Perhaps, to many people's surprise, virtual reality is finding itself in the center of a huge push in gaming. More than a few companies have long since started development and are driving forward to meet their goals of producing some sort of VR headset for use with games. Samsung has the Gear VR, Microsoft has the HoloLens, (although to be fair these aren't completely dedicated to gaming alone) Facebook has the Oculus Rift, Sony has Project Morpheus, and even Valve (the company behind Steam) has partnered up with HTC to create the Vive headset, all looking to create immersive experiences in gaming for the player. Where does Nintendo sit in the midst of all this? Seemingly on the outside looking in.
It's also these pushes towards immersive content that may have Nintendo shying away from development of anything related to VR like the rest of the competitors, as Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto sees virtual reality as a more solitary gaming experience, which is, according to Miyamoto, the opposite of what Nintendo is trying to achieve, stating that "I have a little bit of uneasiness with whether or not that's the best way for people to play." These were Miyamoto's thoughts back in 2014, but VR has definitely progressed since that point and shows more promise than a year ago, even bringing in the possibility of some multiplayer experiences in VR making things less "solitary." Even though the landscape of VR is shifting however, with companies creating both single player and multiplayer gaming experiences in the virtual world, Nintendo and Miyamoto's opinions on VR seem to have stayed relatively the same.
Not only does Miyamoto feel that VR games are different from what Nintendo is looking to create for its fans, but he also expresses uneasiness about how VR will make money, which suggests that Miyamoto and Nintendo feel less than confident about VR as a solid financial investment, and it isn't surprising that Nintendo wouldn't want to take any huge risks on developing something they're unsure of when they have posted their first annual profit in years. Nintendo has the technology though, surely, and they could probably create some really interesting VR gaming experiences, with a headset that allows multiple players to connect up and play the same game, all using Wiimote controllers (or a form of them) as wireless gaming remotes for the headset.
Nintendo may not feel like there is anything substantial or worth looking into with VR which is why they appear to be staying away from any sort of development, but if they decided to delve into the world of VR there is a good chance it would be nothing short of awesome. Nevertheless, VR is forging a path into what could be the next big gaming market (or it could be just another fad) and Nintendo is having none of it. Nintendo said this for years though about mobile games, and just this year they finally announced that they have a plan to produce games for smartphones and tablets. So, perhaps there is a chance Nintendo will find some interest in VR down the line, and perhaps not.
Whatever Nintendo decides, hopefully it's a decision which benefits them more than it hurts their innovative growth. With virtual reality picking up steam and gaming being an obvious driving force behind the reasons for the technology development, Nintendo has an opportunity to hop on board with it and really show gamers they have plenty of cool things left to show them. VR gaming may be different from what Nintendo is aiming to create, but there's no doubting that if Nintendo put their minds to it, they could likely come up with some pretty cool VR experiences for gamers.