With most video game companies now jumping on the Virtual Reality bandwagon it will no doubt surprise some people that Nintendo hasn’t decided to venture into the space. Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime says that they have experimented with Virtual Reality and AR with the ill-fated Virtual Boy and the Nintendo 3DS. He also explained that they are currently conducting their own research with internal experiments, but the company simply doesn’t believe that Virtual Reality is ready for prime time yet. Instead, they are focussing on the growing popularity of eSports where they have seen big success with Super Smash Bros and the recent Nintendo World Championships 2015.
“We have a long and deep history with VR with Virtual Boy, and we also have a history with augmented reality because there’s AR in Nintendo 3DS,” Reggie Fils-Aime, president of Nintendo of America, says. “We know the tech and we know how the tech has evolved. For Nintendo, we always go beyond the tech to make sure that the experiences we do are fun and they’re social, and I think those are the two key opportunities today on the VR/AR space. Are they both fun and social? I don’t think that’s there yet. So we’re going to continue to stay close to the technology. We’re going to continue to do our own internal experiments, but we don’t believe it’s ready for prime time yet.”
“We saw success last year with the Smash Bros. Invitational, and Smash Bros. has always been a game in the eSports community,” Fils-Aime says. “What we’re really gratified to see is that the community has now embraced Super Smash Bros. for Wii U because it has the speed and customization they like. We’re also seeing them embrace Mario Kart 8, as well as Splatoon, in a competitive environment. We’ve always been close to the eSports space and will continue to be.”
“We’re fortunate that we’ve got the range of content to pull it off in the here and now, and we’re really gratified to see the reactions,” Fils-Aime says. “All of that is going to go into the mix as we think about proper opportunities, future E3s as well as potentially taking the idea outside of E3. So it’s something we’re going to be looking at really hard.”