What Nintendo’s new interest in VR means for its next console
Two decades after the flop of the Virtual Boy and after years of saying that virtual reality isn't a good fit for its company philosophy, Nintendo has joined the swelling ranks of tech companies interested in VR. The news comes from a Nintendo earnings call out of Japan last night, during which Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima reportedly said the company is "looking into" VR.
Nintendo didn't provide any other details about any potential VR plans, but the tidbit is especially interesting considering Nintendo's work on the still shadowy NX console, first mentioned last March. Since that announcement, we've been left guessing about a project Nintendo has only said is "the new hardware system with a brand-new concept." With the Wii U seemingly not powerful enough to drive a really convincing, high-res VR headset, it's not ridiculous to think that Nintendo has been "looking into" VR as an integral part of its new NX hardware.
If Nintendo has been working on a VR system this whole time, though, it has done a good job of hiding it. Until today, the company has been consistently bearish on the kind of VR technology that has excited much of the gaming industry. When asked about VR plans back in 2014, Nintendo Senior Director of Corporate Communications Charlie Scibetta told Ars that the company "[tries] to innovate on our own and not necessarily follow what others have done just for the sake of doing that."