Xbox VP Phil Spencer grabbed headlines last week after apparent criticisms of VR, but he has recently clarified his take on virtual reality technology and its future with Xbox.
While Sony’s PlayStation has fully embraced virtual reality with PSVR, Xbox has been a bit more hesitant to accept the new technology as a major role in gaming’s future.
Microsoft’s vice president of gaming Phil Spencer faced some criticism last week after an interview with Stevivor, in which he claimed that “nobody’s asking for VR”.
Later in the week he took to Twitter to expand on his point, saying: “I’ve said publically, I love how our industry has pioneered: AI, physics, 3D, RT, VR/AR etc. For us, it’s about focus on our innovations right now. I’ve played some great VR games, I got to play HL:Alyx in the summer, amazing. It’s just not our focus with Scarlett“. Project Scarlett being the codename for Xbox’s upcoming next-gen console.
Fair feedback. I've said publically, I love how our industry has pioneered: AI, physics, 3D, RT, VR/AR etc. For us, it's about focus on our innovations right now. I've played some great VR games, I got to play HL:Alyx in the summer, amazing. It's just not our focus with Scarlett
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) November 27, 2019
Perhaps Xbox is sceptical of new technology after putting a lot of money behind the Kinect, its motion-control camera that eventually died after failing to gain traction among gamers. Or maybe Microsoft acknowledges that VR may never fully take over gaming, as it inherently suffers from greater accessibility issues than standard methods of control.
Whatever the reason, it’s clear that while Sony is rumoured to be developing a PSVR 2 headset, Microsoft seems to be avoiding throwing its hat into the ring. Only time will tell how this plays out for each company in the long run.