With Labo VR having proved a success, Nintendo is now eyeing augmented reality as its next venture.
During a recent interview with Japanese newspaper Nikkei, Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa expanded on the companies current interests and its exploration of new technologies; and while it sounds as though it could be some time before Nintendo begins experimenting with cloud gaming, Furukawa states that the company is very much interested in the prospect of augmented reality.
While commenting on the recent trend of major corporations such as Apple dipping their toes in the AR market, Furukawa expressed Nintendo’s own interest in exploring the rapidly-growing technology:
“Something I do not want the public to misunderstand is that we are not turning our backs on new technologies – we are constantly researching and developing,” states Furukawa during his interview with Nikkei. “Our hardware development teams evaluate all kinds of new technologies available thus far and consult with our software developers. If they determine that technology can be used with a game, then they will utilize it. We will not be changing this fundamental approach moving forward.”
“As for AR, it is definitely one of the many aspects we are interested in. We are currently researching what interesting ways we can utilize it.”
Though the idea of Nintendo AR gaming may sound new, this actually isn’t the first time the company has experimented with the technology. Back in 2011, Nintendo introduced AR Cards for the Nintendo 3DS which allowed users to interact with 3D models of beloved Nintendo characters and engage in AR-based minigames tied to specific 3DS titles, including Mario Party: Island Tour, Bravely Default, and Kid Icarus: Uprising.
In April of last year, Nintendo released the Nintendo Labo VR Kit, a VR-based expansion to the existing Nintendo Labo platform that allows users to access a trove of charming immersive mini-games as well as the tools to build and share their own.
\In classic Nintendo fashion, the kit features a variety of unique cardboard attachments tied to specific experiences, such as an elephant trunk, a photo camera with an adjustable lens, a futuristic blaster, and several other mods. Since its release, Nintendo has added several new minigames, including a new game mode for Mario Odyssey as well as the ability to play the entirety of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in VR.
Naturally, Nintendo has remained tight-lipped in regards to Labo VR’s public reception, though it’s clear sales were positive enough that the company sees value in reexploring the AR format. With Nintendo having invested in several mobile-based games as of late, it wouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to begin seeing new AR tie-ins to existing apps, such as Mario Kart Tour or Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. I for one certainly wouldn’t mind a Pokémon Go-style Luigi’s Mansion AR game in which you explore physical locations in search of different specters and ghouls.
Feature Image Credit: Nintendo