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Swami

Was there ever a confirmation if the Switch had a hidden sensor bar

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If not, how does screen/pointing/motion accuracy work?

 

Wii remote needed a sensor bar for motion games. Every answer I see online says the Wii remote with motion plus needed the sensor bar for some motion capabilities other than BC, despite having two gyroscopes added. Now, people say the Switch doesn't need a sensor bar for motion control because it has the gyroscope, but I don't see how this is any different than the gyroscopes in the Wii motion plus or the PC LCD light guns and motion controllers that need a new calibration for every change in a human's position or height or need a sensor bar. Some people have said they thought the Switch had a sensor hidden in the screen module or the table-top cradle, although someone else said the motion controls worked with the screen in the cradle behind their TV. 

 

The other possibilities are that they are always restricting motion control parameters compared to the Wii or are always using a cursor and work like the PC LCD light guns that get off calibration depending on how close you are to the TV, if you move your body left, right, up or down. This can work like a mouse works by using a cursor, but you might find if you move during a game, you are pointing off screen to have the cursor in the center.

 

This leads me to speculate that all these opinions may just be people talking out of their ass, so it would be good to get an informed conclusive answer.

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Nintendo Labo games have great tutorials to explain how Joy-cons work, and I don't think there is any sensor bar. I guess it's just a combination of gyroscope and accelerometer, but you may have to calibrate (put the Joy-con on the table, press a button while on a specific orientation, etc.) sometimes to "remind" them where they are.

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4 hours ago, roots.genoa said:

Nintendo Labo games have great tutorials to explain how Joy-cons work, and I don't think there is any sensor bar. I guess it's just a combination of gyroscope and accelerometer, but you may have to calibrate (put the Joy-con on the table, press a button while on a specific orientation, etc.) sometimes to "remind" them where they are.

Perhaps a better question is, then, if the Switch doesn’t need a sensor bar, did the Wii motion plus games and motion plus remote ever need one, or was it just for pre-2009 backward compatibility?

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If I remember right one of the two joycons has some form of a view window on the top and inside is some kind of ir sensor thing going on there so it can see where it's facing in relative space to other stuff going on, then it has the hd rumble, accelerometers, gyro, etc going on there too.

 

https://kotaku.com/the-switch-joy-con-s-infrared-sensor-is-cooler-than-we-1822669059

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The right Joy-con has an IR sensor. The only game that I know of that uses it is Brain Training, and that's because there used to be a giant ad for this game at Ebisu Station with some old dude using the IR sensor.

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5 hours ago, Swami said:

Perhaps a better question is, then, if the Switch doesn’t need a sensor bar, did the Wii motion plus games and motion plus remote ever need one, or was it just for pre-2009 backward compatibility?

The sensor bar was still useful for light gun type games. You can use gyroscope with calibration to do the same, but the sensor bar might be more precise in that specific case.

And yes, the right Joy-con has a IR sensor used in Brain Training and in the Nintendo Labo VR kit. It's actually a big part of the latter since it kinda replaces the PlayStation Eye/Move of the PSVR, combined with Toy-cons.

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They used a sensor bar with the Wii as that was state-of-the-art back then from a consumer market point of view, but since then, they likely figured out new techniques that do the same thing without the need for a sensor bar. I never really bothered to look into how Joy-cons work (I don't own a Switch) but they're certainly less bulky and evidently more advanced than Wiimotes. Gotta love progress.  :)

 

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18 hours ago, Steven Pendleton said:

The right Joy-con has an IR sensor. The only game that I know of that uses it is Brain Training, and that's because there used to be a giant ad for this game at Ebisu Station with some old dude using the IR sensor.

If it does have an IR sensor or transmitter, to what is it transmitting or receiving? It has to have a counterpart somewhere. It’s possible it works with other games besides Brain Games. 

 

Edit: I found out that it is an IR camera. Kind of like a Move or Kinect camera, except IR. It can still make out body images and hand gestures as well as some other types of features. It's not position calibrated to anything in any way, like the other cameras. It works by pointing it a something, like someone's face, and that image is transmitted via wireless to the general controller input in the screen module. So, the IR camera is really pretty different from the wiimote system.

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3 hours ago, Swami said:

If it does have an IR sensor or transmitter, to what is it transmitting or receiving? It has to have a counterpart somewhere. It’s possible it works with other games besides Brain Games. 

 

Edit: I found out that it is an IR camera. Kind of like a Move or Kinect camera, except IR. It can still make out body images and hand gestures as well as some other types of features. It's not position calibrated to anything in any way, like the other cameras. It works by pointing it a something, like someone's face, and that image is transmitted via wireless to the general controller input in the screen module. So, the IR camera is really pretty different from the wiimote system.

Yeah, I'm not really sure what it does. There are very few games that actually use it, and I have none of them.

 

One interesting thing to note is that when you update the controller firmware, the right Joy-con always takes close to double or triple the time that the left Joy-con takes. I'm guessing that it's because of the IR.

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41 minutes ago, Steven Pendleton said:

Yeah, I'm not really sure what it does. There are very few games that actually use it, and I have none of them.

 

One interesting thing to note is that when you update the controller firmware, the right Joy-con always takes close to double or triple the time that the left Joy-con takes. I'm guessing that it's because of the IR.

What I read described an eating content in 1,2, Switch or whatever its called where you point it at the person's face and it tracks their chewing by the chin motion.

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1 hour ago, Swami said:

What I read described an eating content in 1,2, Switch or whatever its called where you point it at the person's face and it tracks their chewing by the chin motion.

Interesting. I didn't look into that game when it launched, but this brings the total games that I know of that use the IR thingy to 3.

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Once again, the use that matches the most the Wii sensor bar is Nintendo Labo. When building some of the Toy-cons, you have to put reflective stickers that will get detected by the IR camera on the right Joy-con. The elephant Toy-con from the Nintendo Labo VR kit might be the best example; there are several stickers on the elephant so that your gestures are recreated quite precisely in 3D, like they would with the PlayStation Move or any VR controller.

Which means you could easily build a Wii sensor bar by just puting (on the right spots of course) a few reflective stickers on your TV, by the way.

 

The main problem compared to the Wiimote is the fact that the IR camera is at the bottom of right the Joy-con, so it wouldn't be very convenient to use it as a light gun alone - hence the Toy-cons that act a little like the Wii accessories that turned your wiimote into a 'proper' light gun.

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12 hours ago, roots.genoa said:

Once again, the use that matches the most the Wii sensor bar is Nintendo Labo. When building some of the Toy-cons, you have to put reflective stickers that will get detected by the IR camera on the right Joy-con. The elephant Toy-con from the Nintendo Labo VR kit might be the best example; there are several stickers on the elephant so that your gestures are recreated quite precisely in 3D, like they would with the PlayStation Move or any VR controller.

Which means you could easily build a Wii sensor bar by just puting (on the right spots of course) a few reflective stickers on your TV, by the way.

 

The main problem compared to the Wiimote is the fact that the IR camera is at the bottom of right the Joy-con, so it wouldn't be very convenient to use it as a light gun alone - hence the Toy-cons that act a little like the Wii accessories that turned your wiimote into a 'proper' light gun.

I imagine, if you were to use it for a light gun, you would just use it backwards, like you do for the Labo kit experiments.

 

Now that I think about it, I've heard the sensor bar doesn't do anything except have a couple IR dot sources on it to triangulate position with the IR receiver on the Wiimote. I've heard you could even replace it with a couple candles, so, in theory, you could use one of those usb dolphin bar type devices if there were programs to use them.

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On 5/22/2020 at 2:18 PM, Swami said:

Every answer I see online says the Wii remote with motion plus needed the sensor bar for some motion capabilities other than BC, despite having two gyroscopes added.

I don't know what BC is, but yes, this is true: Wii Motion Plus doesn't need the sensor bar. The Wii menu still needs the sensor so you can navigate to your game, etc., but once you open up Skyward Sword (for example), you can unplug the sensor bar and everything in that game will work the same.

  

On 5/22/2020 at 2:18 PM, Swami said:

...I don't see how this is any different than the gyroscopes in the Wii motion plus ... that need a new calibration for every change in a human's position or height or need a sensor bar.

It's probably a more advanced technology. Wii Motion Plus, you would set it on a flat surface when you first start up the game, then after that, if the calibration was off, you could just press down on the d-pad to realign it.

  

On 5/22/2020 at 2:18 PM, Swami said:

Some people have said they thought the Switch had a sensor hidden in the screen module or the table-top cradle, although someone else said the motion controls worked with the screen in the cradle behind their TV.

That doesn't make any sense, though...that would mean you would always have to keep your Switch docked in the same place, and would have to make sure that it's always in view of the sensor.

Edited by Asaki
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4 hours ago, Asaki said:

I don't know what BC is, but yes, this is true: Wii Motion Plus doesn't need the sensor bar. The Wii menu still needs the sensor so you can navigate to your game, etc., but once you open up Skyward Sword (for example), you can unplug the sensor bar and everything in that game will work the same.

  

It's probably a more advanced technology. Wii Motion Plus, you would set it on a flat surface when you first start up the game, then after that, if the calibration was off, you could just press down on the d-pad to realign it.

 

BC means "backwards compatibility". In this case with the wiimotes and Wii games that existed before motion plus.

 

I know the Ultimarc Aimtrak (the most popular PC light gun, I think) acts as a mouse and has some means of spatially tracking x-y position, which I'd have to look into further, but it's up-to-date technology. However, I don't think it uses any means for 3D positioning triangulation, like the wii sensor bar or motion plus and not sure why. I know with the Wii menu, it seems like the pointer is never pointing where you think it should. I suppose this is because it lacks an auto-calibration for the menu. I mean, you can eventually get the pointer on the screen and follow it around, but it always feels disproportionate compared to gameplay after in-game calibration.

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I love the Wii pointer but the problem with it was most people assumed you had to actually point the TV like you would with a light gun, and complained it was exhausting to keep your arms raised. When you understand that it is basically like a mouse that you drag in the air against a virtual, small vertical pad, and that you can just rest your arms on your legs (when sitting), it becomes really efficient and confortable (for me at least).

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That's basically how I played the FPS games on there and it made them as fun if not more than doing it on a computer, as long as you could dismiss the lack of HD visuals some would just be babies about.  It was mouse fast and fun like to aim and drop nazis in COD and MOHH2 on there.

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To go back on the Wii sensor bar, it was literally nothing more than a set of 4 or 5 IR LEDs on either side of the bar. The Wii mote could see these IR LES as points in space. Then the wii could calculate base on the side of the IR dots the Wii mote could see and how far apart those two sets of Dots were where it was roughly located in 3D space. So yes, candles could be used if they were space apart properly, or even some IR lamps commonly used in night shots capable camcorders. 

 

That aside, I didn't know about the all other stuff on the Joy-cons. We don't use ours since our Switch is never removed from the doc and is always plugged in so play on the TV. In other words we've always played the switch and considered it to just be a console system and no real desire for he portable use of it. We use 3rd party controllers to play the games on so yeah, didn't know about the other features in the Joycons.

 

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