Nintendo’s Fils-Aime: Current state of VR isn’t fun

Without a doubt, the most talked about things at E3 this year is virtual and augmented reality.

Every company seems to be either looking into reality-altering technology, creating games for it or even making their own hardware. But there is one major exception: Nintendo.

And given the 126-year-old company’s history, it’s an odd exception.

After all, Nintendo was one of the first major video game makers to fully embrace the use of virtual reality in games with its release in 1995 of the Virtual Boy. The headset, which displayed monochromatic 3D games using a parallax effect, was a system both too futuristic and not futuristic enough when it was released. It was dismal failure and was discontinued about six months after its launch.

The company had much greater success with its augmented reality experiments, which include a number of mini-games and experiences on the 3DS.

Earlier this week, I had a chance to chat with Fils-Aime about his take on the industry, Nintendo and the state of things to come in gaming. In light of Microsoft’s HoloLens, the Oculus Rift, the PlayStation’s Project Morpheus, I wanted to know if Nintendo was reevaluating its take on virtual reality. Is there a Virtual Boy 2 in our future?

Probably not, at least not yet. Nintendo, it seems, remains pessimistic about the current state of the technology.

“We have knowledge of the technical space, and we’ve been experimenting with this for a long, long time,” Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime. “What we believe is that, in order for this technology to move forward, you need to make it fun and you need to make it social.

“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.”

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