Monday in CE: King of the Gimmicks Nintendo Doesn't Seem Interested in VR
Nintendo has historically taken big gambles on their gaming systems. Most recently, the last three or four consoles to come out have all been based around, for lack of a better word, gimmicks. And that word is used as a slight, as the track record has been pretty good for Nintendo. Yes, the Wii U suffered for not being different enough but it did paint a picture of what Nintendo loyalists want. They want gimmicks.
So that makes this leaked 2016 patent, that surfaced after Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima said the company was looking into the virtual reality space at an investor's briefing, all the more interesting. It was a vague detail of a head-mounted tablet holster that possibly brought VR to the innovative profile.
Fast forward to today, and it's increasingly clear that Nintendo has finished "looking" and has decided VR shouldn't be part of its plans for the time being. The latest evidence comes from a recent interview with Nintendo France General Manager Philippe Lavoué in French publication Les Numeriques. "If you look at VR headsets, I doubt they can appeal to the mainstream," Lavoué said in a translation of that interview. "Consumers are not patient with entertainment if you’re not able to deliver an all-inclusive package."
This comes after a CES that, according to one analyst who was privy to the info, saw 50 percent fewer VR companies exhibiting in Las Vegas than just last year. It feels that Nintendo hasn't completely backed out of VR, they are just waiting for the right time. It took them until 2012 to release an HD console, despite the fact that 1080 resolution had penetrated over 75 percent of US households.
So will we get Nintendo 4K VR in the future? Probably yes, but the emphasis is on the future.
The Nissan Xmotion may look like an SUV on the surface, but to take a step inside is to enter a dense forest of technology. The concept car, revealed today at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, has a total of seven digital touchscreens inside, making it one of the more aggressive attempts by an automaker in recent memory to sweep aside the manual controls of the past and fully embrace a pixelated future.
Is it overkill? Sure. We’re already hearing complaints about the Tesla Model 3’s hyper-minimal all-in-one touchscreen approach to the traditional instrument cluster. It’s not clear that what consumers want in their cars is more screens. But you have to hand it to Nissan for not shying away from this trend.
The Xmotion (which is pronounced “cross-motion”) has three main displays, as well as left- and right-end displays that span the width of the instrument panel. On the ceiling is a “digital room mirror” (in place of a rearview mirror) and a center console display. There’s also a lot of wood trim, which seems like an attempt to offset the harsh futuristic glare of the digital surfaces.
It’s interesting that Nissan chose to unveil the Xmotion in Detroit and not at CES in Las Vegas, where these types of pulsing, untraditional concepts are typically displayed. Maybe it’s meant to signal the Japanese auto giant’s seriousness in bringing it to production? Probably not. According to a spokesperson, “this concept car is a design study only.” Oh well, we’re still excited to hear more about Nissan’s vision for this vehicle.
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