Super Mario Creator Admits ‘Uneasiness’ towards VR Technology
In an interview with Time, Shigeru Miyamoto reflected on Nintendo’s experiments with the ill-fated Virtual Boy console and speculated whether or not he feels the gaming industry is ready for VR technology. When asked for his opinions on the likes of Sony’s Project Morpheus and the Oculus Rift headsets, Miyamoto mentioned Nintendo’s previous escapades with the format.
“We’ve been doing our own experiments with virtual reality dating back to the Virtual Boy. And even to some degree, the 3DS was designed with a little bit of this in mind with its stereoscopic 3D. So we’re always looking at hardware and assessing what’s possible,” Miyamoto said. “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.”
“It’s intended to be fun not only for the person who’s playing, but also for the people who are watching.”
Miyamoto also admitted that Nintendo definitely has an interest in the technology. The Donkey Kong creator speculated that VR headsets could belong in an attraction-like environment, like an arcade, instead of something someone plays alone. We must also mention that Miyamoto was seen trying out the Oculus Rift headset at its booth last week at E3 2014.
“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,” Miyamoto said. “That’s in direct contrast with what it is we’re trying to achieve with Wii U. And so I have a little bit of uneasiness with whether or not that’s the best way for people to play.”
Certainly, other giants in the technology industry appear to disagree as Facebook recently spent $2B on acquiring Oculus VR, and rival Sony has its own headset in the works in Morpheus. Though Nintendo may have been way too far ahead of the curve back in the day with the Virtual Boy, the company will have to stay abreast of further developments over the coming years in the emerging area.