Gamers have long dreamt of virtual reality headsets that would allow them to explore in-game worlds with detailed graphics and simulated 3D environments. Now that Sony has unveiled Project Morpheus, and Oculus Rift is getting closer to release, that dream looks like it may become a reality. The only one who doesn't seem excited about this new technology is Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Donkey Kong, Super Mario Brothers and The Legend of Zelda franchises, who has been in the gaming industry longer than most. Speaking with TIME, Miyamoto stated that he felt “uneasy” about VR technology.
Nintendo has always focused on the social factor of gaming. While it may be common practice for modern titles to only allow for online multiplayer, Nintendo has made a conscious effort to let players continue enjoying their games with nearby friends. This eventually helped Nintendo gain their image as a family-friendly gaming company, one that entire households could enjoy together. This is something that Nintendo has continued to heavily promote with the Wii U, which Miyamoto stated directly contrasts the experience players will have with a virtual reality headset.
We want the Wii U to be a game system that brings video gamers into the living room...When you think about what virtual reality is, which is one person putting on some goggles and playing by themselves kind of over in a corner, or maybe they go into a separate room and they spend all their time alone playing in that virtual reality, that's in direct contrast with what it is we're trying to achieve with Wii U. And so I have a little bit of uneasiness with whether or not that's the best way for people to play.
Many gamers might remember that Nintendo once dabbled with VR technology back in the 1990's, with the colossal failure known as the Virtual Boy. Miyamoto told TIME that Nintendo still hasn't given up interest on this technology, and that the 3DS' stereoscopic 3D was a way for them to incorporate certain aspects of virtual reality into their modern gaming platforms. Introversion issues aside, factors like consumer cost and availability have also prevented Nintendo from going further with their own development of a working VR headset. As of yet, the company hasn't stated any official plans to actively pursue this market, though things might change after the release of Project Morpheus and Oculus Rift.