We still don’t know exactly what Nintendo’s NX platform will be, but there’s a good chance it won’t support VR.
Following the surprising reveal of Super Mario Run at Apple’s press conference earlier this week, legendary game developer Shigeru Miyamoto expressed doubts that the Italian plumber was right for VR headsets. Speaking to USA Today, Miyamoto noted that it was important to adapt Mario to new platforms going forward, but Nintendo still wanted “families to play together, and virtual reality (which requires players to be closed off from the real world) doesn’t really fit well there.”
He also noted that it was hard to play VR for a long time, and the company wanted people spending long sessions on its titles. We’re not sure that fits the bill for the new Mario mobile game, but exceptions can be made.
It’s not the first time a major Nintendo figurehead has expressed concerns about VR. Back at E3 2016 Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime stated that the company wouldn’t get involved with VR tech until it had mainstream potential, obviously disagreeing with the likes of Oculus, HTC and Sony about when that time will be. Prior to this there had been rumors that the NX itself would support VR, though it seems like this won’t be the case.
That said, Miyamoto has previously confirmed the company is still looking at the tech, so there is hope for a Nintendo VR headset one day. Given the company’s incredible stable of franchises, including the likes of Metroid and The Legend of Zelda, we hope that day comes sooner rather than later.
There are VR experiences out there that defy Miyamoto’s assumptions, though. Local multiplayer games like Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes offer unique takes on social play that we haven’t really seen before. Sony is also giving away The Playroom VR for PlayStation VR, which brings players together across a range of mini-games, not unlike Nintendo’s own Mario Party series.
Still, if Super Mario Run can happen, anything’s possible, right?