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VR not ready for the mainstream - Fils-Aime

Nintendo of America president says the company will adopt VR once it's mass market approachable

Last year at E3, the biggest complaint Nintendo president and CEO Reggie Fils-Aime had about virtual reality was that it simply wasn't fun. That may have changed a bit, because as Fils-Aime told Bloomberg West yesterday, his concern about VR now is about how mass market the tech can be.

"In my judgment, I think VR is a bit further out there for mainstream, mass market applications and applications that consumers can invest a lot of time in versus short snacks of entertainment," Fils-Aime said.

He preceded that remark by cautioning that he hasn't seen everything new about VR at this year's E3, but had previous experience with just about everything else previously announced. He also prefaced his remarks with a more general statement about Nintendo's approach to any new tech.

"For us, we want to make sure that technology is mainstream," Fils-Aime said. "We want to make sure the technology represents strong value to the consumer. So as an example, there was a lot of gyroscopic technology out there in the marketplace, but it really took the Wii and the Wii Remote to really make it mainstream. Even going back all the way back to the Nintendo DS, that was the first electronic device that really made extensive use of a touchscreen.

"So the way we look at VR or even AR, which we do have within our Nintendo 3DS system, for us the technology has to be at a point where it can be mainstream, and then it takes content creating companies like us to really make things that the consumer wants to experience, that they want to jump into the particular technology. That's how we move it forward. We've been looking at the VR space since the days of the Virtual Boy. With us, we want to make sure that our next content is going to be mainstream and mass market approachable, and when something like VR is at that point, you can expect Nintendo to be there."

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Brendan Sinclair avatar
Brendan Sinclair: Brendan joined in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot.
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