Nintendo’s recently delayed follow up to its Wii U console, code-named NX, now seems unlikely to feature any core VR technology, according to indication from top executive Shigeru Miyamoto at an annual shareholder meeting this week.
Nintendo needs new hardware, badly. Its follow up to the hugely successful Wii games console, the Wii U, failed to ignite public interest and has fallen badly behind its competitors Sony and Microsoft in market share. The new hope for the company’s home console business is sailing in their new system, code-named NX, around which feature set rumours have been rampant these past months.
Nintendo recently announced that it was to delay the new console’s release until March 2017, missing that all important holiday sales season to implement “… an idea that we’re working on,” according to Nintendo executive and all round gaming legend Shigeru Miyamoto, the man behind some of the firms greatest gaming creations, Mario and Zelda.
These comments led to a feeding frenzy of speculation in the press as to what the new feature could be, with most theories revolving around VR, thanks to recent hype in the gaming sector, helped by Sony’s forthcoming entry into the VR market with PlayStation VR and Microsoft’s assertions it would join them. The new feature was probably VR, reports suggested and the delay was to give Nintendo time to implement immersive technologies into its new console.
Now, in a report at the Wall Street Journal, comments again made by Miyamoto, have been taken as strong indications that Nintendo will forgo virtual reality as a core feature of its latest hardware. At an annual meeting for shareholders, Miyamoto said of VR “We’ve been looking at the technology, but we should also see how it fits into our products that are designed to use for the long term and how parents would feel about their children mounting VR devices,” before also sharing concerns about shared gaming experiences with immersive technology like VR – something Nintendo is all about.
Meanwhile at E3, Nintendo’s biggest competitors Sony and Microsoft were positioning themselves to take advantage of the rise of the latest wave of interest in VR. With PlayStation VR on its way to stores from October 13 and Microsoft making some very strong moves towards setting up a VR platform with their high-spec Xbox Scorpio system next year, it’s hard to think that Nintendo may be missing out on an opportunity to enter the space now.
But Nintendo has never been a company that followed suit, sometime to the exasperation of even its biggest fans, and some could argue its bottom line in recent years. And clearly this report isn’t a categorical denial for the inclusion of any immersion technologies in NX. If the new feature isn’t VR or AR however, what do they have up their sleeves?