Virtual reality could yet prove to be a feature of Nintendo’s future, but don’t expect anything in the short term.
Sony’s first VR headset is out now, and Microsoft last week revealed a number of partners for Windows VR. However, while Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima says that the company is interested in the technology, any potential move into the sector remains both speculative and a long way off.
It’s not that we’re uninterested. In fact, we have a lot of interest,” he told Bloomberg. VR offers the experience of playing in a new way. But that depends on the software and how you use it to play. Especially when it comes to games. And beyond games, it also applies to other non-game things, so it is something to look forward to.
If you asked as if this might be possible in the future, certainly we can’t say no. In terms of how it can be used for gaming, it’s something we must consider. I can’t say that we have no interest in VR because VR offers new ways of playing. But what kind of software works, that’s only something you only know once you actually experience it. And our games are ones that are usually played for a long time.”
The last point is interesting, however. Should Super Mario Run prove a big success, then it’s logical to expect an increased smartphone focus from Nintendo in the years ahead. That would, you’d think at least, shift the company toward the creation of smaller bite-sized experiences. Should that prove to be the case, then perhaps VR will begin to feel like a more welcoming proposition for the company.
Nonetheless, Nintendo’s messaging on the subject of VR has been pretty consistent, with both Reggie Fils-Aime and Shigeru Miyamoto previously stating that the tech isn’t a current fit for the company’s games.