Our beloved Italian Plumber, Mario, is making another return, this time on a brand new platform with the upcoming release of it’s latest official mobile game. It can’t be said that Nintendo hasn’t completely milked this legendary IP to the brink, in fact, it doesn’t seem like they’re planning to stop anytime soon.
But as it turns out, this time round, Nintendo has some reservations regarding a new platform release, and it’s none other than Virtual Reality.
Super Mario Run, the company’s first official Mario focused mobile game for just the iOS(so far), was announced during Apple’s iPhone 7 launch event which took place earlier this week when, to the audience’s delight, Shigeru Miyamoto made a surprising appearance on-stage at the conference. And while Nintendo is whole-heartedly embracing phones as a new platform for the continuation of classic characters like Mario, Miyamoto is not so enthusiastic about the idea of Nintendo games being involved in virtual reality.
As Shigeru Miyamoto told USA Today,
I would agree that adapting Mario to new platforms is a key to keeping him relevant, But we want families to play together, and virtual reality (which requires players to be closed off from the real world) doesn’t really fit well there. We also like people playing for a long time, and it’s hard to do that in VR.
All in all, Miyamoto’s response isn’t all that surprising, especially when you take into account the nature of the event and announcement. Super Mario Run was showcased during Apple’s reveal of the iPhone 7 and iPhone Plus 7. Apple, as of yet, have not moved completely into mobile virtual reality in the way that competitor Samsung has with their Gear VR headset.
Also, one could easily see the reservations Miyamoto has with the VR world, which he believes is more closed off from the real one. And Mario is all about collecting coins and stomping on wierd cats, while having fun with your family and friends in the real world.
Nintendo’s ideology of virtual reality since their console began shifting into the mainstream has been the same. The company has maintained the fact that it has no plans to release any kind of virtual reality products. Nintendo’s America boss Reggie Fils-Aime’s often quoted the statement “VR is no fun,”. Yet Nintendo’s very own CEO has at the very least admitted to some interest in VR, before moving on to say that VR isn’t prepared for the mainstream in recent weeks.