Miyamoto doesn’t seem to think that mixing Mario with VR would result in the sort of platforming experience that Nintendo aims for with the Super Mario series.

The statement came in an interview between himself and USA Today after he revealed Super Mario Run at an Apple event in San Fransisco, CA. Super Mario Run is an upcoming on-rails runner-platformer game for mobile, similar to Temple Run or SEGA’s Sonic Dash.

“I would agree that adapting Mario to new platforms is a key to keeping him relevant,” says Miyamoto. “But we want families to play together, and virtual reality (which requires players to be closed off from the real world) doesn’t really fit well there. We also like people playing for a long time, and it’s hard to do that in VR.”

Although the creator of one of Nintendo’s most recognizable mascots does not think VR is appropriate for the Italian plumber, he expressed excitement at the thought of Nintendo properties appearing in their own smartphone games.

” . . . up until recently we found that mobile devices weren’t best suited to gaming. But that’s changing.”

It seems that developer Niantic’s wild success with Pokemon GO may have warmed up Miyamoto and other minds at Nintendo to the idea of expanding the platform options for some of their most-played properties. Even though Nintendo recently saw a noticeable drop in stocks, it still remains higher than it was before Niantic released their AR collect-a-‘mon.

While AR and VR are similar technologies, they are quite different. Virtual reality tries to pull you into its simulated world, while augmented reality attempts the exact opposite: to bring the game into the real world around you.

  • I don’t expect Nintendo to bring very much to iOS (or Android if at all.) iOS devices are at least as powerful a low-end laptop with a slightly better GPU. Few if any Android phones are ever powerful enough (pretty much everyone I know with an Android phone who tried MiiTomo and Pokemon Go reported enough problems that they abandoned trying to play it.) Nintendo probably realizes this (I can get MiiTomo to work on an iPad 3, but wow is it ever slow to load anything) and that any game that they put on a mobile phone has to be a good user experience.

    So the kind of games that fit that are not Mario and Zelda (at least not in the traditional way,) but rather things like WarioWare and Animal Crossing where most of the input can be adapted to a touch screen.

    To date most “3DS” or console games ported to iOS aren’t great unless they primarily used the stylus on the 3DS, like Ghost Trick (which is a Capcom title.) Controller-based games (see Shantae, Final Fantasy 5/6/7) become extremely picky about their virtual-controller interfaces.

    • Sean Timm

      Definitely. But Nintendo is also good at making games with specific hardware in mind. If they really do commit themselves to making an awesome, touch screen only game, I’m excited to see what they come up with. After Pokemon Go, I think the push is there for them to try. And while Super Mario Run won’t be redefining anyones idea of a mobile game, it might just be Nintendo testing the water for something even better (and crazier) down the road.

      • Pokemon Go was a no-brainer, it’s quite literately the most obvious game for for a smartphone platform (GPS+AR), although the way it works is somewhat of a letdown since you can’t battle people nearby.

        Smartphone games have low replay-ability unless they can be used in short periods of time, which is why long games (eg RPG’s, shooters, and such) tend to not work very well on smartphone platforms. It takes too long just to load the game. Both Pokemon Go and MiiTomo take 30+secs to load, and that’s just too long to casually try and play it.

        The unfortunately problem is that most mobile games are designed around micropayment models where you can’t really enjoy it without spending hundreds of dollars on a game, and if Nintendo can improve anything here, it’s figuring out how to get people to pay to play a free game without the time-extortion that most other mobile games use.

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