The Nintendo Switch is a hybrid gaming console that allows users to play from the comfort of their home or anywhere outside. Since its launch, the console has sold remarkably well and has emerged as formidable competition to the PlayStation and Xbox. Even though millions of units have been sold so far, not many are aware that their console has a hidden camera. Actually, the Nintendo Switch‘s camera is not in the console, but rather, in the controller.
Here’s what the Nintendo Switch’s camera does
Each Joy-Con has a camera and motion detection, but the right Joy-Con has a motion-depth infrared (IR) camera on the bottom. Locating it is not easy because it does not have a traditional lens, and it does not look like a camera. This camera can be used to send a video feed to the Switch’s screen and to detect heat sources.
An infrared sensor or camera usually works by sending invisible dots, which are then mapped on the item it hits. This allows the console to see an object and use it as an input method.
Nintendo first talked about the sensor in January 2017. At the time, the company said it can identify the shape and distance of anything in front of it. Nintendo even demonstrated its ability to distinguish hand shapes as in the game Rock, Paper, Scissors.
The Japanese company even used the camera’s capabilities in the game 1-2-Switch for an eating contest. In the game, the sensor (when pointed at the player’s face) can track the opening and closing of the player’s mouth.
There is no way to assess the quality of the Nintendo Switch camera now. Although Nintendo has released a Labo kit to utilize the IR camera, it still does not indicate anything about its quality. The company showed off a cardboard-style camera that will use the Nintendo Switch camera, but it is not yet available.
“The Nintendo Switch console does not have a built-in feature to verify the functionality of the IR camera. However, you can still check if the IR camera is working using compatible software,” Nintendo says.
The compatible software the company is talking about is the “Nintendo Labo Variety Kit software or the Nintendo Labo: VR Kit software.
How to take a screenshot on the Switch
As of now, it is not possible to use the Joy-Con to take a picture. However, it can be used to take a screenshot of the Switch screen. Moreover, it can take the screenshot during a game and from the menu system. To take a screenshot, all you need to do is tap the camera button (which looks like a square with a circle inside it) on the left Joy-Con.
Once you tap this button, the screenshot will instantly save on the system. To view the screenshot, go to the main menu screen in the horizontal view of the games and scroll down to the circle icons in the bottom row. Now search and select the photo album icon, which is a blue rectangle. From the photo album, you can view, filter or delete the screenshots.
You can even view your own photos on the Switch. There is a microSD card slot on the back of the console, and it can be used to transfer screenshots or store downloaded games. The console is made such that it will only show the screenshots from the Switch itself and not any other images or videos. However, there is third-party software which can convert any image into one supported by the Switch.
Nintendo teases a new Switch accessory
We now know that the Nintendo Switch is much more than a hybrid console. It can take screenshots and has an IR camera that will become more useful going ahead. Additionally, it has plenty of add-ons, such as driving wheels, gamepad modifiers for Joy-Cons and a Nintendo Labo kit. These DIY cardboard accessories transform the console into instruments like backpack robots, VR headsets, pianos and fishing poles.
It seems Nintendo is not yet done with add-ons. Yesterday the company dropped a trailer with the tagline “a new experience” for the Switch. However, it did not reveal any other details, leaving fans guessing about what this new experience could be.
The video shows a new accessory or motion controller being used by people from around the world. In the video, people are seen squeezing it, crouching with it or doing various fitness workouts.
This new accessory appears to have two parts. First, there’s a flexible ring in which one Joy-Con is inserted, and it has additional handles that look like a controller. Second, it has a leg strap which the other Joy-Con goes in. As of now, it is hard to tell what exactly it is, but it did look like a motion controller based on the fitness uses.
Nintendo has promised to share more details on Sept. 12.