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Nintendo Switch Camera: Does The Nintendo Switch Have A Camera/Cameras?

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When the Nintendo console first came out, there were a lot of questions about its features and capabilities. One of the most common questions was whether the Nintendo Switch had a camera.

Although it is surprising to many people Nintendo Switch does have a camera. However, despite the Switch having a camera, it doesn’t have a traditional one that can be used to take pictures or videos.

Most Switches have cameras on them but it doesn’t have a camera in the conventional sense.

The regular Nintendo Switch, Switch Lite, and Switch OLED consoles do not have the capability to take external photos and videos. The only thing you can do is take screenshots of what is on the Switch’s screen.

So if you want to take high quality photos (or any photos at all really) you will want to look elsewhere.

The infrared camera on Nintendo’s console is located on one of the Joy-Cons and is only used for things like facial recognition (detecting the movement of a player’s face), the movement sensor, and related motion functions to help give you the best user experience. The IR sensor camera is designed to help make your Switch more functional but is not actually able to be used as a traditional camera.

Unfortunately, the Nintendo console doesn’t have a regular camera or any other input method that you can use to take pictures or videos and save them to your Switch. So if you want to take pictures or videos you will have to purchase an actual camera or use a smartphone since the Switch camera can’t take actual photos.

Nintendo Switch Console with game on the screen

Switch Camera Usage Information

The camera on the Nintendo console is an infrared sensor camera that can be found on the right Joy-Con. The Switch’s camera doesn’t have a traditional camera lens since it isn’t used to take photos.

Essentially the IR camera takes a picture using invisible dots of different heat sources creating a heat map. This gives you the functionality of the IR camera which is used to recognize facial features and other movements that allows a few interesting interactions in the few games that utilize the “camera” that is in the Joycon Controllers.

So although the Switch doesn’t have a traditional camera as a built-in feature it does actually have a default IR camera used for the sensing process.

The Switch’s camera is only utilized in a few specific games. The Switch games that utilize the built-in IR camera are:

  • 1-2 Switch (for the game Rock Paper Scissors)
  • Brain Age/Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training
  • Game Builder Garage
  • L.A. Noire
  • Night Vision
  • Ninjala
  • Nintendo Labo Kit
  • Resident Evil Revelations
  • Ring Fit Adventure
  • Smile Basic 4
  • Spy Alarm
  • Vitamin Connection

Should You Consider A Different Camera?

The hidden camera on the Nintendo console (located in the Joy-Con controllers) will work for the specific things that it is designed for such as being used in a few games (mentioned above) or motion detection but the quality of the Nintendo console’s camera doesn’t mean that it can be used for actual photos. So, if you are looking for a very good camera to capture high-quality images or video, then you will want to get a different camera than the motion IR camera that is on the Switch.

The motion-depth infrared camera on your Switch isn’t a camera in the conventional sense as it isn’t designed to actually capture images or video so if you want to take some of those then you will absolutely need to get a real camera that can do those things. The Switch can be used to capture video and screenshots of what is being played on your Switch console but it cannot be used to capture external video or photos.

Nintendo Switch Design

Wow, the Nintendo Switch design is something else, isn’t it? I mean, it’s like they took a regular old Nintendo console and said “you know what? Let’s make this thing portable too. Because why not?” And honestly, I gotta say, I’m impressed.

Like, I never thought I’d be able to take my Mario Kart sessions on the go, but here we are.

But let’s talk about the actual design of the thing. It’s sleek, it’s modern, and it’s just the right size to fit in your backpack or purse. And the Joy-Con controllers? Genius.

I mean, they snap right onto the sides of the console, making it super easy to transform from a home console to a portable one. And let’s not forget the kickstand on the back. That’s like the cherry on top of this console sundae.

But let’s be real here, the best part of the Nintendo Switch design is the fact that you can play with friends wherever you go. Like, I’ve had some of the most intense Mario Party sessions on airplanes, and it’s just been a blast.

Plus, with the ability to detach the controllers and hand one to a friend, you can play some two-player games on the go without having to lug around a giant controller.

Overall, the Nintendo Switch design is a work of art. It’s functional, it’s portable, and it’s just plain cool. I mean, who wouldn’t want to play Zelda on a train ride? The answer is no one. No one wouldn’t want to do that.

So hats off to Nintendo for creating such a revolutionary piece of technology. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some Splatoon to play on my lunch break.

What Is The Camera On The Bottom Of The Nintendo Switch For?

The little camera on the bottom of the right Joy-Con controller is designed to be used to check for motion, for facial recognition/movement, and to essentially help “see” the Switch’s surroundings.

The Switch’s “camera” isn’t a traditional one that can be used to capture pictures or videos and is only used in a few select games and circumstances.

Where Is The Camera On The Nintendo Switch?

The camera on the Nintendo Switch is actually hidden in the bottom of the right Switch Joy-Con controller. It doesn’t have a traditional camera lens so it can be easy to miss.

It is in such an odd place because it isn’t used as a traditional camera and is instead used to capture movement and changes in the environment around it.

Can A Nintendo Switch Take Pictures?

While the Nintendo console cannot take pictures of external images outside of your Switch it can take screenshots and videos of what is on your Switch’s screen. It’s a great feature that lets you capture some of your most epic gaming moments or just capture what you’re doing while playing the Switch.

To take a picture of your Switch screen, just press the Capture button on the left Joy-Con controller and the Switch will take a screenshot. You can also press the Capture button again to take a video.

The pictures and videos you take will then be saved to the Album app, so you can share them with your friends or just keep them for yourself.

Final Thoughts

So, to answer the question: Does the Nintendo Switch have a camera? Yes, the Nintendo console does have a camera but it is only used for things like facial recognition and checking for movement via the bottom of the motion controller.

Despite the absence of a camera (at least a conventional camera) or traditional lens, the Switch console is still a great choice for gamers. However, for photography… the Switch is pretty much worthless.

The camera is not the same as the cameras found on other gaming consoles or devices (like smartphones or tablets) so don’t expect to actually be able to take your own photos with your Nintendo console.

You can capture images or videos of your favorite games that are on the Switch’s screen so Switch users can stream or share what they are doing but you can’t actually take pictures of anything besides screenshots of the Switch. So if you are hoping that you just need to download some compatible software or software tool so you will be able to start taking normal photos or videos… it just isn’t going to happen.