Microsoft's VR Ambitions Are More Focused On PC Than Xbox Right Now
"Our focus right now is admittedly on the PC space," Dave McCarthy says.
When Microsoft announced the Xbox One X back in 2016, when it was known as Project Scorpio, the company said the super-powerful console was VR-ready. Microsoft didn't announce any VR plans for the console at this year's E3, and it sounds like we might not learn more about this anytime soon.
Speaking to GameSpot, Microsoft general manager Dave McCarthy said the company is purposefully focusing on PC right now for its VR and AR ambitions. Console will come later, it seems.
"Our focus right now is admittedly on the PC space," McCarthy said. "So we look at Windows 10, we see an open ecosystem for developers. We see a huge installed base of half a billion monthly active devices on Windows 10. And we say that feels like the right area of focus right now [for VR/AR]."
McCarthy went on to say that VR hasn't yet found a "killer experience" that communicates the novelty of VR to a wide audience. This isn't a problem per se, he said.
"I would say developers are still finding their way to define the killer experience there, which is great at this point in its evolution overall," McCarthy said. "We believe in it enough that we have several of our first-party studios actually working on content for our Windows 10 devices. We'll have more to talk about later this year on that."
Earlier this year, the Xbox website removed mention of virtual reality support for Xbox One X. Microsoft later clarified that the console will still offer "high-fidelity VR experiences," though it declined to say why mention was removed from the site or when or how console owners can expect to play VR on Xbox One X.
Sony's PlayStation 4 offers VR support through the PlayStation VR headset. It remains to be seen how VR would work on Xbox One X, whether it be through Microsoft's own HoloLens device or via a third-party device like Oculus Rift, or something else entirely.
In November of last year, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said he thinks VR will eventually "find its spot" in gaming--but it might not be soon. "We designed Scorpio as a VR-capable console. Whether that happens this year, next year, or the year after…"
"I don't think the creators in the game space have yet found--well, they haven't obviously perfected the craft of building VR games," Spencer added. "It's so early; I think we're a couple of years before we'll really see that hit mainstream."
The Xbox One X launches in November, priced at $500 in the US. Check out the video above to get a closer look at the system and learn about its specs.