Is Nintendo leaning towards augmented reality?

Is Nintendo leaning towards augmented reality?

Eddie Berman, Staff Writer

With the release of the Nintendo switch, it becomes more and more apparent what Nintendo’s future looks like. This future is augmented reality. Augmented reality is essentially implementing animated characters into your tangible world. Not to be confused with virtual reality, augmented reality puts its characters into your world with the use of a camera. For instance, the once number one trending app Pokemon Go used augmented reality to put pokemon in your phone, and used the camera to portray the pokemon wherever the camera was capturing. As student Jon Buckley, ’21, puts it, augmented reality “blurs the line between games and reality”, and another fellow student Will Booher, ’21, describes it as “dope.”  Nintendo is a company known for innovation, but is showing sometimes one doesn’t need to be first, when looking for the highest quality gameplay. Nintendo is quickly implementing augmented reality into their consoles, and it’s not as far away as one may think.

Nintendo has shown prior attempts at a smooth augmented reality experience, and will continue these into the not so distant future. There are many of theses instances, such as when they used AR cards for the Nintendo 3Ds. These cards were one of the first Nintendo attempts at augmented reality, as users would scan the cards with their favorite Nintendo characters to access special games in the Nintendo game store.

More recently, Nintendo did this when they entered the mobile market with the installment of Pokemon GO. The aforementioned Pokemon GO uses augmented reality to make is seem as if one is actually face to face with their childhood best friend or battling with their long time rival. Nintendo even has it’s own virtual reality headset, so they already shown the ability to make games immersive; after all, virtual reality makes augmented reality possible. These examples show that not only has Nintendo experimented with augmented reality, they’ve continued to do it up until recently, and it appears into the far future.

Nintendo is without a doubt leaning toward augmented reality, which is made evident with their patents, and recent control design. For instance, the web show the Game Theory points out that the Nintendo Switch already has an infrared camera and motion controls that can make certain sections of the controller feel heavy. For instance, one of the tutorial games has you ask how many balls are in a box, and by using the controller, you can turn your hand and feel as the balls move around in the box. Nintendo has already secured a patent for a headset that the Nintendo Switch can slide into. It may be hard to see what all these disjointed points mean, so to elaborate. For augmented reality to be possible, one needs a camera, and for augmented reality to be immersive, motion controls are a big help. Additionally, for augmented reality to be truly immersive one would need a headset, and it just so happens that Nintendo has secured a patent for a headset for the Nintendo Switch to slide right into. All evidence points to the fact that Nintendo is implementing augmented reality into their systems.

Nintendo has definitely been attempting augmented reality, and it’s made clear by a recent lawsuit from rival company Gamevice. In recent news the Nintendo Switch was found to of violated a prior patent for a controller design from gamevice, however it’s unclear why Gamevice was so adamant. Sure the one product did infringe the other, but the real reason appears to be that Gamevice wanted to be the first to dominate the augmented reality market. This is supported with the fact both the Gamevice console and the Nintendo Switch have a built in camera. Essentially, Gamevice caught onto Nintendo’s plan and tried to do something about it, and it further proves how Nintendo is implementing augmented reality sooner rather than later.

In the end, it’s extremely evident that Nintendo is implementing augmented reality into their consoles as soon as they possibly can. The company has shown this in many ways, such as the fact they have already begun their alpha phases, and has continued to further develop their craft of augmented reality. Additionally, Nintendo has already patented their ideas, and have created systems ideal for augmented reality. Also, the only reason Nintendo suffered a lawsuit is because there was a race to be the first to implement augmented reality, and Nintendo lost to a subordinate company.  All things considered, it’s blunt that Nintendo is mere moments away from making augmented reality a prominent part of the Nintendo world. The popularity of augmented reality is seen through the introduction in popular apps such as Snapchat and with the new features of the iPhones 8 and X, bringing the technology to the phones of students.