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Hidden VR Settings Menu Found on Nintendo Switch

As soon as the Nintendo Switch was announced, rumours started about whether or not the system would have any sort of virtual reality (VR) capability. For the most part, Nintendo has dismissed these, but a discovery by some enterprising console hackers has sparked off a fresh round of speculation.

A Twitter user going by the name @random666_kys is part of the wider community of hackers and modders who examine the code internals of consoles and create tools for creating and running homebrew or modded videogames, and he is also the one who stumbled upon a fascinating discovery.

As the Twitter user discovered, activating a certain hidden section of code activated a screen clearly marked as ‘Test VR Mode’, which splits the screen into two equal displays and prompts the user to move the console away from their face before pressing the ‘close’ button.

The story goes back a little bit further, to the 3.0.0 released to the Nintendo Switch in June 2017. Enthusiasts combing through the newly added code found a couple of lines which explicitly mentioned VR, indicating that Nintendo were at least experimenting with the idea of VR functionality for their newest console.

The code fragment was pointed out by Twitter user Cody Brocious, aka @daeken who discovered the code while looking at IPC interfaces on the Nintendo Switch. Cody then posted an image of the lines of code, which read:

[50] IsVrModeEnabled() → bool;

[51] SetVrModeEnabled (bool);

Another Twitter user, @OatmealDome, noticed another code fragment when combing through the AM services documentation, this time marked as follows:

ICommonStateGetter::SetVrModeEnabled(bool);

Several critics have been quick to point out that the Nintendo Switch is impractical for VR use in ‘tablet’ mode, as it is large and cumbersome, and the weight would make it deeply uncomfortable to wear. Others have suggested that if Nintendo did go down the VR route, the VR headset could be a unit with its own screen, connected to the console via cable.

Whatever the truth is, VRFocus will continue to keep you up to date.