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It seems that Nintendo is no longer “investigating” virtual reality

Expand / It seems that this patent image that emerged in 2016 is the closest we are going to get to VR headsets approved by Nintendo in the short term.

Readers with decent memories can remember In early 2016, when Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima said the company was researching the virtual reality space in an investor's report. Coming months before we had concrete details about the company's next Switch, the statement rattled industry alarms about possible future Nintendo plans. A vague Nintendo patent for a head-mounted tablet case that came to light at the end of 2016 made the talk go even further.

Fast forward to today and it is increasingly clear that Nintendo has finished "watching" and has decided that virtual reality should not be part of their plans at the moment. The latest evidence comes from a recent interview with the general manager of Nintendo France, Philippe Lavoué, in the French publication Les Numeriques. "If you look at the VR headsets, I doubt they can appeal to the mainstream," Lavoué said in a translation of that interview. "Consumers are not patient with entertainment if you can not deliver an all-inclusive package."

Lavoué continues to minimize any need for Nintendo to invest in hardware capable of full 4K images, saying that TV viewing technology "has not been adopted by the majority" and, therefore, it would be a premature investment for the company . "And what new feature would we bring compared to our competitors?" he said. "If we do exactly the same as everyone else, we will die because we are smaller than they are.With Switch, we offer different uses, adapted to the rhythm of life of the players.The advantage is to be able to fit into their daily life."

The new comments echoes those made by Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime, who told Fortune last June that when it comes to virtual and augmented reality, "Are they fun and social? I think that's still there . "

Fils-Aime has been making some variation of that line since at least 2014, when it told the AP that" the technology [for VR] is not there yet, in our opinion … when it is there and allows a fun experience, we will also be there. "

Nintendo's Senior Director of Corporate Communications, Charlie Scibetta, left the virtual reality door a little more open at the time and told Ars in 2014 that "anything would help to increase the gameplay and make it more entertaining, we would certainly think, and we are always seeing new technologies. " And the legendary Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto told NPR in 2015 that the company "experimented [s] with virtual reality and different technologies", even when he said, "we do not believe that virtual reality fits well" to the Nintendo family focused game philosophy.

Regarding 4K, Fils-Aime said in a Verge interview last year that focusing on the current high-definition television audience was "a strategy that frankly is too limited". Also note that Nintendo's first HD console was not released until the end of 2012, when the viewing standard had penetrated more than 75 percent of US homes. UU

Given that pace, we could wait quite a while for the company to adopt what is now considered the "high-end" of VR and 4K technologies. For the time being, we'll have to settle for improvised stereoscopic covers and third-party Japanese arcade installations to give us clues about what an Nintendo-approved virtual reality experience might be like.

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