Does the Nintendo Switch Have a PROJECTOR?! | Give It Thought

Is there a mini projector in the Nintendo Switch? Well, if recent patent filings are anything to take seriously, then yeah. But… why, though? Let’s give it some thought. What is going on you wonderful thought having people you? Give It Thought back here today to bring you another Nintendo Switch news update. As evidenced by some recent patent filings, it looks like the Nintendo Switch could be getting a projector in the side of the handheld screen. Before I get into this, though, just know that patents do not automatically mean something is coming. A great example is the early concept patent of the Switch itself. It shows off an oddly oblong screen that extends past the buttons and joysticks. Most of you have seen this picture and we know now that it is completely false. So, no more gabbing about the past, let’s get into this and look at the more recent patents for the upcoming console. Most of what was shown in the debut trailer was already known by some fans through the leaks, so the most they learned about the new system was that Skyrim would be on there. But a couple of patent filings, first spotted by Polygon, show off a few features that Nintendo has yet to announce.

This comes directly from the patent filing, quote, “An exemplary portable electronics apparatus includes a display provided at a front surface,” which we knew about. “an infrared camera and a distance measuring sensor which are provided at a side surface, and a vibrator.” So no mention of the projector yet, but this stuff is equally intriguing. There is no word or even mention in the patent filing for what kind of games these features will work for, but we can assume the infrared camera will detect for human heat signatures to know it is dealing with a person holding and not, say, a space heater. The distance measuring sensor will come back in when I talk about the projector, so the only thing left is the vibrator. As you can see by this image which was included in the patent, the joycons, and yes the detachable controllers are called joycons, but they’re shown attached, so we don’t know if the vibrating function will be in the singular controllers or in the screen itself.

This particularly worries me because I am so weary of the battery life of the Switch. Vibration function will not help matters there. But, on to what I am most interested in about these patents and possible feature for the Nintendo Switch: the projector. As you can see by this crude demonstration, the mini-projector will show images from the screen onto your hands. Just going by that, it looks like some trivial addition. But, further down in the patent filing, we get this image. It shows a batter on the screen and a projected ball in the player’s hand. The player then makes a throwing motion and the ball goes into the screen. Following that, the batter hits the baseball and the player catches it again. Of course, this is an elementary example of what could be accomplished with this feature, but it is a pretty unique thing, nonetheless.

But this is where the distance sensor would come in to see how hard you threw the ball and how far away you are when throwing. Okay, here’s where skeptical Give It Thought steps in. While I love the innovation Nintendo tries to do, I kind of hope this was filed as a possibility. If you caught my last Nintendo Switch video, I talked about the Wii U controller problem and the hassle it was for developers to make games around it. If the Switch goes the route of all these weird features built in to this controller, they could be setting themselves up for the exact same thing. And, that’s not even mentioning the battery life. This is my biggest worry about this system. How would a standard battery support 3-4 hours of play on a thing with vibration, projectors, and infrared cameras, all the while displaying decent graphics on screen? I don’t know. But, don’t take that negativity as lack of excitement about the Switch. I can’t wait to get my hands on this thing and try out portable Skyrim.

That is like a dream come true for me. But, I just wanted to show everyone that the Nintendo Switch may be even more complicated than originally assumed. So, why don’t you tell me what you think about this one. Are you excited to play with that projector? Or, do you think this patent will not make it to the final product? Let’s talk about it down in the comments.

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