Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto discusses why the Italian plumber will not be coming to virtual reality, stating Mario is meant for, 'families to play together.'
Yesterday's announcement of Super Mario Run, Nintendo's most iconic franchise in its first appearance on mobile platforms, marked a significant moment in the company's history. With the success of Pokemon Go and the reveal of a fast-tracked Mario title for mobile, Nintendo is well and truly invested in the platform. It's only natural that some are curious whether Nintendo is exploring opportunities on other emerging platforms -- for instance, virtual reality.
After the debut of Super Mario Run USA Today was able to interview Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto, taking the opportunity to ask whether any plans for Mario coming to VR were in motion. Miyamoto was candid with his reply, insisting no such plans existed. Miyamoto did extrapolate some, providing a very Nintendo reasoning why Mario won't be in VR any time soon:
"I would agree that adapting Mario to new platforms is a key to keeping him relevant. But we want families to play together, and virtual reality (which requires players to be closed off from the real world) doesn't really fit well there. We also like people playing for a long time, and it's hard to do that in VR."
Overall, Miyamoto's response isn't too surprising, especially considering the nature of the event and announcement. Super Mario Run was shown during Apple's reveal of the iPhone 7 and iPhone Plus 7. Apple, as yet, has not moved into mobile virtual reality in the same way that competitor Samsung has with the Gear VR headset. While Super Mario Run will eventually be coming to Android, any VR plans would certainly not be mentioned here.
Nintendo's stance on virtual reality since the platform began moving into the mainstream has been consistent. The company has resolutely maintained that it has no plans to release virtual reality products. Nintendo of America boss Reggie Fils-Aime's often quoted statement that, "VR is no fun," is often shared. Yet Nintendo's CEO has at the very least admitted interest in VR, before going on to say that VR isn't ready for the mainstream in recent months.
That hasn't stopped rumors from collecting around Nintendo's upcoming console, the NX. In the months leading up to E3, and some even more recently, rumors claimed that the Nintendo NX would feature virtual reality support. More recent, and likely substantive, rumor show this to be unlikely. If Nintendo will make a move into virtual reality it will likely be through mobile VR support like with the Gear VR. That's a big "if" though.
Super Mario Run will launch on iOS devices later this year, with Android to follow. Mario in virtual reality? That may be a ways out yet.
Source: USA Today