Nintendo legend Shigeru Miyamoto lets on that Virtual Reality is on Nintendo’s mind.
Although the potentially anti-social aspect of VR, with one player cut off from the world locked into a TV strapped onto their face, does go against what Nintendo are trying to achieve with the Wii U. Speaking to Time, in response to a question about Nintendo’s stance on VR gaming tech Miyamoto notes, “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.” adding, “it’s intended to be fun not only for the person who’s playing, but also for the people who are watching.”
“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. And so I have a little bit of uneasiness with whether or not that’s the best way for people to play.”
Miyamoto isn’t alone on the issue of the anti-social qualities of VR. Recently Sony have revealed a second screen initiative for the Project Morpheus VR headset wherein the visual experience from the headset can also be shown on screen for others to watch and interact with.
Nintendo, who have already toyed with VR with their rather unsuccessful Virtual Boy and to a lesser degree the 3DS, would be looking to provide a similar all-in VR/audience participation experience.
“So from Nintendo’s perspective, there’s interest in the technology,” Miyamoto said in closing, “but we think it might be better suited to some sort of attraction style of entertainment, say something at a video game arcade or things like that, rather than something that one person plays alone.”
Following a bright E3 with Nintendo putting lots of work into raising the ‘everybody’s console’ image of the Wii U it’s unlikely we’ll be seeing any Nintendo branded tech anytime soo