Or a step to something bigger?
The media has been buzzing for about a year now over Oculus Rift, a Virtual Reality (VR) headset that began on Kickstarter and received a remarkable amount of funding. For some, this is something from a fantasy. A headset that allows you to essentially enter the game? Magic.
Sony responded by confirming that they too have a VR headset in development, known currently as Project Morpheus. One of the big features of E3 was each of these headsets. But some of us have been left wondering, where is Nintendo, normally the master of innovation, in regards to VR?
Maybe you remember a commercial failure from 1995 called the Virtual Boy? Maybe not. It was discontinued a year later and the big "N" likes to push that piece of history away.
Nintendo attempted to create a VR headset way back in 1995 (literally before the analog stick was used for home consoles). It was a failure (for obvious reasons), they moved on to the Nintendo 64, and everything was fine. But of course, the question remains. Maybe they were just too early? Maybe, with VR becoming popular, they'll try again?
The answer? Maybe. Just maybe.
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.
Nintendo is known for being innovative. With the Wii U, by adding features such as Miiverse, they are pushing for social gaming. Not just online gaming. Social gaming. Working together to solve problems. Using Tingle Bottles in Wind Waker HD to help players discover things, for example. Team work. Unity. (Wii "U" anyone?)
Virtual Reality opens up possibilities for a company like Nintendo. With Oculus and Morpheus, we'll get a chance to experience realistic graphics from third parties through VR. With Nintendo, things would be different. VR would be more artistic. Looking at a Mario or Zelda game in VR wouldn't be a hyper realistic experience. It would be a cultural one. It would be colorful, artistic, fun, simply beautiful. Players would see the world in a whole new way. And they would do it together, unified, in a social setting. Miiverse would be experienced in the way that it was intended. It could potentially unite cultures from all over the world. Maybe, just maybe, they will increase our quality of life.
What do you think about the future of Virtual Reality and Nintendo? Will they use it as a stepping stone to something that's culturally huge?
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