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Reggie Explains Why Nintendo Is Betting On eSports Rather Than Virtual Reality

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.”

74 thoughts on “Reggie Explains Why Nintendo Is Betting On eSports Rather Than Virtual Reality”

  1. I think this is a smart decision on Nintendo’s part. Not gonna lie. VR has come a long way, but focusing on eSports instead of the VR tech is is good choice. Smash Bros is a hit and perhaps the Wii U’s best game in terms of replayability (right now) and the Nintendo World Championships were Nintendo’s biggest success during E3.

    They know how to do eSports right.

    1. I’ve played with the samsung vr, yes it’s very cool and awesome but I have to agree with nintendo, until we reach the point of what true vr should be, it’s not going to be a game changer

      1. I don’t disagree that VR has a long way to go but I really hope you’re not comparing the Samsung Gear VR to something like Oculus Rift or Morpheus though.

        1. There all garbage like Nintendo said current VR isnt fun VR has a long way to come before it will be mainstream jackass now hit that like button.

        2. VR having a long way to go is exactly why Nintendo as well should start getting into it. Other developers that are working on it already will be constantly gathering new knowledge about it along the advancement of the technology. By the time VR reaches, as you’ve put it, the point of what true VR should be, the competition will be able to jump right into it, while Nintendo will be lacking the required experience to make effective use of their knowledge. Basically, they will be lacking behind once again because they’ll be late to the party, as it often is the case.

            1. I don’t think they are lagging behind, if you read between the line, what reggie says is that nintendo, follow the technology very carefully and do a lot of in-house with the tech. I also understand those hardware are in the RnD department and are not ready to be commercialised cause the public is not ready and they don’t have the right application at the moment.

              1. I didn’t say they are lagging behind right now, I said they will be lagging behind once VR reaches a point where it becomes a much greater thing that it is right now. In-house testing and trying isn’t the same as bringing a product out and developing full-fledged software for it, that’s why other developers doing just that will always be ahead of Nintendo in terms of experience and knowledge about today’s VR technology.

                1. why do you want a develop a product when you know that the consumer is not yet ready for it. ROI will be even worse than the wii U. Nintendo has been following VR technology, 3 years before the virtualboy was launched and never give up on it. I think there are at stage 2 of developing the product (concept and feasibility). I do think they will take less time to develop a VR product than developing the NX.

                  1. How do you know the consumer is not ready yet? VR is getting big in the video game industry right now, and there must be a reason for that. Comparing the Virtualboy to anything VR of today is just silly imo. Circumstances were completely different back then.
                    I don’t know what you mean by ROI or the last part of your comment, so I can’t respond to that.

                    1. Roi = return on investment. If the consumer was ready the like of Samsung /apple /Ms/ Sony /Nintendo would have a product by then. It’s like the 3d printer which is really popular but not ready for household consumers. As for the evolution of Vr of course the technology evolved in 20 years. Nevertheless the virtual boy is still considered as one of the first object using Vr.

                    2. Get into to fail or wait for technology to get it right. They already failed at it let someone else repeat their history

                    1. pink0crystal0midbus

                      Reggie says that actually. They already experimented with VR tech with Virtual Boy and that is a factor in determining that VR tech is still not ready today.

                      1. Because a small system they created 20 years that bombed solely because Nintendo tried to be the first at innovating everything. The Virtual Boy wasn’t even actual virtual reality, but 2D sprites enhanced by a 3D glasses-like frame thus they weren’t realistic like Virtual Reality is supposed to convey. As well as the lack of tracking that even the Samsung VR has, and because of the mono red display, it caused health problems for a lot of people who used it.

                        And highly suggest you shouldn’t listen to Reggie’s opinion on VR since he didn’t even know about the Virtual Boy to begin with until 2011 after someone from Kotaku asked about it in an interview

                        Nintendo is just behind the times m8

                      2. In all seriousness though, Nintendo will die out, no idea what happened, they were a beast, but then just kept making bad business decisions? It upsets me greatly….

                      3. Nintendo Tetrarch Quadramus-NX

                        >>>Nobody will care much regardless of what machines you create if you don’t deliver the great games your highness>>>

                            1. Nintendo Tetrarch Quadramus-NX

                              >>>Silly human child, I often say the truth, you peons are just too stupid to understand it>>>

                              1. I'm a Boss Ass Bitch

                                No tetrabitch. If we listened to half of the bullshit you say than yes, we would be Damn right fucking stupid. That bullshit you spew out will make the dumbest animal on earth dumb as fuck.

                                    1. Nintendo Tetrarch Quadramus-NX

                                      >>>And yet about 90% do in one way or the other, the amount of butthurts is amusing, specially since basically all of them are caused by their own hands>>>

                                  1. “We know the Virtual Boy, so we definitely know VR, guys!”

                                    Good fucking grief. Yet something else that Nintendo will fall behind on and finally implement it in some fashion, only 5 years late.

                                    1. Quote’s taken out of context. Nintendo’s also saying that they’re doing internal experiments.

                                      In other words, they probably indeed created some prototypes related to virtual reality as part of their experiments other than the Virtual Boy. It’s just that to them, they don’t think the tech is ready yet, especially for their current goals.

                                      1. It’s Nintendo assuming they know what gamers want, again, and misreading the future of tech. Again. I am confident that they’ll eventually do a complete 180 on VR, but will be completely behind the times. Again.
                                        I’d be interested see their “internal experiments”, because if they can’t pull off something great right now, then what the hell are they doing? With innovative tech like this, you need to start early instead of going about it conservatively until it’s too late and you’re then just playing catch-up.
                                        Nintendo thinks that just because they took a risk with motion controls and it paid off that they can do all sorts of weird shit now and gamers will love it – but that obviously completely backfired on them with the Wii U….because the Wii’s success is not something you can repeat. It was a fad, and it was treated as such. Nintendo seems to either play things very safe until they see it take off, in which case they try to catch up in such a miserable way, or they go in a far different direction in the hopes that it pays off. I don’t think either mindset is good for them.

                                        1. Do you actually know what Nintendo’s trying to do, or are you just complaining because you’re not getting your way?

                                          People like you, that is, the ones who keep nagging what they want Nintendo to do, are evidently NOT their target audience. They’re trying to develop games that are fun to everyone, not to appease the vocal minority.

                                          The reason why the Nintendo Wii’s the weakest of the 7th generation consoles is because Nintendo believes that great gaming experiences triumphs processing power. Even back then, third parties rarely supported it, and if they did, it’s highly likely to be watered down in one form or another due to their laziness in working around the limitations of the console. Even back then, people used to decry the Wii as their last console, especially within the Wii’s early lifespan.

                                          They’re trying to be innovative because they’re trying to think of new ways for gamers to have fun. They don’t care about technological marvels. Nor do they care about processing power. The reason why they’re not revealing their experimentation and the like is probably because they don’t want others to steal their ideas (in other words, the official reasoning they’ve used in an attempt to justify them giving so little details about the NX).

                                        2. The Virtual boy was real VR retard i guess your retard ass never owned one on here makeing comments lol

                                      2. All of this talk about “social” is usually the parts about video games that I never care about. The online crap that I never bother with.

                                          1. Nintendo kinda reminds me of my own self in some ways. Like, the one that’s always different from the rest. SO me.

                                            1. The type that try so hard to be different JUST to be different. So not creative at all and just trying to come off as such. Good stuff.

                                          2. Probably just the fact that VR atm requires too much power for Nintendo -consoles. It’s also not something most companies can go all-out for since it is still so expensive and niche.

                                          3. VR S A PAHETIC GEEK FAD


                                            NO ONE WANTS A LOST ROBOT TOURIST, SITTING IN THERE LIVING ROOM

                                            LOOKING BACK AND FORTH ITS THE NEW 3D TV A FAIL

                                            NINTENDO IS FUCUSING ON GAMING-GAMEPLAY-CONTROLS

                                            THATS WHAT GAMING IS

                                          4. Hopefully this isn’t just smoke. I’d like to see NoA put some more money behind making their competitive games into reputable eSports. Smash is commonly known as a poor man’s eSport. Kart and Splatoon aren’t really on the radar yet, but that would be great to see.

                                          5. I’m happy with that I don’t fancy wearing a helmet when I want to play a game. and how stupid will it looks when you are with 5 friends and 4 are wearing some silly thing and the 5th is just watching the you not knowing what is going on.

                                            so did they decide to make federation force because of the e-sports. I hope not.

                                            1. Nintendo Tetrarch Quadramus-NX

                                              >>>The technology itself might be for now, but the amount of never ending stupdity aong humans is not, soon we will hear about all the pain delivered by these imbeciles just like the civilian cattle caused when we made our sacred Wiimotes>>>

                                              1. Except the Wii Remote examples were self-inflicted by their stupidity so they can blame Nintendo and score their easy hype money. I kept saying “stop swinging the fucking thing so hard and it won’t fly like a indoor missile ya DUMBASSES!” But do you think they’ll ever grown enough fucking brain cells to recognize crap from their own stupidity? Nope. lol

                                                  1. Which of course have appealing use and intuitive input. Motion Controls works best with FPS while touch is for interaction with puzzles, environment, menus, secondary point of view and such. VR is just an extension of 3D and that too is also a fad. 3D on 3DS is okay for once in a while enjoyment but not a permanent substantial engagement in gaming.

                                                1. Ohhh so by Esports he meant all the good games. I thought he meant Wii Sports and junk like that and I was like, you’re going to trade AR for sports!?! Not that I have anything against Wii Sports, you know what I mean.

                                                2. > Why Nintendo is Betting on eSports
                                                  Then next year’s NWC should be more international in coverage (separate Japan, EU, and Latin America, and rest of world qualifiers please) and should feature Splatoon, Mario Kart 8, Super Mario Maker, NES Remix, and SSB4.

                                                  1. Screw Mario Kart 8 in the competition- 8 is the most luck-based MK yet, thanks in part to useless coins being item box contents.

                                                  1. Nintendo Tetrarch Quadramus-NX

                                                    >>>If anything eSports is getting bigger and bigger, I don’t know what false information you have been fed>>>

                                                  2. I really dislike the term e-sports and the connotations it brings but on the other hand I also agree with Nintendo that VR is kind of in its infant stages right now. I had a chance to test out a development kit for Oculus Rift and while it’s certainly interesting tech, there isn’t much fun about it until developers work on enjoyable games for the hardware.

                                                  3. Pingback: Miyamoto Explains Why Nintendo Isn’t Jumping On The VR Band Wagon | My Nintendo News

                                                    1. Virutal reality homosexual marriage in usa the world in ending son…but gameing died in 1995…and final fantasy 3 fir snes is better than final fantasy 7 for ps and 2d gameing rules.

                                                  4. Well it’s not like Nintendo has been wrong the whole time…
                                                    They had some disdain for CD tech. It took a while but now, everyone is glad the Nintendo Switch isn’t using CDs.
                                                    Also, about motion tech, Nintendo rebuffed the Kinect idea. When the Kinect was launched, People slandered Nintendo for letting go of such tech… But now the Kinect is dead and the switch has evolved the Wii’s gimmick.

                                                    My point, they might be right to hold out a little on VR. I think they are ready for it, but until they reach a point where they can offer it as a unique stand-alone household/portable product with compelling software and at a more reasonable price point, it’s best to wait for the tech to mature.

                                                  5. Pingback: Nintendo Explains why They Don’t Care About Virtual Reality for the Future. My Thoughts. | Oculus Rift Blog

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