I’ve been trying to create the experience of gaming with XR glasses for years, even before such a thing even existed. As a chronically-ill person (shoutout to my sick gamers) I spend a lot of my playtime in bed, and I’m always looking for ways to make that more comfortable. When I was a teen, I had glasses with two sets of mirrors in them so that when I looked straight ahead they would reflect down towards my feet. This allowed me to lay flat on my back and see my Nintendo DS in my lap. No more holding my arms above my head until I lose my grip or nod off and the DS falls in my face. More recently, I attached a goose-neck mount to my nightstand that I can bend 90 degrees to hold my Switch directly over my face.
Both of those solutions have limitations. The mirrored glasses restrict your field of view, and require that you and the thing you're looking at stay perfectly still and parallel. The goose-neck mount is difficult to position exactly right, and has to be locked down to one place. I also tend to punch it in my sleep, but that could be a me problem. What I really needed was XR glasses, like VITURE One, a device that didn’t really exist until this year, but one I’ve been waiting for all my life. After spending a week playing Tears of the Kingdom, streaming movies, and using my Steam Deck with the VITURE One XR Glasses, I may never go back to traditional handheld gaming again.
XR glasses made a big splash at CES this year with brands like NReal, TCL and Lenovo demonstrating their tech, but the XR frames from VITURE impressed me the most thanks to its selection of accessories all built around gaming. For testing, the company sent over two pairs, along with the Mobile Dock, a Switch mount, a Steam Deck mount, some lens shades, and a 1-to-2 adapter. Some of these are nice-to-haves, and I’ll touch on each of them. But for the Switch, all you really need are the glasses and the Mobile Dock - and for other devices you don’t even need the dock.
The glasses have the same form and feel as sunglasses, though a bit heavier and thicker. There’s a port on the back of the right arm that connects to a magnetic cable with a USB-C on the other end. Any device that has a USB-C video out port can connect to the glasses. I’ve plugged them directly into my Samsung Tab S7, Steam Deck, and Surface Duo and could use them right away without any software or updates, the same as if you were to plug those devices into a monitor. The glasses have no internal battery and don’t need to be charged, drawing all their power from the device they’re plugged into.
The viewing experience is impressive. When you put on the glasses you immediately see a bright and crisp display without any distortion of screen door effect like you would see in a VR headset. The image is incredibly clear and even small text is easy to read, provided you’re adjusting the built-in diopter to match your vision. My astigmatism is a bit too severe in the left eye to get a totally clear image so I’m still wearing contacts when I use the glasses, but VITURE does offer prescription lens frames.
The frames also have built-in speakers powered by HARMAN. I’ve reviewed both Bose and Razer’s connected sunglasses, and the audio quality in VITURE One beats both of them. It has minimal audio leak, about as much as a noisy pair of earbuds, so if someone is sleeping next to you they might be able to hear it. On a plane or bus, however, I don’t think anyone would notice or be bothered by the sound. You can still use your Bluetooth headphones while wearing the glasses if you prefer, but I was pleasantly surprised how good the audio quality was even compared to my wireless earbuds.
I take some issue with the way the viewing experience is represented in the marketing. VITURE (and other brands with similar products) like to use images that suggest you’re looking at a giant projected screen in front of you, but that isn’t my experience. It’s more like having a tiny screen held right up to your eyes - which is exactly what it is, after all. You still get the floating screen effect because the image is transparent, meaning you can see the world through the screen. VITURE One has a cool lens dimming function that can drop the background into darkness with the touch of a button, and you can also snap on the lens shades if you want to block out the background entirely. Still, the glasses aren’t a headset and they have limited coverage on your face, so unless you’re in a pitch black room, you’re going to get plenty of light leak in your periphery. It took some getting used to, but now I reach for the glasses every time I play my Switch.
You have to use the Mobile Dock when playing on Switch, but the dock has a few advantages. It’s a 13,000mAH power bank, which provides six extra hours of playtime. It also has two ports for glasses, so my partner and I have been playing lots of split-screen Mario Kart, each with our own pair of glasses. It’s so much better than playing two-player on the tiny Switch screen, and you can both control your own audio level. There’s also an HDMI port, so you can plug in a PC, PlayStation, or Xbox too. There’s also a dock mount for the Switch and the Steam Deck, which is just a little piece of plastic that lets you snap the Mobile Dock Mount onto your console to make it more convenient to carry them.
This is the mobile display solution I’ve been waiting my whole life for. It’s an incredibly convenient way to get a high-quality visual experience from your mobile devices, and it's a great way to play handheld games anywhere you are - whether you’re bedridden or on a long flight. I have very few gripes with them, but I wish you could plug them directly into the Switch without needing to use the Mobile Dock, and wish the screen filled up more of the surface of the lens. I’d also much rather them be completely wireless than have a cable running from my glasses to my handheld - which garnered more than a few weird looks at the airport - but I suspect we’re still a few years away from that. At $439 (or $568 with the dock) the price will be the biggest hang-up for people, but that’s nothing new for innovative tech like this.
Devices like this are going to be huge for gaming, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Nintendo and Sony enter the fray with their own versions in the next few years. I’m glad that VITURE is setting the bar so high with VITURE One, and I don’t think I’m ever going to play my Switch without them again.
This review was originally published on TheGamer.com.
Eric Switzer is Features Editor at TheGamer and specializes in Pokemon, VR, and tech coverage. He is also the host of TheGamer Podcast, now entering its second year. Eric loves board games, fan conventions, new technology, and his sweet sweet kitties Bruce and Babs. Favorite games include Destiny 2, Kingdom Hearts, Super Metroid, and Prey... but mostly Prey. His favorite Pokémon is Umbreon.
VITURE One XR Glasses & Mobile Dock are available now at special launch pricing for a limited time.
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