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Nintendo is exploring VR again, 20 years after the Virtual Boy flop

Nintendo is exploring VR again, 20 years after the Virtual Boy flop

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Nintendo is reportedly exploring a return to virtual reality, with the company's president Tatsumi Kimishima describing VR as "interesting technology" in a recent earnings calls. According to a report from the Financial Times, the Japanese firm says it's researching virtual reality but has no specific plans to launch any products any time soon. Nintendo famously released one of the first ever commercial VR devices in 1995, but the Virtual Boy (above) was a significant failure, with consumers turned off by the console's high price, monochrome display, and its tendency to cause headaches and nausea.

Nintendo has more tricks up its sleeve before it turns to virtual reality

Virtual reality has moved on since then of course, with the world's biggest tech firms now taking at least an interest in the resurgent field, and more frequently creating their own VR devices for consumers. Nintendo, meanwhile, faces declining revenue and lackluster Wii U sales, and is presumably tempted to explore possible new revenue streams. Virtual reality, though, is likely to come later if it ever comes at all. Nintendo's focus in the immediate future is going to be on its new mobile-console hybrid, due to be unveiled later this year, and the release of its first-ever smartphone games. If the company just decides to put Mario Kart on your mobile, there might be no need for VR at all.