Nintendo may have sworn off the idea of VR for the foreseeable future, but that hasn’t stopped a research team at Kougaku Navi in Japan from bringing the two together. Since March, the team has been iterating on the idea of playing Splatoon with a head mounted display and a squirt gun in hand. After experimenting with aiming via head tracking and gyroscopic sensors in the gun itself – and running into fundamental problems with both – they’ve settled on a solution that looks a bit goofy but actually seems fairly playable.

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In the latest setup, a Wii U GamePad is is strapped to the player’s back, like a small backpack. This allows the GamePad to both deliver vibration feedback directly to the player’s center mass; and more importantly, to use its motion sensors to approximate aim. When the gun is held and aimed with both hands, the upper body naturally pivots to match its orientation.

The gun, in this case, actually looks the part as well. A brightly colored, modified water gun complements the head-mounted display (an older Sony head-mounted display) and back-mounted GamePad. The gun communicates wirelessly with the GamePad, and has most of Splatoon’s controls mapped to its seven buttons. Touch screen controls, like the Super Jump, have yet to be implemented into the current build, but the team is still tinkering with solutions to the problem.

While it may not be the VR solution that some Nintendo fans may be looking for, it’s always a pleasure to see the ingenuity of dedicated fans. Would you be interested in playing Splatoon in VR? You can check out the latest build of this project below and let us know what you think.

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Written by Brittin Shauers

Brittin literally grew up with Link, Mario and Samus. These three characters and their worlds collectively capture everything that he loves about video games.

Brittin Shauers