Shigeru Miyamoto confirms that Nintendo is researching virtual reality technology, but notes his own reservations about the hardware other exhibitors brought to E3.
For Nintendo fans, the biggest question mark on the horizon is the NX. The console is expected to release within the next twelve months, but we still don’t know how the system will distinguish itself from its competitors — although some sort of virtual reality component remains a pervasive rumor.
Now, legendary Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto has poured fuel on the fire, confirming that the company is in indeed researching VR hardware during a shareholder’s meeting. However, it seems that the Japanese giant still has some reservations about the way that the technology works in a gaming context.
.@NStyles We're also researching VR, so we have the core technology. Long play sessions are an issue. We want to release something...— Cheesemeister (@Cheesemeister3k) June 29, 2016
Hardcore fans won’t be pleased by the prospect of children’s needs potentially blocking their enjoyment of a virtual Legend of Zelda, but it’s easy to see where Miyamoto is coming from. The failure of the Virtual Boy back in the 1990s was partly due to the fact that it caused major discomfort during long play sessions.
However, Miyamoto isn’t just concerned with Nintendo’s plans for VR hardware. A designer in his position needs to have a full awareness of the industry at large, so he did his due diligence and checked out what the competition was exhibiting at E3 earlier this month.
This comment suggests that Nintendo’s research into VR is perhaps quite different to the hardware already on the market. However, it’s difficult to infer exactly what Miyamoto means when he states that the experiences being exhibited at E3 weren’t what he was expecting.
Miyamoto actually did elaborate on his thoughts for shareholders on the call. However, he stated explicitly that these comments were private and should not be shared on the internet afterwards, so they were omitted from the series of tweets that were helpfully translated by Cheesemeister.
In the end, Miyamoto’s comments perhaps offer up more questions than answers — but that’s not to say they don’t contain any new information. Confirmation that Nintendo is indeed working on some sort of VR project is an intriguing hint toward what we might see from the company in the near future.
What remains to be seen is whether Nintendo’s interest in VR relates to the NX, or is just an example of the company covering all bases. As we draw nearer to the expected NX release date, we perhaps won’t have to wait too long to find out.