google's Daydream or Samsung’s Gear VR. Both are an empty headset, which a smartphone is then slotted into to create virtual reality experiences.
The patent goes into some detail about the Switch’s technical specifications, adding that it has both acceleration and angular velocity sensors – the components needed to calculate position and movement. These could conceivably be used for head-tracking in a VR headset.
The patent also supports a story from earlier in the year, stating that the Switch’s handheld unit would support a capacitive touch-screen, allowing multi-touch input. This is different than the 3DS and Wii U touch screens, which only support a single input.
Nintendo is holding a briefing for the Switch on January 13, 5PM NZT.