Nintendo of America president and CEO Reggie Fils-Aime discusses the viability of virtual reality and reveals Nintendo’s opinion of the new technology.
Nintendo has always been a company that has no qualms with heading in its own direction, far away from what other influencers in the video game industry are doing. While Sony and Microsoft spent time making their newest consoles more powerful than ever, Nintendo was busy designing the Wii and Wii U. Those systems certainly had their flaws, but when it comes to determining which company thrives on innovation and trying out risky new ideas, there’s no comparison – Nintendo loves a good gamble.
That reputation, though, is exactly why gamers have been left wondering why Nintendo hasn’t jumped all over the opportunity to produce virtual reality games the same way Sony has with the PlayStation VR. Nintendo of America president and CEO Reggie Fils-Aime clarified the company’s stance on VR in an interview with Bloomberg West conducted yesterday:
“In my judgment, I think VR is a bit further out there for mainstream, mass market applications and applications that consumers can invest a lot of time in versus short snacks of entertainment.”
Classic Nintendo-style food analogy aside, it’s interesting to hear Nintendo of America’s CEO dismiss VR currently for being not mainstream enough. Given that Nintendo has often offered the most affordable options in recent console generations, however, it’s possible Fils-Aime means that virtual reality is too expensive right now to justify a large investment from Nintendo.
The cost of VR certainly hasn’t deterred other prominent members of the video game industry, however. Sony is still aggressively pushing VR technology and games at E3 2016, and gamers, for the most part, have responded with excitement over virtual reality rather than apprehension. When a company as savvy as Sony is willing to invest the time and money into partnering with Square Enix to bring Final Fantasy 15 on PS4 a VR experience of its own, one would think that’s an indicator that VR is on its way to the mainstream in a hurry.
Still, it would be foolish to discount the opinion of someone as experienced as Fils-Aime, especially if Nintendo really has decided to “make sure that [its] next content is going to be mainstream and mass market approachable”. If Nintendo is reining things in a little in the wake of the flurry of new technology being announced at E3 2016, then perhaps the video game world should take notice.
What do you think about Fils-Aime’s opinion on VR? Is Nintendo missing out on a golden opportunity to compete early in a VR movement that is sure to expand in coming years? Let us know in the comments below.