Xbox boss Phil Spencer says virtual reality is not a fad

Head of Xbox Phil Spencer responds to Xbox co-creator Ed Fries' recent comments.

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Virtual reality for gaming is not some short-lived craze that will burn out soon, newly appointed Head of Xbox Phil Spencer said last night on Twitter. "I don't believe VR is a fad," he said.

That's a tantalizingly vague comment from the same person who said last month during the Game Developers Conference that Microsoft has been working on an unspecified VR project for "quite a while."

A document dating back to 2010 suggested that Microsoft will introduce a VR/AR system for the Xbox One called "Fortazela." And just last week, it was discovered that Microsoft paid as much as $150 million for assets related to wearable technology.

VR is nothing new, but it's rising in prominence and popularity thanks to Oculus Rift, which social networking giant Facebook purchased last week in a surprise $2 billion deal. Sony is also working on its own VR device called Project Morpheus.

Spencer's comments were directed at a fan who asked him to respond to Xbox co-creator Ed Fries' recent comments about how Microsoft can beat Sony in the Xbox One vs. PlayStation 4 "console war."

Fries said Microsoft can top Sony if it can create great exclusive games and introduce free-to-play experiences. Spencer said Microsoft is already doing this. "More exclusives makes sense. F2P will be on Xbox One" and will work better over time, he said. "Ed's smart."

Where Fries and Spencer differ, however, is in their expectations for VR. Fries said he's not sure VR has the potential to become widely adopted by mainstream users, instead appealing only to the hardcore crowd.

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