Another Nintendo patent out of the closet, but for a Switch VR headset this time
Sweet baby Mario! Another Nintendo patent has been discovered, and this time it’s for a virtual reality headset. It might be a successor to Nintendo’s Labo VR kit, which was a cheap’n’cheery but quite impressive experiment made from cardboard.
The new VR patent reveals a VR headset intended for use with the Switch’s handheld mode, which could presumably also work with the Switch Lite. Some key Nintendo titles like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey features VR modes, so Nintendo is clearly taking it seriously.
Mario Kart VR could finally be on console and not just in Japanese arcades
The new VR goggles replaces Labo’s cardboard with plastic, and adds foam for comfort. It also features revised lens design that keeps light from bleeding into the headset. The patent is not new, and was submitted in February 2018 and published at the Japanese Patent Office on August 22nd, 2019 according to Nintendo Life.
Hopefully the new VR kit solves some of the Labo’s design problems, like requiring the JoyCons to be attached to the Switch while playing, meaning you need to hold your arms up and your hands at the side of the device to play – which isn’t terribly comfortable for long sessions. Besides, the VR market could use some Nintendo magic!
Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?
Which of these RPGs was NOT made by Greedfall developer Spiders?
- Bound By Flame
- Call of Cthulhu
- The Technomancer
- Mars: War Logs
The answer will be revealed at the end of this issue!
‘Irregular releases’ for Nintendo’s NES and SNES library going forward
There will not be any more monthly releases of classic NES and SNES games, as Nintendo is moving to an ‘irregular’ release pattern. Nintendo has confirmed this won’t just affect Japan, but all territories, and that they will no longer “adhere to a regular schedule” for the NES and SNES games. Sad, since Nintendo fans tend to have an insatiable hunger for classics and were already starved by the drip-feed of new releases.
Fresh update for Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield
Nintendo’s official YouTube channel has posted an update offering more details from Game Freak’s Pokémon Sword & Shield. The video shows off customization features, Pokémon Camp, cooking and two new Pokémon: The, uh, tea pot Polteageist and the water bird Cramorant.
It was almost possible to complete Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two without paint
Warren Spector’s Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two didn’t perform particularly well at launch, selling only a quarter as much as the first game. Dwindling support from Disney – by then in the middle of pivoting to mobile games – doomed the series.
Interestingly (but perhaps not surprisingly considering the game was helmed by Warren Spector), it was supposed to be possible to complete the game without employing the central paintbrush gameplay mechanic – but last-minute changes made it mandatory after all.
According to Warren Spector, the third Epic Mickey game would have been a musical, with increased emphasis on multiplayer, building on Epic Mickey 2’s co-op mode. Unfortunately, low sales and less-than-stellar critical reception meant there was no big finale after all. Leaked concept art from 2016 also revealed that there were plans for an Epic Mickey kart racer!
Niantic settle class action over Pokémon GO, removes Pokéstops close to homes
Pokémon GO has grown into quite the phenomenon, with over one billion downloads since launch in July 2016. It has taken both East and West by storm, and unlike most videogames actually encourages you to go out and play in the sunshine with your friends. Wholesome!
Unfortunately, this has also led to some problems, particularly with regards to exactly where Pokémon appear. The so-called Pokéstops where you can battle and capture Pokémon can be found all over the world, which has caused some problems with trespassing on private property.
A Wild Plaintiff Appears! Plaintiff uses Class Action. It’s super effective!
A class action lawsuit was filed and Niantic has just settled the case. While the studio doesn’t accept any liability for Pokémon GO users or their actions, they have pledged to remove all Pokéstops that are too close to residences and private property. They also intend to implement a reporting tool enabling property owners to flag a troublesome Pokéstop.
Niantic will pay $4 million to settle the case, mostly for legal fees, while the 12 petitioners in the class action will receive $1,000 each in compensation. The judge ruled the requested $2,500 “way too high”. Niantic say that 95 percent of complaints submitted via the new online report system will be solved within 15 days.
Nintendo really bent out of shape with new patent for Joy Con
Another Nintendo patent has surfaced in Japan, showing a JoyCon controller design with a hinge that allows the controller to be bent, enabling the upper half of the controller to be inclined around 20 to 30 degrees.
The patent application includes a second design, showing the bottom of the JoyCons angled, possibly for improved grip. It’s hard to tell just from the simple schematics. The JoyCons could be perfectly straight when using them detached, while allowing them to be bent for use in handheld mode – perhaps they’re meant to avoid wrist strain when playing in handheld mode?
How much hinges on this new patent? Not a lot – it’ll probably fold
Nintendo recently showed off a new belt-shaped peripheral for Nintendo Switch, which appears to enable a whole new wave of sport and physical games like the ones that made the Wii such a phenomenon. The Switch hardware itself has just been revised, and the newer console model offers longer battery life for handheld mode. The Switch Lite is also just around the corner.