In an lengthy interview with the French publication Les Numériques, Nintendo France MD Philippe Lavoué has stated that the company remains ambivalent towards Virtual Reality and 4K resolution support.
Both of these technologies are being exploited by Nintendo's rivals; Sony has released its own VR headset and has included 4K support in the new PS4 Pro, while Microsoft's Xbox One X also has 4K output.
However, Lavoué has added to previous statements from Nintendo that it is not currently investing any time or money into either technology:
If you look at VR headsets, I doubt they can appeal to the mainstream. Consumers are not patient with entertainment if you’re not able to deliver an all-inclusive package.
As far as 4K is concerned, is it useful to invest in a technology that has not been adopted by the majority? Where are 4K TVs now? Is it a good idea to invest in a technology before consumers do? We can’t invest in everything. And what novelty would we bring compared to our competitors?
If we do the exact same thing than everyone else, we’re bound to die because we are smaller than them. With the Switch, we offer different uses, adapted to players’ pace of life. Its advantage is being able to fit into your daily life.
Lavoué has a point on both counts; the current generation of VR headsets are expensive and require users to clear a lot of space before they can be used; even then, the player remains connected via a jungle of wires. New wireless headsets with 4K displays have just been announced, but it remains clear that this is not the kind of tech that casual gamers are going to purchase.
4K television sales are on the rise, but they remain expensive and the majority of homes will have 1080p screens. This will naturally change over time - just as people shifted from SD to HD during the Wii era - but at present, Nintendo clearly doesn't feel the need to jump on this bandwagon (and we're not sure the Switch will ever be capable of 4K gaming, not without a considerable tech upgrade).
Are you disappointed by Lavoué's comments, or do you applaud Nintendo's sensible stance on these topics? Let us know with a comment.