Nintendo wants to dive into the world of virtual reality but isn’t sure what to do with the technology yet. A top executive from the Japanese video game maker expressed concerns about introducing VR products, putting a question mark on the use of VR technology in its upcoming next-generation console code-named NX.
At the company's annual shareholders meeting, Nintendo President and CEO Tatsumi Kimishima told investors that the company is looking into VR but is concentrating more on the launch of the its top secret NX console. Kimishima earlier mentioned an interest in VR.
Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of Nintendo's highly popular franchises like Mario, Donkey Kong and The Legend of Zelda, isn’t sure if VR technology could be used for a long time. He is also reportedly concerned of what parents might think seeing their children wearing headsets in the living room.
VR offers an immersive virtual experience using headgear but the gear is manufactured only for short-term use on the back of health concerns, such as headaches and nausea. It has also been deemed unsuitable for small children who form one of Nintendo’s main customer bases.
“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.
He added that he didn’t feel VR was a big topic of conversation at last month’s E3 gaming conference. He also questioned the suitability of VR in terms of experience sharing, including multiplayer gaming or just watching other gamers, which is reportedly increasingly popular.
Tokyo-based video game consultant Serkan Toto said there was “no way” that NX would be a virtual-reality console and commended Nintendo on making the right decision. “Nintendo is always about the mass market, but right now VR is years away from becoming mainstream,” he said.
Nintendo had given VR a shot all the way back in 1995 when it launched Virtual Boy, which turned out to be the company’s biggest high-profile failure, reports say. Nintendo’s rival Sony, however, has no qualms about entering the VR market. Sony’s PlayStation VR add-on for the PS4 launches this October.
Manufacturer of the popular Xbox console Microsoft Corp. announced it will release a VR-ready console code-named “Project Scorpio” next year.