Working out exactly where Nintendo stands on VR can be difficult, especially when one of its most prolific employees makes statements like this.
Shigeru Miyamoto, the beloved videogame designer behind series like Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda, was recently asked for his updated thoughts on VR technology by Time. He told the publication that, in terms of playing VR online, “I think a lot of the problems have been solved or are starting to be solved.” He confirmed that the company was looking into this use of the technology.
That initially seems to be an encouraging step forward from the man that previously said VR wouldn’t allow families to play together, but Miyamoto then cast doubt on how parents might view the tech. “But when I see people play virtual reality, it makes me worry,” he said, “just as for example if a parent were to see their kid playing virtual reality, it would probably make them worry.”
Nintendo has expressed concerns with how isolating VR can be before. This is a company that, in recent years, has become known for experiences like Wii Sports and, going back further, the Mario Kart series. Those are games that have people of all ages gather around the TV to play together. Clearly, Nintendo is having difficulty envisioning VR playing a big part in that style of game.
“Another issue and challenge that I think everybody faces is how to create an experience that’s both short enough while also fully fleshed out in virtual reality,” Miyamoto concluded.
Despite these concerns, we may well see some sort of VR support on Nintendo’s latest console, the Switch, set for release in a little over two week’s time on March 3rd. Earlier this month company President Tatsumi Kimishima said that it could bring VR support to the system if it could solve the tech’s comfort issues. Exactly how that device would work — Switch is a console/handheld hybrid that is less powerful than a PlayStation 4 — remains to be seen, but it’s one of VR’s most interesting questions right now.