Xbox’s Phil Spencer says they are not focusing on VR because “nobody’s asking for VR”

Xbox head CEO Phil Spencer has shared that virtual reality is not a priority for the brand. This is because he says that the demand isn’t there from the customers of the gaming firm.
Xbox head Phil Spencer at E3 2019
As well as the head of Xbox, Phil Spencer also serves as Microsoft’s executive vice-president of Gaming. Photo: Xbox

Isolating experience

Spencer feels that in its current form, the tech pulls gamers apart, whereas he views gaming as a community activity. He adds that altogether, he hasn’t seen enough evidence of added value with VR.

Spencer previously stated VR would eventually be introduced to Xbox One X. Although, at the time he did feel that the technology was still in its testing stages and was happy to let rivals take the risk in the market.

Now, the businessman has further drifted away from the aspect of launching VR with his company’s gaming systems. Stevivor reports that as Xbox prepares for the release of its Project Scarlett next year, Spencer doesn’t want to focus on the application of VR gaming.

“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,” Spencer said, as reported by Stevivor.

“The vast majority of our customers know if they want a VR experience, there are places to go get those. We see the volumes of those on PC and other places.”

VR Headset
Despite their initial buzz, the demand for VR headsets has seemed to have slowed down in recent years. Photo: Lyncconf Games via Flickr

Not everyone feels the same

Spencer based his thoughts on that VR companies haven’t sold an abundance of units. This mentality is the opposite of what Xbox rival Sony feels in regards to its PlayStation’s VR capabilities.

The Japanese firm introduced its own VR product, showing its belief in the technology. However, there aren’t many games that have really pushed the boundaries of VR as of yet. The feature doesn’t really get mentioned in conversations of the PlayStation’s key gaming moments. As of March 2019, the PlayStation VR sold over 4.2 million units.

Project xCloud is more the focus for Xbox
Cloud gaming is more of a focus for Xbox with Project xCloud competing against the likes of Google Stadia. Photo: Xbox

An open mind

Despite the lack of VR planning for the Xbox, VR is set to have a key role in gaming for its parent, Microsoft. One of the PC’s flagship franchises, Half-Life is set to release a video game that emphasizes the use of VR. Half-Life: Alyx will be a first-person shooter that will be a VR exclusive.

Nonetheless, Spencer is hopefully of VR’s future. He feels that one day, systems will be better to apply the concept as it is still in its incubation stages. With innovations continuing to revolutionize the industry, it won’t be to see Xbox be more involved with VR sooner than later.

What do you think of Phil Spencer’s views on virtual reality? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.

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