In a nutshell: With both Sony’s and Microsoft’s next generation of consoles around one year away, more details about the machines are arriving all the time. In the case of the next Xbox, codenamed Project Scarlett, head of Xbox Phil Spencer says that VR won’t be a focus.
It appears that Spencer has never been virtual reality’s biggest advocate. Back in 2016 before the console’s release, he said that VR would come to the Xbox One X when it didn’t feel like “demos and experiments.”
The Microsoft exec says he doesn’t love that quote because he’s not trying to “demean the work that people are doing in VR,” but that doesn’t mean his opinion on the technology has improved. Speaking to Stevivor at X019, Spencer said “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.”
As with everything in life, money is also a factor: “nobody’s selling millions and millions” of VR units, Spencer added.
Microsoft might not have much faith in virtual reality, but rival Sony looks to be embracing VR for its PS5, probably because the PSVR has been a relative success on the PS4. The Japanese giant is rumored to be developing a wireless headset that features a 2560 x 1440 resolution, 120Hz refresh rate, 120-degree field of view, AR capabilities, and works for five hours before needing a recharge. It’s also said to cost $250 when released, which could be alongside the PlayStation 5.