Nintendo of America CEO: VR isn’t ready for mainstream


Photo credit – Gameinrealm

Virtual reality is the hot new technology on the block, and a number of companies are jumping on the bandwagon to get their content on the platform. The tech isn’t limited to PC, either. PlayStation developer Sony are launching their own Playstation VR headset, which they believe will help make the tech accessible to a much wider variety of consumers.

While Sony thinks consumer VR is ready to be pushed out to the mainstream, Nintendo isn’t as convinced.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Nintendo of America CEO Reggie Fils-Aime stated that he believes the technology needs to reach a more mainstream level before the company produces its own content. In his eyes, the current state of VR is made of of short interactive experiences, and needs to be ready for mainstream gaming before it would be profitable to get in on the action.

In my judgment, I think VR is a bit further out there for mainstream, mass market applications and applications that consumers can invest a lot of time in versus short snacks of entertainment. For us, we want to make sure that technology is mainstream. We want to make sure the technology represents strong value to the consumer… So the way we look at VR or even AR… for us the technology has to be at a point where it can be mainstream, and then it takes content creating companies like us to really make things that the consumer wants to experience, that they want to jump into the particular technology.

The company experimented with AR technologies in the past, using it’s Nintendo 3DS consoles in combination with special cards to project its characters into the real world. While the idea was quite neat and interesting, the feature certainly wasn’t a game changer, and likely played a part in the company’s decision to take a step back from the new tech. Furthermore, Nintendo’s attempts at (pseudo) VR didn’t work out so well with the Virtual Boy in the 90s.

Nintendo’s new “Nintendo NX” console is slated for release next year, and whether or not virtual reality tech will be included has yet to be seen. If Fils-Aime’s statement is anything to go off of, though, it appears that Nintendo may be waiting to use the technology further down the road when it is much more established.

Do you think Nintendo should be jumping on the technology now? What do you think about their decision to wait until it goes more mainstream? Let us know in the comments below.

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