You may soon be able to play your Nintendo Switch like a Nintendo 3DS, if a recent patent application is to believed.

Well, not that we’d have any reason to doubt a patent application, but whether anything will ever come of it is a different matter. In September 2018, Nintendo filed a patent for ‘Eye Tracking Enabled 3D Viewing,’ which has come to light after it was published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office in January.  The idea is that it could transform a conventional viewing experience into a three-dimensional one by tracking a person’s eye movements via a small device attached to the top of a TV screen.

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In the patent diagrams, this eye tracking can be optimised if the viewer places a special marker on their glasses, but presumably this can be attached to the person’s forehead as well. After which, two helmeted sportsmen will leap out of the television and cause untold chaos and destruction.

So basically, it would create a viewing experience much like the Nintendo 3DS, but on a larger scale and without the need for a purpose-built monitor. But the patent application also states that the technology would enable players to perform actions such as dodging projectiles, and it would give in-game characters the ability to ‘see’ the player and react accordingly, which is intriguing.

To be honest, as much as I kiiiinda like the idea, I don’t think it’s something I’d rush out and buy. It feels like the battle for supremacy in the world of all-things 3D has been and gone; is it still something that people want? (Or indeed, did people ever want it?) I’ll be curious to see if anything ever comes of this patent, and sure, I’d give an eye-tracking 3D add-on a whirl if a friend invited me over for an evening of fighting vicious sportsmen. Until then, I’ll remain in the camp of the Highly Sceptical.

What do you think of this idea from Nintendo? Is it something you would consider purchasing, if it was available? Would it make the key difference in your enjoyment of Nintendo Switch games, or would it simply be an interesting gimmick? Let me know in the comments below.

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