Miyamoto Discusses Nintendo and Virtual Reality

Despite the growing popularity of virtual reality devices, it doesn't seem likely that Nintendo will debut a VR device any time soon.

Ever since pictures surfaced last week of Nintendo executive Shigeru Miyamoto testing out the Oculus Rift at E3, people have been wondering if we can see a virtual reality Nintendo system in the future.  

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However, it doesn’t look like a new virtual reality system or virtual reality Wii U is in the works for Nintendo.

On June 14, an interview with Time was released where Miyamoto discussed his thoughts.  Although he said he was interested in virtual reality technology, he feels that it will take away from their goals.

“As game designers, we at Nintendo are interested in VR technology and what it can do, but at the same time what we’re trying to do with Wii U is to create games for everyone in the living room. We want the Wii U to be a game system that brings video gamers into the living room.”

This isn’t the first time Miyamoto has spoken about the Wii U bringing everyone together in the living room.  One of Nintendo’s main objectives is to bring people together and make it fun for everyone, whether they’re playing the game or not.

Virtual reality devices, especially those like the Oculus Rift that are goggles, are one-player games.  The player alone is experiencing the “reality” which can’t really be shared with those around him. 

“When you think about what virtual reality is, which is one person putting on some goggles and playing by themselves kind of over in a corner, or maybe they go into a separate room and they spend all their time alone playing in that virtual reality, that’s in direct contrast with what it is we’re trying to achieve with Wii U.”

However, don’t think that this means we will never see any new virtual reality games from Nintendo in the future.  Miyamoto said that they think virtual reality games may be best “at a video game arcade or things like that.” So they aren’t closing the door entirely on VR.

However, Nintendo has experimented with virtual reality since 1995– long before Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus– with the VR system Virtual Boy. But it was a terrible failure, which may contribute now to the general uneasiness surrounding virtual reality.  Miyamoto also said that the handheld 3DS was designed with some virtual reality in mind, so perhaps that’s as close as we will get to a newer Nintendo virtual reality console for now.

It seems like Nintendo is wary of all newer forms of technology, though.  Earlier this year, they denied any rumors that their games would make it to smartphones in the form on mini-games. They also don’t think that livestreaming, which allows PC and next-gen console players show their games on sites such as Twitch.tv, is fun and has any place in Nintendo other than just showing a highlight reel, like you can with Mario Kart 8.

But with the growing success of the Wii U over the past month, do they really even need to dabble in the VR craze? It seems that Nintendo knows what works for them.

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Krystina Butler
The droid you're looking for. Mordor adventurer. Coffee ninja. Zombie scholar. Award-winning reader. Gaming evangelist.