Miyamoto: Oculus Rift-Style VR Goes Against Wii U's Values

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Miyamoto: Oculus Rift-Style VR Goes Against Wii U's Values

miyamoto using oculus rift

Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto has a little bit of uneasiness with whether or not strapping big goggles to your face is the best way for people to play video games.

Earlier in the week, we heard from Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Amie about how Virtual Reality isn't quite there yet, but that Nintendo would be on board when it is. In that story, we mentioned that legendary Nintendo developer Shigeru Miyamoto gave the Oculus Rift a whirl at E3, and now, we have the master's thoughts on it.

Essentially, Miyamoto believes that the kind of gaming experience the Rift offers is "in direct contrast with what it is we're trying to achieve with Wii U." He told Time Magazine that "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."

You can see how the "sitting by yourself in a corner" concept would go against all of those "happy family playing Wii together" stock images. Miyamoto added that he has a little bit of uneasiness with whether or not Oculus Rift-style Virtual Reality is the best way for people to play video games.

He did say that Nintendo still had an interest in and was experimenting with the technology, but just not in the same way the Oculus Rift is turning out to be. "The 3DS was designed with a little bit of [VR tech] in mind with its stereoscopic 3D. So we're always looking at hardware and assessing what's possible," he said.

Source: Time Magazine

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Two things:
1. Japanese culture emphasizes the power of friends, and peer pressure is seen as an ally, not an enemy. This is why so many superheroes are teams, like Science Ninja Team Gatchaman
2. They tired this. They failed.

Considering Nintendo are the last ones who seem to care about local play with friends, I can totally get this. Not many games these days have split-screen anymore...

I think you could come up with some pretty cool ideas for group focused virtual reality. It would be expensive to have multiple occulus rifts for instance but one person could put it on and the others could affect the game being played with controllers and the television.

An example is a person is playing Zelda and running through a forest, the friends can hop on with controllers and play as monsters attacking the vr player. Another example is you could do the whole role playing thing and have the vr person explore a town and the other players can switch into the townspeople and control how they act. The only real problem is Nintendo would have to make their own proprietary vr headset and either bundle it with a console or release it separately and hope people buy it. Nintendo would never use other people's tech.

Well considering Nintendo's core values seem to be:

* Remake the same five games over ad nausea.
* Be conservative in every decision.
* Don't use any technology that hasn't already existed for five years.

Then I'd say Miyamoto has a point.

I think it's not so much "going against Nintendo's values", as rendering Nintendo's values obselete.

For a decade now, gamers have been gradually warming up to the idea of online multiplayer as a social activity, while Nintendo has been dragging it's feet and relying on how personal local presence still makes thing a bit more social.

To have other players sitting next to you, look them in the eye, see them laughing, gesticulating, etc, pleases a part of the brain that isn't pleased by the intellectual knowledge that the texts ou read on a screen are from humans, and the tiny figures in the game are controlled by them.

But with VR, the two can be the same. When you are talking to a teammate's full-scale avatar with body tracking standing right in front of you, while your "real" surroundings are filtered out, then suddenly online multiplayer is more social than local.

I'd personally like to see one like the m2d thing from the .hack universe

Alterego-X:
I think it's not so much "going against Nintendo's values", as rendering Nintendo's values obselete.

For a decade now, gamers have been gradually warming up to the idea of online multiplayer as a social activity, while Nintendo has been dragging it's feet and relying on how personal local presence still makes thing a bit more social.

To have other players sitting next to you, look them in the eye, see them laughing, gesticulating, etc, pleases a part of the brain that isn't pleased by the intellectual knowledge that the texts ou read on a screen are from humans, and the tiny figures in the game are controlled by them.

But with VR, the two can be the same. When you are talking to a teammate's full-scale avatar with body tracking standing right in front of you, while your "real" surroundings are filtered out, then suddenly online multiplayer is more social than local.

^This. I don't think Nintendo realise this is the 21st century now. We've realised we don't need to physically touch someone to become friends with them and enjoy hanging out. The important thing is you're interacting with a living human being, sharing experiences and feelings and your personality with them. Devaluing online experiences because we're not sharing skin flakes is silly

VR is one of the most awesome social opportunities yet created. Now you really do have the chance to go places with that dude from Croatia, go to the moon with the lady from Venezuela. Have a picnic with a person whose lived their whole life in a place you've never been in an entirely different culture. It's going to rock.

And think of what this means for people with paralysis. That doesn't have to be a barrier anymore, you don't have to confine your social interactions to the one room you've spent your whole life in.

Virtual. Fucking. Boy.

Is Nintendo really this afraid of doing anything that doesn't involve pretending it's still 2006? Sure, they may have had a charming press conference focused on games but the business going along with these decisions is still as backward and dated as ever. They live in the past, consistently ignore consumers and refuse to adapt to the changing market. This is not the only news post talking about their philosophy and how this and this practice goes against it. Except their philosophy is deeply flawed. It's like they do not know who their primary audience is. And I'm sorry Myamoto-san, how the shit is playing a game by yourself a bad thing now? If a part of your 'company philosophy' is that I, as well as a large part of what despite what you think IS your core demographic, am wrong in how I enjoy my games then why do you expect me to buy games from you?

All this said and yet they make handhelds which has for how many years had people sat playing alone by themselves? Yes it has functions for multiplayer but how often is that taken advantage of? It depends from person to person, and considering that we have devices like the Surface Pro series that can run impressive games in such small packages is it so far-fetched to have people hanging out with goggles on with a little console powering said headset?

Well considering 90% of todays goon population can't unglue their eyes from their phones screens even when hanging out or crossing streets I think goggles is the next logical step where the set is physically strapped to your head. /cynical rant.

Snotnarok:
All this said and yet they make handhelds which has for how many years had people sat playing alone by themselves? Yes it has functions for multiplayer but how often is that taken advantage of? It depends from person to person, and considering that we have devices like the Surface Pro series that can run impressive games in such small packages is it so far-fetched to have people hanging out with goggles on with a little console powering said headset?

Well considering 90% of todays goon population can't unglue their eyes from their phones screens even when hanging out or crossing streets I think goggles is the next logical step where the set is physically strapped to your head. /cynical rant.

Handhelds have another explanation. Mass Transit. Japanese people spend a lot of time on trains.

Wii U would not have enough processing power anyway.
There's nothing wrong with offering differnt experiences, though, and this includes the gaming with your family in the same room. It's good to offer different things and customers can use what they appreciate the most.

Sounds to me like sour grapes over the failure of the Virtual Boy. :P

OK will the people screaming at Nintendo actually read the articles linked, then you will see that they have no bearing whatsoever on the headline the escapist used.

Headline "Miyamoto: Oculus Rift-Style VR Goes Against Nintendo's Values"

Article "in direct contrast with what it is we're trying to achieve with Wii U."

So it was specifically talking about the WiiU, not the grandiose statement you are making it out to be.

So i had a look at the Time interview you linked to, to see if maybe i was misreading, however oddly I cannot see any mention of the quote you used as a headline. The closest thing is the quote which basically says they aiming for groups playing, no single person playing which is what VR is suited to.

Any chance of a source for the Headline quote, or was this more Daily Mail/Fox news reporting?

Considering that they don't make First Person games and considering that Oculus Rift mostly works with games in first person, it kinda makes sense that they would be somewhat indifferent towards it. Surely we will get a lot of walking simulators and the like, but that really isn't Nintendos niche. They are all about gameplay and it is still unknown how traditional game design will work in VR. So far we only know that it works for experience driven entertainment, which is pretty far from what WiiU is all about, It makes more sense for the PS4.

Not at all a Nintendo fan but I dig where he is coming from. He has a vision and he is sticking to it and not trying to ride the wave of new gimmicks (Just inventing their own) Can't see how anyone would have a problem with that.

Considering their last venture into this gave people headaches and migraines, I'm perfectly happy with Nintendo now trying VR again just yet =P

VR is in direct contrast with Wii U & DS because Nintendo is too obsessed with touch screens....

RatGouf:
VR is in direct contrast with Wii U & DS because Nintendo is too obsessed with touch screens....

As long as I don't have to shout into the fucking microphone again for a Zelda game I'll deal with touchscreens. That shit was whack.

RatGouf:
VR is in direct contrast with Wii U & DS because Nintendo is too obsessed with touch screens....

The Wii U game screen is rarely used for touch. It's mostly used for offscreen play, which is actually nice. The only game I own which requires the screen is Nintendoland, but Nintendoland is a tech demo to show off the Wii U's controls, similar to Wii Sports.

I could kinda see that, I've been having the same slight misgivings about the Oculus Rift, personally. I like playing console games with friends around. It's the same reason I haven't touched my DS since 2006. I keep buying these things and they go straight to the back of a desk drawer.

Milky1985:
OK will the people screaming at Nintendo actually read the articles linked, then you will see that they have no bearing whatsoever on the headline the escapist used.

Headline "Miyamoto: Oculus Rift-Style VR Goes Against Nintendo's Values"

Article "in direct contrast with what it is we're trying to achieve with Wii U."

So it was specifically talking about the WiiU, not the grandiose statement you are making it out to be.

So i had a look at the Time interview you linked to, to see if maybe i was misreading, however oddly I cannot see any mention of the quote you used as a headline. The closest thing is the quote which basically says they aiming for groups playing, no single person playing which is what VR is suited to.

Any chance of a source for the Headline quote, or was this more Daily Mail/Fox news reporting?

Hey there,

I'm the author of this piece. I wrote the title myself - you are correct: it paraphrased on that quote about being in "direct contrast" with the Wii U - hence why I didn't use quotation marks.

I will, however, admit it was somewhat "sensationalized", and have adjusted it accordingly.

Thanks for the feedback.

I'd buy this more if they didn't make their expensive tablet controller that only one person can use at a time.

Objectable:

2. They tired this. They failed.

Maybe Miyamoto forgot? I bet Nintendo has tried hard to forget that piece.

Andy Shandy:
Considering their last venture into this gave people headaches and migraines, I'm perfectly happy with Nintendo now trying VR again just yet =P

That didn't stop them from making the 3DS.

I mean, I like the games on it, but the 3D feature can fuck right off.

Your title is misleading because it sounds to me like he's saying that the Oculus goes against what Nintendo is trying to achieve with the WiiU, not their core values.

Just looking at the picture just makes me feel gross inside.

Look, man, Oculus Rift has a lot of potential outside of gaming, but personally I really don't feel comfortable with it. When you put that thing on you just have no constant input from the "real" world. No periphery vision, nothing. You are basically left at the mercy of your environment being completely stable. I don't like that. At all. I can immerse myself into a world just fine as it is. However I still want to be aware of my surrounding when I'm doing it. The Oculus Rift takes away from that.

On that note, considering the goals with the Wii U Miyamoto has a point. They just conflict with each other.

Of course I find it funny that the one time Nintendo isn't behind the next big gimmick, people are calling them "behind the times". Heh.

Steven Bogos:

Hey there,

I'm the author of this piece. I wrote the title myself - you are correct: it paraphrased on that quote about being in "direct contrast" with the Wii U - hence why I didn't use quotation marks.

I will, however, admit it was somewhat "sensationalized", and have adjusted it accordingly.

Thanks for the feedback.

No worries and thanks for making a sensible change!

I know its not much but am trying to find a decent selection of sites to go to for gaming news and sites that go the sensational route for headlines put me off. So any steps away from that increase the chances of repeated visits during the times I'm bored at work :P

Thank fuck there's at least one company out there that gives a shit about people actually getting together to enjoy gaming in the same room.

Nobody else does.

Zachary Amaranth:

Maybe Miyamoto forgot? I bet Nintendo has tried hard to forget that piece.

No.

"All Hail the Virtual Boy" was used in advertising Tomodachi Life on tumblr, Facebook, and the Nintendo Direct in question. Nintendo doesn't exactly have many reasons to bring it up anyway outside of a joke so what is actually the point?

Fair enough, Nintendo always was the party game king. Many of their games are very well suited for social activity.

Dragonbums:

"All Hail the Virtual Boy" was used in advertising Tomodachi Life on tumblr, Facebook, and the Nintendo Direct in question. Nintendo doesn't exactly have many reasons to bring it up anyway outside of a joke so what is actually the point?

For which you took a joking quip to explain that.

I don't really know how to respond at that point.

Zachary Amaranth:

Dragonbums:

"All Hail the Virtual Boy" was used in advertising Tomodachi Life on tumblr, Facebook, and the Nintendo Direct in question. Nintendo doesn't exactly have many reasons to bring it up anyway outside of a joke so what is actually the point?

For which you took a joking quip to explain that.

I don't really know how to respond at that point.

Don't respond?

Not sure what the "joking quip" was. That's...what Nintendo did. They recently mentioned it in a "All hail the Virtual Boy" ad for Tomodachi Life.

Dragonbums:
Just looking at the picture just makes me feel gross inside.

Look, man, Oculus Rift has a lot of potential outside of gaming, but personally I really don't feel comfortable with it. When you put that thing on you just have no constant input from the "real" world. No periphery vision, nothing. You are basically left at the mercy of your environment being completely stable. I don't like that. At all. I can immerse myself into a world just fine as it is. However I still want to be aware of my surrounding when I'm doing it. The Oculus Rift takes away from that.

On that note, considering the goals with the Wii U Miyamoto has a point. They just conflict with each other.

Of course I find it funny that the one time Nintendo isn't behind the next big gimmick, people are calling them "behind the times". Heh.

Well, at least someone seems to share my wariness with this. I mean, VR sounds like a really cool technology and it'll probably be insanely helpful in some fields... but gaming? Yeah, no, I'll stick with my TV and controller, thanks.

The king of the console gimmick believes that a gimmick they were the first to try to implement is against their values? Har har har. That's rich. I get that it isolates the gamer but not every game they release is a party game.

Kiall:
Well considering Nintendo's core values seem to be:

* Remake the same five games over ad nausea.
* Be conservative in every decision.
* Don't use any technology that hasn't already existed for five years.

Then I'd say Miyamoto has a point.

Because no other companies have popular franchises.

And never has there been a more conservative and safe console than the Wii. Not. Ever.

But Virtual Reality is absolutely the most unappealing concept gamers seem to have deluded themselves into seeing as a positive, so any lack of support for the demented Oculus Rift is fucking fantastic.

Steven Bogos:

Earlier in the week, we heard from Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Amie about how Virtual Reality isn't quite there yet, but that Nintendo would be on board when it is.

This right here pretty much sums up the fall of Nintendo in a single sentence. For two decades nintendo was the bravest most innovative company in the industry, taking massive gambles on hardware experiments just to push the bounderies of what was possible in gaming. Virtual boy, the N64 controller, the rumble pak, the power glove, the Gameboy, the wiimote. Say what you will about any of those individually, but noone can deny that nintendo has lead the pack in hardware innovation for decades. Now? "[it] isn't quite there yet, but Nintendo would be on board when it is" .... that just f-n depressing

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