Major technology companies are pushing ahead with developing virtual reality products, but Nintendo seems more wary than most.
The Japanese company is apparently looking to get involved in virtual reality technology, but is not sure how best to use it. According to a top executive at Nintendo, there are concerns about introducing VR products, which could throw into doubt the inclusion of VR technology on the next generation NX console.
Nintendo NX console unlikely to have virtual reality features
Nintendo President and CEO Tatsumi Kimishima told investors at the annual shareholders meeting that the company was considering a move into VR, but is more concerned about the launch of the NX console. Earlier in his speech he had already mentioned an interest in VR.
Shigeru Miyamoto is also skeptical about the future of virtual reality. Miyamoto, who created hugely popular games such as Mario, Donkey Kong and The Legend of Zelda, does not believe that VR will be used for a long time. He also reportedly has concerns about what parents will think if they see their children wearing headsets in the house.
The virtual reality experience promises to be an immersive one, but the headgear is only recommended for short-term use due to possible health concerns. The technology has been found to cause headaches and nausea, while its use is not recommended for small children. A large part of Nintendo’s customer base is made up of these small children.
Executives unconvinced by virtual reality gaming
“We’ve been looking at the technology, but we should also see how it fits into our products that are designed to use for the long term and how parents would feel about their children mounting VR devices,” Miyamoto, the company’s “Creative Fellow,” said.
Miyamoto claimed that VR was not a hugely important topic at the E3 gaming conference last month, while also raising concerns about virtual reality and experience sharing in gaming. His main concerns revolve around multiplayer gaming and watching other gamers, which is increasingly popular among fans.
According to Tokyo-based video game consultant Serkan Toto, Nintendo made the right decision in not making the NX a virtual reality console. He said that there was “no way” that the NX would include VR. “Nintendo is always about the mass market, but right now VR is years away from becoming mainstream,” he said.
Video gaming market continues to evolve
Nintendo has history with VR, having released Virtual Boy in 1995. However the product was one of the company’s biggest flops.
Other gaming companies are pushing ahead with the adoption of virtual reality, with Sony set to release a PlayStation VR add-on this October. Rival Microsoft has announced that its VR-ready console “Project Scorpio” will be released next year.
Nintendo has lost serious ground to both Sony and Microsoft in the gaming market. The company is desperately searching for a way to wrestle back some its market share, but it looks as though executives do not think that VR is the right way to go.
The concerns raised by executives certainly seem to be valid, but there is also an argument that if major rivals are adopting new technology then Nintendo runs the risk of being left behind. Even if VR does not end up becoming the future of gaming, it is likely that consumers would at least like to be given the choice of using it or not.