Samuel Brace on Nintendo’s opinion on Virtual Reality…
Another drop in the alienated Nintendo bucket fell this week. If we didn’t need further proof that one of the most beloved companies in gaming was about as relevant as a Nokia flip phone, we got another reminder from Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America’s President, via his quite frankly embarrassing opinions on Virtual Reality.
In an interview with Polygon he said:
“I haven’t walked the floor, so I can’t say in terms of what’s on the floor today, but at least based on what I’ve seen to date, it’s not fun, and it’s not social. It’s just tech”.
It’s hard to really find the words or the best way to express what a hilarious statement this really is. Anyone who has used VR or even got in earshot of the hoopla surrounding Oculus and Microsoft’s OR HoloLens at this year’s E3, knows just how damn game changing this tech is going to be. Sure, VR is very hard to sell, you’ll never understand its true power without first trying it yourself but the tech is undeniably viable. So to hear such words from Nintendo is not only wildly baffling but another indication as to why they’re own hardware is failing, why they are becoming increasingly irrelevant to gamers, and why even some die-hard Nintendo fans are struggling to keep up the fight for the brand they care so much about.
The quote was particularly interesting as it came from the same man who said, during another Polygon interview back in 2014, that Twitch wasn’t all that great.
“We don’t think streaming 30 minutes of gameplay by itself is a lot of fun.”
Well, Mr Fils-Aime, you’re right. We all know how terribly Twitch and game streaming is doing. What a pointless and fledgling trend that has turned out to be.
To be honest this is all pretty depressing. Nintendo used to be about innovation, about creating truly special, new experiences for gamers and to see them fall so dramatically from grace is not something any of us are enjoying. I don’t know… if this is truly how they feel then I underestimated how far a drift they really are. All this does is further illustrate why they should get out of hardware, why they should just stop and start making great games on platforms where people will actually play them. They need to get back to what made them so special to begin with, get back in touch with their fans, to the millions that love their games. They need to innovate, create, bring new dynamic ideas to their franchises and if that were to happen who knows what glories the future might hold. They are sitting on top a virtual gold mine of IP’s. Imagine if Mario and friends were all of a sudden playable on Xbox, or Sony, or both! They could climb that mountain again and be the force of nature that we all want them to be. People still love and want to be excited for their games but all of these franchises are worth nothing with the ideas, thoughts and complete lack of vision currently being expressed at Nintendo HQ. All those untold piles of money might not last as long as they think.
I want Nintendo to come back from this slump, we all do, but to hear such remarks about tech that is taking the gaming community by swarm, that is clearly fun, that is obviously innovative and game changing, is so disheartening but also, unfortunately, not even that surprising. This is what we have come to suspect from them. I want to say that this isn’t Nintendo but to so many — especially younger generations — this is Nintendo. At this rate, if they keep this up, they might end up joining other ghosts of gaming past, like SEGA for instance. Remember them?
Come on Nintendo. Stop. Enough of this. We miss you.