super-mario-64-chain-chomp

Mario is making his first leap onto smartphones later this year, and Nintendo has finally become a third-party publisher after a decade of demands. Let that sink in for a minute or two. While many thought they would never see the day a Mario game would grace the iPhone, Nintendo obviously couldn't avoid the allure much longer after the gargantuan success of Pokémon GO.

With Nintendo willing to be so loose with smartphone games, though, surely it must be looking at the other latest booms in technology as well for Mario to take part in, namely VR. The company currently has no known plans to pursue VR, but after shattering expectations with Mario on an iPhone, surely he must be adaptable to the VR platform as well, correct?

Well, not so much, says Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto to USA Today. The core experience of every Mario game runs contrary to the method of use for VR, and he believes the two are not fit for one another.

I would agree that adapting Mario to new platforms is a key to keeping him relevant, 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.

At their heart, Nintendo sees Mario as a social gaming experience to be enjoyed with friends. That's what we have everything from the co-op games of today to the alternating two-player games from the days of the NES. Even the first Mario Bros. was a competition game in arcades, and who could forget that weird little two-player colletion experience in Super Mario Galaxy?

With VR, though, players are locked into a separate reality they can't share with others, at least not yet. This isolation runs contrary to what Nintendo has always done with Mario.

Plus, I think Miyamoto is scared of running into the Super Mario 64 Chain Chomp in VR. I know I am!

Interpret it as you want, but Nintendo has remained very consistent with its stance on VR over the lat few years, and nothing Miyamoto says here is off script. Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime once claimed that VR both isn't social and isn't fun.

It's just tech.

I wouldn't disagree. I've yet to have a VR experience that I could claim was "fun." "Interesting," maybe. "Sickening," definitely. But "fun?" No way. Nintendo isn't going to join VR unless it can do so to its own beat. Don't expect Mario to officially appear in VR anytime soon.