Samsung, Microsoft, and Sony have all jumped on the VR bandwagon. So where is Nintendo? Nintendo of America CEO Reggie Fils-Aime is a little reluctant to jump into the VR market. He stated that the company will not adopt VR until it can be readily available for the mass market.
Fils-Aime thinks that the VR technology is too expensive and the audience for the device is too limited at this point in time. He would also like to see VR mass market applications and applications that consumers can invest a lot of time in. At the moment, most VR experiences are “short snacks of time”. Essentially, Nintendo will not jump into the VR fray until it is obvious that consumers are demanding more VR options.
Fils-Aime remarked, “We want to make sure the technology represents strong value to the consumer. So as an example, there was a lot of gyroscopic technology out there in the marketplace, but it really took the Wii and the Wii Remote to really make it mainstream. Even going back all the way back to the Nintendo DS, that was the first electronic device that really made extensive use of a touchscreen.”
It is important to note that Nintendo initially had a rather disastrous VR experience. In 1995 Nintendo released the Virtual Boy, a standalone 3D headset console that is notorious for being terrible. The device gave users headaches and featured rather unpopular games. It took until nearly 2011 for Nintendo to even considering jumping back into the 3D/VR game. If you are curious, you can download the Virtual Boy emulator, VBijn-Ovr, for Oculus Rift.
Nintendo’s booth at E3 was rather low-key this year. The entire showroom was dedicated to Legends of Zelda: A Breath of the Wild. Next month Nintendo in partnership with Niantic are releasing Pokemon Go, their latest handheld 3DS game. Users will be able to capture and fight their Pokemon through their smartphone cameras. Nintendo is also working on releasing four more mobile games in partnership with the Japanese developer DeNA, featuring the worlds of “Animal Crossing” and “Fire Emblem.” The company has also announced their next game console called NX, however there is currently little information available on the system.