Speaking with Stevivor, Xbox head Phil Spencer explained that the company’s next console won’t have a focus on VR. Sony has already doubled down on their own iteration though, PSVR. As Sony has already announced that a new version of PSVR will eventually debut for the PS5. The former will no doubt be looking to refine their previous VR efforts and to expand the presence of the VR market beyond its common perception as an unappealing and very niche product. But with Microsoft, they don’t see a similar approach as viable with Scarlett.
Spencer made it pretty clear why the tech giant won’t be pushing VR though, “I have some issues with VR,” he said. Continuing, he explained, 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. “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.”
Spencer went on to point out that the VR market just doesn’t have the staying power or market share within the wider games industry just yet. Microsoft doesn’t want to commit to an effort that would be dominated by, as Spencer put it, “nobody’s selling millions and millions” of units in that market.
Spencer concluded that he’s hopeful for the future though saying, “I think we might get there (eventually),” he concluded. “But yeah, that’s not where our focus is.”
Scarlett will already have a very tough uphill fight against the powerful PS5. Sony has been killing it in terms of marketing their console, and with Scarlett apparently being less powerful, the big MS will need every bit of advantage they can muster. Narrowing their focus on delivering high-quality games can certainly help.