Nintendo Presses Pause on Virtual-Reality Technology

Top executive at Japanese game maker signals VR is unlikely to be component of coming ‘NX’ console

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TOKYO—A top executive at Japanese videogame maker Nintendo Co. has expressed concerns about introducing virtual-reality products, a likely sign that it won’t include the technology in its next-generation console, code-named “NX,” when it is released in March.

Virtual reality, which offers users an immersive visual experience through head-mounted displays, is made to be used for short periods because of health concerns, including possible headaches and nausea. It isn’t recommended for small children, one of Nintendo’s main customer bases.

“We’ve been looking at the technology, but we should also see how it fits into our products that are designed to use for the long term and how parents would feel about their children mounting VR devices,” the company cited Shigeru Miyamoto as saying at an annual shareholder meeting this week.

Mr. Miyamoto, a creator of the company’s famous franchises including “Mario,” “Legend of Zelda” and “Pikmin,” also questioned whether virtual reality was well-suited for experience sharing, including multiplayer gaming or just watching other gamers, which is increasingly popular.

Nintendo has released few details about NX other than its release date, saying it would reveal more later this year.

Tokyo-based video game consultant Serkan Toto said there was “no way” that NX would be a virtual-reality console, and that Nintendo was making the right call.

“Nintendo is always about the mass market, but right now VR is years away from becoming mainstream,” Mr. Toto said.