Nintendo considers the technology to be promising, but just where do they plan to go with it?
At this point, it is known that Nintendo are researching VR, and that they are looking at making it more palatable for families than the technology currently is. However, not much else is known about the company’s VR ventures. However, thanks to Nintendo posting the transcript of their recent investor meeting on their site, we now have a better idea of just how Nintendo intend to approach this promising new technology.
“We are well aware that other companies are developing games and game-related products using VR technologies, and that consumers are interested in all of this,” Tatsumi Kimishima, the President of Nintendo, said. “I cannot say anything specific at this time, but understand that we also consider VR to be a promising technology, and we are conducting research with much interest.”
Nintendo considering the technology “promising” is already a good start- especially given how much the company has resisted other emergent trends in video gaming that have gone on to blow up later on, such as internet and online gaming, and smartphone gaming.
Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto, however, added that there was work to be done on VR- as it stands right now, it is fun only for the person playing it, and not for spectators, which makes it unsuited to family settings. This indicates the direction that Nintendo may be looking at taking with their VR offerings.
“We are researching not just VR, but AR and many other technologies,” Miyamoto said. “We have a range of core technology including 3D, and we are also considering the possibility of implementing these in our own hardware development. For VR in particular, we are continuing our research, and looking into development with a mind to how our current core products are meant to be played for a relatively long period of time. We are looking into the possibilities of providing an experience that gives value when played for a short time, and how to eliminate the concerns of long-duration use. We are also looking into how to make sure that a parent doesn’t need to worry when their child puts on a VR device in their living room. At this year’s E3, I was on the show floor, and it did not feel like VR was that big of a topic. This could be because VR is not that much to look at for the spectator, even while it might be highly appreciated for the person actually experiencing it. It might also not be clear how the experience can be made into a product.”
I do agree with him that VR could stand to be more social as it is right now, since the moment one puts on the headset, they are cut off from the outside world- and I am interested in seeing just how Nintendo plan on tackling this problem going forward. I do think that Sony are on a promising path with the PlayStation VR, and its asymmetric approach to VR gameplay.