Back in February 2014 I read an article that said,
‘The evolution of video games is helping us to connect to a more immersive world of technology.
‘You see right now possibly the most hated and punished gaming stock in the world is Nintendo, and to me that smells like opportunity.
Nintendo are pioneers when it comes to interactive experiences.
‘Immersive tech is quickly becoming a way of life. And Nintendo will have a huge role in making it reality. What Nintendo and others are doing is effectively ‘gamifying’ life. That means they’re using principles from games and applying them to real life. It makes things more engaging, fun and immersive.
‘They’ve been around the block a few times when it comes to pioneering technology, so I wouldn’t write off Nintendo for long.’
At the time Nintendo Co. Ltd. [TYO:7974] stock was trading at JPY11,490. Fast forward to today and their stock is trading at JPY22,840. That’s a 98.78% return.
Nintendo’s stock has exploded in the last week because of a new ‘immersive technology’ game they’ve released to market, Pokémon GO. More on that in a minute.
But first, that article. Clearly the writer had vision. He obviously understands how technology works and how small, seemingly innocuous movements at one point in time can equate to greater things down the track.
I’d go so far to call the author a visionary.
But I would, because I wrote the article.
Don’t believe the hype of VR
At the time of my article, Nintendo had announced a change of direction for the company. They had been struggling for a number of years. The company hit a peak of JPY70,500 back in 2007. But in the years since it’s been on one long, steady downward spiral.
Companies like Sony and Microsoft had begun to dominate the gaming industry. Nintendo was a bit of a ‘has-been’. While their Wii console was tremendously popular, it was the PlayStation and Xbox that captured the hearts and minds — and wallets — of gamers
But Nintendo was making a clear change of focus to immersive gaming. I could see it a mile off. In the time since, I’ve been writing about this trend to subscribers of my investment advisory service, Revolutionary Tech Investor.
The success of Pokémon GO is no great surprise to me. I’ve been talking about the potential of tech like this for years.
And I will continue to highlight the real potential on offer here. That potential is not one you hear much about in the media. You’ll already know about ‘Virtual Reality’ (VR). There’s a lot of hype around virtual reality right now. Many are calling it one of the most disruptive technologies of the modern era.
I believe the real game changing (excuse the pun) tech is ‘immersive reality’ technology. I’ve also written previously about Microsoft’s Hololens and Magic Leap both pushing this kind of technology.
And now the incredible success of Pokémon GO has brought immersive technology into the public eye.
As you may be aware, virtual reality requires the user to put on a headset. This closes them off to the rest of the world. As you can’t see your surroundings, you’re required to stay planted in one location. VR does ‘transport’ you to another place and makes you really feel like you’re there.
But the one significant hurdle with VR is the headset. The requirement to shut you off from real world interaction with anything and anyone around you. You can do it virtually, but again, you’re likely stuck in a room in your house.
With immersive reality your physical world becomes a part of the experience. The application augments and immerses your digital world with your physical world.
The actual world you live in becomes a new and exciting playground. This is the essence of Pokémon GO. And it’s why the game is a roaring success in the space of a week.
Enhancing the real world is the future
An article on Vox does a great job of explaining how Pokémon GO works:
‘In simple terms, Pokémon Go uses your phone’s GPS and clock to detect where and when you are in the game and make Pokémon “appear” around you (on your phone screen) so you can go and catch them. As you move around, different and more types of Pokémon will appear depending on where you are and what time it is. The idea is to encourage you to travel around the real world to catch Pokémon in the game.’
Source: The Verge
Click to enlarge
Pokémon GO has become incredibly popular. In the space of a week it’s on track to overtake Twitter in terms of daily active users on Android devices. It’s also pushed Nintendo’s stock price up over 55% in just five days.
The key to Pokémon GO’s success is it doesn’t shut you off from the real world. It actually enhances the real world. That’s the difference between immersive reality and virtual reality. And that’s the important point here.
Pokémon GO has helped turn Nintendo’s fortunes around. But this is only the beginning. It’s vindication that Microsoft is on the right track with Hololens. It’s confirmation that Magic Leap will be a force in the years to come.
It’s proof the world is ready for immersive reality technology.
Nintendo will likely leverage this success. Their next game console might incorporate immersive reality, and bring it into your home in an even bigger way. And if it does, those previous highs of Nintendo’s stock price might be under threat.
There will still be a strong market for VR and gaming in a virtual world. But I think it will not live up to the hype. The future of gaming, and social interaction, is immersive reality. Pokémon GO is the first real proof of it. If you want to invest in the next big trend, it’s immersive reality.
If you didn’t believe me two years ago this was coming, then surely you better believe me now.
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