Nintendo has gently reminded us that they have no plans to explore virtual reality or 4K support, and they’ve used the relatively small market for those technologies as the main reason behind their decision. Which we absolutely can’t fault them for. Nintendo has never really been the cutting edge of gaming technology. When they have tried, it’s pretty much consistently backfired. And given the fact that the Switch could hardly support VR or 4K, there really isn’t much reason for them to invest in the tech.
In a French interview (translated by NintendoLife), Managing Director of Nintendo France Philippe Lavoue has remarked on Nintendo’s previous comments, and offered further elaboration on Nintendo’s hesitance to embrace 4K and VR.
Lavoue expressed his doubts that VR can “appeal to the mainstream”, arguing that customers would rather have an “all-inclusive package” than pay to expand their hardware with headsets, cameras, and more cables than you can shake joy-con at. Similarly, he questioned how “useful” investing in 4K technology would be given it is currently embraced by a relative minority of users. He also questioned how much “novelty” Nintendo could bring to 4K support compared to its competitors. Because, who needs Mario in 4K? It’s not like visual enhancements of Nintendo’s first-party games would do a whole hell of a lot given the cartoony design of the characters, levels, and even the games themselves.
Lavoue also made the point that Nintendo is a smaller company than Microsoft or Sony and can’t compete in the same way they both do. Much like the way the Switch offers something to different to the Xbox One or PlayStation 4 by offering “different uses, adapted to players’ pace of life.” The Switch plays into everything Nintendo is good at, while 4K support and VR would not. Let’s all remember the lesson of the Power Glove.