Switch Modders Fire Up 'Test VR Mode' Screen

The Switch isn't a console you'd ordinarily pair with VR hardware, but that doesn't mean someone didn't think about it.

Members of the Switch homebrew scene recently discovered a reference to VR through a command that was patched into the Switch with the 3.0.0 firmware.

The line, SetVrModeEnabled(bool), was discovered around this time last year. Nobody had investigated further - or made their efforts known publicly.

But recently random666_kys decided they'd give it a go. And after a bit of tinkering, the Switch modder was able to get a screen to appear that rendered the same image on two halves of the screen:

"For non-french people, its says "Please move the console away from your face and click the close button," random666_kys explained.

The likelihood that anything will come of this in the near future is very, very low. But it's interesting that this is buried deep within the Switch codebase at all. There's a good chance that some Nintendo developers were playing around with the code - as modders noted when it was discovered last year, the lines appear to have been inserted by Nintendo, rather than being leftover code from Nvidia (makers of the Tegra hardware that the Switch runs off).

And hey, who knows? Nintendo came up with Labo out of nowhere, and the company has a track record with experimenting. A 720p display that runs at 60Hz is below spec even for mobile VR, but that doesn't mean an external device running through the USB-C port (or the dock, even) couldn't work somehow. Either way, it's an intriguing thought.


Comments

    Don't even care about specs, it's too heavy to strap to your face.

      As a test mode its probably just to test the VR renderer. Total speculation, but given the Switch already supports a docked mode, there's no reason it couldn't mirror to a VR headset the same way.

      Maybe it would work if they added a stand, so you could leave it sitting on a table while enjoying the stereoscopic 3D?

        I would totally be on board with this. I miss stereoscopy.

    I could see this being a thing. Nintendo could release a "VR ready" dock to replace the current one that has a whole lot more grunt in it. Plug the Switch in the dock and plug some goggles on your face.

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