For the last few years, it’s seemed like every major tech and gaming company has experimented with virtual reality to some degree, including Sony, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, HTC, Valve, and plenty more. Nintendo, meanwhile, has been conspicuously absent. (And no, the ill-fated Virtual Boy from the mid-’90s doesn’t count.)
Not only has the company stayed away from VR, but its most prominent figures have seemed apprehensive about the medium. “When I see people play virtual reality, it makes me worry, just as for example if a parent were to see their kid playing virtual reality, it would probably make them worry,” game design legend Shigeru Miyamoto told Time back in 2017, just before the Switch launched.
That’s why it was so surprising when Nintendo abruptly announced a VR headset last month. Of course, this being Nintendo, it’s not just any pair of virtual reality goggles. This is a company that likes to go its own way, and its first proper foray into VR is no different. Instead of the chunky black headsets that have become synonymous with VR, thanks to the likes of Oculus and HTC, Nintendo is releasing a device that’s made of cardboard that you have to build