Many of us, including Oculus Rift creator Palmer Luckey, have dreamed of the day that Nintendo gets into VR. According to a new report, that day may be coming soon.
Digitimes is citing sources “from the related upstream supply chain” in saying that the company’s next major hardware release, the unrevealed Nintendo NX, has missed its original mass-production plan starting mid-2016 and will instead by starting up in early 2017. But here’s the really exciting part in all of this; apparently Nintendo made that delay not only to improve the overall experience the system offers but also to include some form of VR support.
The popular rumour surrounding the NX is that it will be some sort of hybrid of both a home console and a handheld device, perhaps allowing players access to their complete software library from anywhere. This handheld portion includes a 5 to 7 inch display, which Digitimes says will now have a “VR function” added to give the company a leg in the new race.
The report doesn’t elaborate, but this sounds like the device could perhaps be plugged into another peripheral similar to mobile-based HMDs like the Gear VR and Google Cardboard.
It’s tough to know what to make of this rumour. Digitimes is certainly a respectable source, but Nintendo has been reluctant to support VR in the past. Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aimé infamously denounced the tech at last year’s E3, though more recent reports have suggested that the company is looking at it once more.
If there’s any company that we want to see in VR, though, it’s Nintendo. Not only does the group hold some of the biggest and most beloved IP in the industry – Metroid VR, anyone? – but it’s also shown a commitment to innovation that few others possess in recent years. The Wii U might go down as a failure, but it showed the company willing to take risks that both Sony and Microsoft have steered clear of. That’s what we want to see in VR.
If true, this could also mean that each of the three major console makers are now involved in VR. Sony of course has PlayStation VR for PlayStation 4, while Microsoft is rumoured to be seeking Oculus Rift support for a new, more powerful Xbox One to release next year. We’re hoping to see NX at E3 this year even though Nintendo has made a surprise appearance look doubtful. If we do, the event could just be every VR fan’s dream. This is getting interesting, isn’t it?