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Nintendo NX: the First Social VR System?


Nintendo’s NX project is the source of much speculation, with theories ranging from it being a home console, handheld or even a mixture of the two.

But the mobile, digital and gaming financial analyst group Digi Capital are suggesting that the NX will be a virtual or augmented reality device for social gameplay. Tying together many strings of info, Digi Capital argue that the NX will allow Nintendo to capitalise on the upcoming social VR market.

The recently passed Nintendo president, Satoru Iwata was quoted as saying that Nintendo strives to add something new to the gaming market and challenge the status quo instead of following the crowd.

Iwata called this “the ‘Blue Ocean Strategy’, looking for something that no one else is working on. He said that this principal is a significant aspect of Nintendo’s ethos.

“NX is a new platform, so the installed base will have to be built up from zero. If I mention every detail of what we are thinking, it could be persuasive but it could also give other companies the opportunity to come up with counterplans or implement the ideas that they find interesting,” he said.

The Nintendo executive Reggie Fils-Aime said that Nintendo have been experimenting with VR for a while, although he said that while they have a good knowledge of the technical side of VR gaming, it isn’t quite in the right shape for Nintendo to use. “What we believe is that, in order for this technology to move forward, you need to make it fun and you need to make it social,” he said.

Shigeru Miyamoto also spoke about the social side of VR gaming. He said that VR doesn’t currently fit in with Nintendo’s style of entertaining and social gaming, and thinks that it is not ready to be released yet for Nintendo. Miyamoto added that Nintendo will only adopt VR when it fits in with their philosophy of gaming made for living room multiplayer sessions.

Digi Capital’s conclusion is that Nintendo view the current VR market as “not fun, not social, and not commercially viable.” They claim that based on Nintendo’s history the NX will most likely be something that combines VR with the social gaming that made the company famous. Let’s hope that it will not follow the fate of Virtual Boy.

The Nintendo NX is set to be officially revealed next year, so stay tuned for details as they appear.

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