It’s true. They have cutting edge cardboard VR tech.
The Switch has a great many advantages that the PS4 and the Xbox One do not offer, but if there is one area where it falls behind those two, it’s the technical prowess of the hardware. Nintendo haven’t really chased power for a long time – ever since the Wii, really – and the Switch is similarly lagging behind the PS4 and the Xbox One in terms of technical capabilities.
Nintendo, in fact, have gathered a reputation for not having kept up with the industry’s technical advancements, be it VR or cloud tech, or what have you. Sure, they have cardboard VR with Labo, and sure, cloud is an area that they are looking into, but by and large, the common consensus says that Nintendo doesn’t stand on the same footing as Microsoft and Sony as far as technology is concerned.
Miyamoto doesn’t feel that way, though. Recently, during a Q&A session at Nintendo’s annual general meeting with shareholders, Miyamoto rejected the idea that Nintendo were lagging behind others in terms of network and VR technology, and that they have been working on that stuff from the very beginning.
“We have not fallen behind with either VR or network services,” said Miyamoto. “We worked on them from the very beginning, and have been experimenting with them in a variety of ways. In that time, we have objectively evaluated whether they actually allow our consumers to have an enjoyable play experience, and whether we can operate them at an appropriate cost. Because we don’t publicize this until we release a product, it may look like we’re falling behind. In regards to VR, we think that we have created a product that is easy for our consumers to use in the recently released Nintendo Labo Toy-Con 04: VR Kit. Nintendo consumers encompass a wide range of ages, including young children, so we will continue to create and announce products that can be enjoyed by anyone.”
Speaking about cloud technology, Miyamoto said that though he predicts it to become much more widespread in the future, he still feels there will be a place in the market for games that run locally, that cloud gaming will not be able to displace.
“I think that cloud gaming will become more widespread in the future, but I have no doubt that there will continue to be games that are fun because they are running locally and not on the cloud,” he said. “We believe it is important to continue to use these diverse technical environments to make unique entertainment that could only have been made by Nintendo. The number of people coming into contact with digital devices is increasing more dramatically than ever before. For example, Super Mario Run has surpassed 300 million downloads. The fact that we’ve reached such a market means that opportunities for us are greatly expanding, so we would like to work on more and more unique projects.”
From first parties to third parties, pretty much everyone has been making advancements in the industry, especially as far as cloud technology is concerned, so it’ll be interesting to see how Nintendo reacts to the changing environment in the coming years. At least for now though, it seems like the Switch is doing very well for them.