Some time ago, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella put forward the view that “the essence of the Metaverse is a game”, which spread the topic of the Metaverse to the field of console games , and Nintendo, which has always been alone, was also involved. came in.
On February 16, a topic “Nintendo President said “I don’t plan to join the Metaverse for the time being, because I don’t understand it”” was posted on Weibo and Zhihu. As the president, Shuntaro Furukawa said that at this stage It is impossible to clearly define the form of the Metaverse, and it is impossible to figure out what kind of surprises and fun the Metaverse will bring to users. It seems that it does not match Nintendo’s plan at present.
In fact, this answer comes from Nintendo’s online financial report briefing announced on February 4. After many days, it suddenly exploded, in addition to the boost of Microsoft CEO, there is also the foil between peers.
In contrast, Microsoft and Sony, which have no works in the three consoles, have already started the construction of the Metaverse, while Nintendo, which developed “Animal Crossing Friendship”, a game that is generally regarded as the prototype of the Metaverse, actually “doesn’t understand the Metaverse” ? Such a funny comparison makes netizens quickly turn on the Internet surfing mode.
Judging from the messages of Zhihu netizens, there are many remarks in favor of Furukawa Shuntaro, while the opposition parties say that Nintendo’s remarks are too conservative. But what’s interesting is that at the end of the discussion, netizens focused on “whether the president really doesn’t understand, or if he doesn’t understand”, and once again took the watermelon head Shuntaro Furukawa jokingly.
Some people think that Furukawa Shuntaro’s answer highlights his high emotional intelligence. Behind it, he is secretly satirizing some game companies that don’t think about fun games, but use the concept of the Metaverse to fool retail investors and cut leeks, but it is difficult to explain it because of face.
And some netizens who claim to be senior fans are more willing to believe that the president is “silly and sweet”. I advise you to not speculate too much on the president. If he doesn’t understand, maybe he really doesn’t understand.
Compared to the sharp speculation of the former, GameLook is more inclined to the latter, that is, Nintendo may really not understand the Metaverse. The reason for this is that, in GameLook’s view, it is not only influenced by Nintendo’s past experience and cultural concepts, but also due to the lack of Internet genes of traditional Japanese companies.
“Old Cannon” Nintendo, once fell hard on the Metaverse
To say that Nintendo is a conservative gaming company is actually somewhat untenable.
Although compared with the next-generation consoles that Microsoft and Sony have just launched, Nintendo’s Switch is indeed a bit underwhelming. But on the way to explore the Metaverse, Microsoft and Sony may really want to call Nintendo an OG.
AR/VR devices are often seen as one of the foundational devices of the Metaverse. In fact, Nintendo was the first game company in the world to explore VR devices, dating back to 1995. At that time, under the pressure of Sony PS1, Nintendo quickly established a project and released the industry’s first VR device that can present stereoscopic images-Virtual Boy.
However, due to the technical conditions, functional limitations, and high cost at the time, the Virtual Boy did not have a very good actual performance, and even a user shaking his head would cause the problem of imaging errors. In addition, the product design positioning was contrary to the tide of video games at that time. The superposition of many factors is doomed to the failure of this “premature” VR device. In the end, the product was discontinued within a year of its release, during which only 770,000 units were sold, and only 22 games were released.
It was the most failed product in Nintendo’s history, and its failure led to the resignation of Junpei Yokoi, Nintendo’s head of development at the time, who helmed the product. In addition, this also affected the “Metroid Warrior” series that it spearheaded and developed, which was then refrigerated for 8 years, during which no one took over.
This dark history has made Nintendo stagnate in VR exploration for many years, although in April 2019, Nintendo began to dabble in VR equipment and released the Nintendo Labo VR Kit. However, this type of mobile VR headset is indeed quite different from the external and all-in-one direction explored by the industry today, such as Sony’s external device PS VR, Pico acquired by ByteDance, and rumored Apple’s upcoming all-in-one VR glasses Wait.
There’s a reason the industry is rejecting mobile VR devices. Google, which previously took the lead in mobile VR headsets, released Cardboard, a paper-based mobile VR device similar to the Labo VR Kit, as early as 2014.
Although it achieved good market results at the time, the subsequent iterative product, Daydream View, was bleak, with only 209,000 units sold in 2016. This also led to Google’s announcement in 2020 that the follow-up Android system would no longer support the Daydream VR platform, and sentenced the mobile VR business to a “death penalty” at the software level.
The painful experience in the VR field that year made Nintendo’s attitude towards it become much more cautious since then, so that when faced with related questions, a set of classic “arbitrary answers” centered on Taiji was formed. The newly appointed chairman Tatsuki Kimishima habitually diverted the topic in an interview recently, saying that as long as the conditions are ripe and the technology is feasible, Nintendo will not give up VR games and VR consoles.
Shigeru Miyamoto, the development director who was gradually reused due to the dark history of VR, was more direct and expressed his strong opposition to VR, saying that “Nintendo’s philosophy is family fun, and game socialization, etc. VR will isolate individuals and interact with them. Nintendo’s philosophy is different” and so on.
In GameLook’s view, compared to Shigeru Miyamoto’s too firm attitude, Tatsumi Kimishima’s answer may be more practical, and Nintendo has not completely given up the possibility of infecting VR. However, considering that the VR technology is still immature and the hardware cost is still high, it is somewhat unrealistic to expect Nintendo, which has fallen and has not yet stood firm, to set foot in the Metaverse field.
In the Royal Family, Nintendo may really not want to understand the Metaverse
As the Metaverse is in the exploratory phase, its true form is unknown. Therefore, different companies also give different views on the cognition of the Metaverse.
For example, Nadella mentioned at the beginning, said that the essence of the Metaverse is a game, and through the game, the next generation Internet platform can be created – the physical Internet. Perhaps in order to show its understanding of the concept of the Metaverse, Microsoft did not hesitate to spend $68.7 billion to acquire Activision Blizzard, while also demonstrating its determination to deploy the Metaverse.
As the biggest competitor, Sony was obviously forced by Microsoft’s huge acquisition. Without much warning on January 31, the official announced its first big purchase of the year – $3.6 billion Acquired Bungie. Jim Ryan, the head of the PlayStation game business, made it clear that the company will make more acquisitions and incorporate more high-quality teams and IPs into the PS game business.
Sony’s move is obviously more aimed at fighting back, but it is not difficult to see that two of the three giants have chosen to integrate content through mergers and acquisitions to prepare ammunition for the competition in the next Internet era.
Although Sony chose to “follow”, do you think Sony understands the Metaverse? In fact, it is not, at least not as firm and clear as Microsoft. Ken Kutaragi, the father of Sony PS, refuted the Metaverse in a recent interview, saying that “without seeing the meaning of the Metaverse, it is essentially the same as an anonymous message board website”.
In terms of the game business scope, Sony and Microsoft are roughly the same, which means that the competition between the two is far more complicated and fierce than it appears on the surface. Microsoft has taken the first step of “exploring the Metaverse with games”. Sony has no reason not to follow up. After all, the Metaverse belongs to the unexplored field of the Internet, and once someone gets there first, it is likely to be kicked out. So even if Sony “can’t see the meaning of the Metaverse”, it has to make the same acquisitions as Microsoft.
In addition, Sony has sufficient background in the infrastructure of some Metaverses. For example, in terms of game engines, it has established a long-term and good cooperative relationship with Epic, the parent company of Unreal Engine. Most of Sony’s first-party and third-party games use Unreal. Engine research and development, and Epic is precisely the first batch of game companies to deploy the Metaverse. The cooperation with Epic may accelerate Sony’s Metaverse road a lot.
In the three families, Nintendo has become the one who is safe alone. From the perspective of market competition, although the game businesses of Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony are all in the console market, their business scopes do not overlap. The former has completed an absolute monopoly in the handheld market, especially in Japan – according to the latest from famitsu The report pointed out that among the TOP 10 console game sales in Japan, Nintendo’s products once again completed the comprehensive list, and the sales of switch consoles far exceeded the next-generation consoles PS5 and XSX/XSS.
In addition, it seems that, given the performance of the Switch, most high-definition games on other consoles and PC platforms are also difficult to port to the Switch. This is why, at the latest investor briefing, Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa confidently said that Nintendo will not make acquisitions similar to Microsoft and Sony for the time being.
In short, when Nintendo has no shortage of good game content, can easily make money lying down, and the performance of its host equipment is naturally inferior to its rivals, there is no sufficient reason to explore the Metaverse, and it only needs to focus on the gameplay of the product. That’s it, and that’s in line with Nintendo’s philosophy.
Objectively speaking, from the perspective of corporate financial resources, Nintendo cannot have the same wealth as Microsoft and Sony. According to public information, Nintendo’s market value is currently $60.2 billion, far from Sony’s $134.437 billion and Microsoft’s $2,252.6 billion.
However, exploring the Metaverse requires money, as evidenced by the much-discussed “ByteDance plans to acquire VR company PICO for over 9 billion yuan” last year, not to mention Microsoft’s $68.7 billion – more than a Nintendo’s market value –Acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The lack of financial resources also limits Nintendo’s progress towards the Metaverse to a certain extent.
Should we expect Japanese companies that are behind the times to engage in the Metaverse?
To compete in the Metaverse and be based on the next Internet era, there will inevitably be conditions and restrictions, at least there must be enough precipitation in the exploration of the Internet. However, when we look deeply into Japanese corporate culture, it has always lacked Internet genes.
According to Japan’s “Asahi Shimbun” report on February 3, data on at least 12,700 cases of new coronavirus infections in Japan in the past week have not been entered into the statistical system. One of the important reasons is that Japan is still using fax machines to report epidemic information. Makes the staff need to manually enter the information into the system.
Even though the Internet has developed for many years, Japan has not produced many Internet giants. In the social field, the most popular mobile social app used by Japanese is LINE, launched by the Korean company NHN. Nintendo, and even Sony, also continue the tradition of Japanese companies and have a grudge against networked game products, which can be seen from their products.
Most of Nintendo’s products tend to be single-player. Games that require multiplayer online battles like traditional online games are rare. So far, there are not many that are the most impressive and have the shadow of online games, such as the “Splatoon” series. Sony’s situation is roughly the same as Nintendo’s, but the latter has more “side jobs”, such as console hardware and so on.
Nintendo’s philosophy has always been to win with gameplay, not hardware. For the technology industry, the iteration of technology has always been the main theme, and once it falls behind, it may fall behind. Nintendo has fallen off the chain in some aspects, such as the above VR equipment, Microsoft has HoloLens, Sony has PS VR, among the three giants, only Nintendo focuses on paper mobile VR; another example is cooperation investment, Tencent has invested in countless Qing, a software and hardware company related to the Metaverse.
Therefore, it is really difficult for traditional Japanese companies that have not received admission tickets since the Internet entered the era of PCs and mobile phones to understand the Metaverse that may become the next generation of Internet.After all, as far as the reality is concerned, many Japanese companies do not even understand the Internet of this generation.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/nintendo-president-i-dont-understand-the-metaverse-microsoft-ceo-i-really-understand-sony-i-talk-to/
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