This entry-level projector aims to turn any wall into a big-screen TV for the Nintendo Switch.
Yesojo's Ojo projector is a great idea: It's a portable Nintendo Switch dock that lets you project your gameplay on any wall or screen without being tethered to a wall outlet.
I've spent a few days playing with a prototype of the projector, which is currently on Indiegogo for a planned early 2018 release. This early version of the device definitely fulfills its promise to make the Nintendo Switch docked experience portable, but prospective buyers should also set expectations accordingly.
The $369 projector, or $269 as an early access price on Indiegogo, projects a 480p resolution image that looks great in a dark room but a little blurry in medium light settings. While international pricing isn't currently available, the retail price roughly converts to £280 or AU$485 and the early access price to £200 and AU$360. That early access price was originally set to expire Friday, but Yesojo said it will be extended for another 30 days into December.
While in the dark, I was able to project an image comparable to a 27-inch TV up to about a 70-inch image when moving the projector back. Doing the same in medium light was playable, but it was harder to make out details. Yesojo representatives told us that the projector adjusts based on its environment, which we did notice, and that they're fine-tuning that feature for its final release. The projector is supposed to output an image as big as 121 inches horizontally and 36 inches vertically.
The projector charges up over USB-C, and the final version is supposed to have a 4-hour battery. That battery life will likely vary based on if your Switch is charging while docked or if you have anything connected to its USB-A ports. I found those ports to be powerful enough to power on my Super NES Classic, and when connected into the projector's HDMI port made the little console also fully portable.
Soundwise, the projector has a very loud speaker, which easily filled the room when playing by myself. The speaker should also be loud enough when used in a group setting, presuming everyone in your party is playing games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe or The Jackbox Party Pack 4 on it. There is also an auxiliary port for hooking up other speakers.
This early version of the projector is a bit buggy, which Yesojo says it's working on ironing out. In particular, Yesojo said it's working on getting the fans, currently a bit loud, to be quieter. However I found the fans to be comforting considering how warm the Nintendo Switch regularly gets when docked. I also found the projector sometimes needed a break to cool off, as at times it didn't turn back on immediately after being turned off.
For its price, I also wish it had an HDMI-out port, letting it fully replace my original Nintendo Switch dock for a television. And people wanting a home theater projector to get an HD picture or better definitely shouldn't consider the SD-only Ojo (affordable picks for a home theater projector that aren't portable can be found here). If a portable projector is all you want, and you don't need or care about the Switch integration, you should also check out cheaper competitive projectors.
That said, the Ojo does solve one of the Nintendo Switch's problems: how to play portable games with friends without having to crowd around the console's 7-inch screen. As long as you have a dark room, the projector could be a fast way to throw an impromptu four-player Mario Kart race, an eight-player round of Fibbage or some ridiculous 1-2 Switch.
For another look at the Ojo projector, see our sister site GameSpot's impressions of it in the video below:
As always, please note that CNET's reporting on crowdfunding campaigns is not an endorsement of the project or its creators. Before contributing to any campaign, read the crowdfunding site's policies -- in this case, Indiegogo -- to find out your rights (and refund policies, or the lack thereof) before and after a campaign ends.
First published Nov. 22, 5:25 p.m. PT.
Update Nov. 23, 5:47 a.m. PT: Adds early access international pricing, which is being extended through mid-December.