Makeshift Nintendo Switch VR Shows Why It Shouldn't Be Done

It may seem like Nintendo will be playing catch up with the VR gaming trend in the near future but, truth be told, it already tried to dabble in that technology decades ago. Unfortunately, it was far too ahead of its time back then and the disastrous fate of the Virtual Boy may have caused Nintendo to take a cautious approach this year. With the launch of the Switch, there have been speculation and ideas on how to pull off a virtual experience using the portable console. But as YouTuber Nintendrew's "Switch VR" demo shows, it's a good thing Nintendo didn't.

First, the hardware setup. Nintendrew utilized a VR headset called Durovis Dive 7, which is shockingly designed to accommodate tablets. Yes, imagine strapping on a 7-inch or higher slab on your face. Although originally intended for something like a Google Project Tango tablet or phablet, it was also the perfect headset for something like a Nintendo Switch.

To make it clear, Nintendrew didn't make a VR game for testing. Instead, he brewed a minute-long custom version of the opening footage from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D from the Nintendo 3DS. He made a stereoscopic version so that part of the video plays on each half of the Switch screen. It was then uploaded to YouTube and, thanks to some clever workarounds, played on the Switch's very hidden web browser.

To put it bluntly, the output is rather atrocious. Because VR practically splits a display in half, most VR-compatible displays or smartphones don't go below 1080p, with 2K usually the recommended minimum. The Nintendo Switch, however, has a native resolution of 1280x720. Plus, because of the screen's size, the effective view that each eye gets is only 500px wide. Suffice it to say, it will be a very uncomfortable and jarring experience.

That's not to say that Nintendo wouldn't be doing VR in the future, just that the Switch isn't going to be the right device for it. The gaming giant did express interest in the market but it is bidding its time for when the technology becomes comfortable to use over an extended period. Given how usually slow Nintendo moves, don't expect it anytime soon.