Sometimes rumours arise and then are quickly proven true, while others appear and then slowly disappear or become completely debunked. Recently, it seems as though the possibility of virtual reality (VR) on Xbox will be the latter, as comments by Head of Xbox Phil Spencer portray.
During the recent XO19 event Stevivor spoke with Spencer about VR on Xbox, where he said that the public doesn’t associate Xbox and its brand with VR technology.
He goes onto say: “I have some issues with VR — it’s isolating and I think of games as a communal, kind of together experience. We’re responding to what our customers are asking for and… nobody’s asking for VR. The vast majority of our customers know if they want a VR experience, there’s places to go get those. We see the volumes of those on PC and other places.”
So Xbox still remains reluctant to enter the VR fold – even after mentioning VR in the past – and become a competitor in the console VR market, in which PlayStation VR has nicely got to itself. Spencer adds that the reason behind this is because: “nobody’s selling millions and millions” of units, although PlayStation VR’s figures from earlier this year came in at 4.2 million. In response, one of VR’s most vocal supporters at Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) Shuhei Yoshida made a subtle dig on Twitter.
（´-`）.｡oO（we oftentimes work hard to make things that no customers are asking for them）
— Shuhei Yoshida (@yosp) November 26, 2019
Xbox might not be supporting VR anytime soon but parent company Microsoft has heavily involved itself in the virtual space, most notably with Windows Mixed Reality. The collection of headsets by various manufacturers launched a couple of years ago but didn’t seem to get a great deal of fanfare after that, gradually dropping in price, making them now a cheap way of enjoying VR – if you can find where to buy one.
All may not be lost for Xbox with Spencer concluding “I think we might get there [eventually].” Just don’t expect a new-fangled headset to arrive alongside Project Scarlett next year. With the interest Valve’s VR-only Half-Life: Alyx has garnered this week, maybe all VR needs is the right IP to show Xbox what it’s missing out on.