The Nintendo Switch is by far one of the best selling consoles this year, while many companies have hesitated on what that will mean for them, be it game developers or accessory makers. One particular team, however, took a huge bet on the Switch early on and as the year closes, they are about to ship an amazing must-have Switch accessory.
The OJO Projector was certainly a Switch accessory that stood out the moment it was announced. Therefore, I thought it would be great to pay the team a visit during my trip to Shenzhen, China, where I got the honour of speaking to OJO’s CEO, Jason, and Designer, Mark.
For the uninitiated, the OJO projector is the world’s first Switch projector, but it brings to the table a whole lot more than asked.
Complementing The Switch
Speaking to NintendoSoup, Jason said that the OJO projector was designed to bring to the fans the same ideals that made the Nintendo Switch great, yet at the same time magnify them. Basically, Jason underlined two ideals that made the Switch a huge success, its transformability, and sharability. Transformability in that the Switch can be both a home console and a portable console. Sharability in that the Switch promotes local and social multiplayer gaming. Both points are things that Switch gamers really enjoyed.
The whole premise of a projector is to make the Switch more shareable, instead of squeezing into a 6-inch screen while on the go, the OJO projector can magnify the screen image up to 120 inches, making co-op or competitive multiplayer a joy. The OJO speakers were also surprisingly loud, and will definitely be able to emanate that party feeling where the tiny Switch speakers can’t.
But “transformable”? This meant that the team had to make the OJO projector portable, not just in the size kind of sense, but also power kind of sense. As a result of each OJO ships with a 20,400mAh battery, capable of illuminating 4 hours of gameplay while charging the Nintendo Switch. It is something that can really be taken on the go and used as and when.
True to its ability, Jason and Mark took a working prototype of the OJO projector and placed it on the table. Just like that, we started gaming.
In fact, the team were adamant at each point to make the OJO projector as complementary to the Switch as possible. Right out of the box (which looked like a Nintendo Switch Box), the projector resembles the Switch’s own dock and not by coincidence.
As Mark put it, the projector initially did not resemble its final form. In fact, it looked very different. However, the previous designs did not sit well with the Nintendo Switch’s own industrial design, they all looked out of place. That is why they eventually settled on the design that resembled the Switch’s own dock.
Still, even with the familiar design, the team place great care into improving it. The on-off switch for the OJO projector is a simple example. While the team could have used a simple button, they instead chose to use a toggle, as a toggle will easily allow you to know if the projector is on or off.
The OJO Journey
To say that the OJO Projector’s development process was as simple as slapping a projector onto the Switch’s dock is a huge understatement. The journey since team’s formation in June was full of ups and downs.
As Jason explained, they knew they wanted to make a projector from the start, but in a market full of projectors, they needed to make their projector stand out. That is when Mark, being an avid gamer since the time of the Sega Mega Drive (Genesis), thought that the Nintendo Switch will be a good fit for their projector.
In fact, while the rest of the world took a wait-and-see attitude to the Switch, especially after the flop of the Wii U, the OJO team saw that the “Switch Wave” was here and quickly formed up to work on their Switch Projector.
Still, with more than a decade of experience in IT under both their belt, the electronics behind the OJO were not the greatest challenge for them. The greatest challenge lies with marketing it to the International Switch fans. With no experience in international marketing, the team had a lot to learn.
“We initially asked a few media outlets to help us promote the OJO, but most are unwilling to as they wanted to see a full product before committing,” Jason said.
The team worked hard to get as much press attention as possible, even working late hours in the office to accommodate to the Western world’s working time. Finally, the press caught on when the product went live on Indiegogo in October.
Incredibly, in a little under 6 months, the OJO projector went from an idea a product, ready to ship.
Eyes To The Gaming World
Meaning “eyes” in Spanish, the name OJO had stuck in Jason’s mind since he first heard it more than a year ago, and appropriately it the OJO projector lets you see more into the Switch’s game.
As the OJO projector starts shipping end of this month, the OJO team is looking towards the future at the same time. While the “eyes” now signify the projector, the team has plans to turn the OJO brand into the eyes of the gaming world. They are currently working hard on a number of Switch accessories and have intentions to make accessories for other platforms as well, showing off their huge commitment and passion to gaming.
In fact, the team has a few amazing lineup to show off at next month’s CES in Las Vegas. I shan’t spoil their surprise but it is definitely something everyone will want to pay attention to.
“I hope everyone will really support the OJO projector and let OJO magnify the joys and ideals of Switch gaming,” Mark concluded.
The OJO Projector is still on sale on Indiegogo. To learn more about the OJO projector’s tech specs and features, as well as, support them on their Indiegogo, you can head on here.