Xbox Boss Responds To Criticism Of His "Nobody's Asking For VR" Comments
VR will not be a focus for Xbox Scarlett.
Xbox boss Phil Spencer recently said that one of the reasons that Xbox Scarlett may not have VR support is because "nobody's asking for VR." He also said the VR market is progressing slowly, with none of the major VR platforms racing up the sales charts. Some remarked that Spencer's comments were dismissive to the wider VR community, and now the longtime Xbox leader has commented again and clarified his stance.
A fan remarked on Twitter that Spencer was speaking dismissively about VR and suggesting it is a novelty. This person said Spencer might have been wiser to acknowledge the successes of VR so far and leave the door open for Scarlett or other Xbox platforms to support VR someday.
Spencer replied that this is "fair feedback."
He added that he has personally played great VR games, noting that he got to try Half-Life: Alyx over the summer before it was announced. Still, he reiterated that VR will not be a focus for Microsoft's next-generation console.
"I've said publicly, I love how our industry has pioneered: AI, physics, 3D, RT, VR/AR etc. For us, it's about focus on our innovations right now. I've played some great VR games, I got to play Half-Life: Alyx in the summer, amazing. It's just not our focus with Scarlett."
In his earlier interview, Spencer said he has "some issues" with VR as a platform, one of which is that he thinks it is "isolating." Spencer said he prefers gaming experiences that are more communal and shared.
Companies like Sony, Valve, HTC, Facebook, and others have invested in VR in a big way, but according to NPD analyst Mat Piscatella, it hasn't paid off yet. He said the revenue from VR games spending so far has amounted to a "rounding error of [a] rounding error."
In other recent news, Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt Red said VR is a teeny tiny niche of a market. Valve is only releasing Half-Life: Alyx as a VR game because it wants to boost VR hardware sales, according to CD Projekt Red.
PlayStation boss Shuhei Yoshida seemingly took a jab at Spencer's comments about VR by saying Sony creates things that customers aren't asking for.
（´-`）.｡oO（we oftentimes work hard to make things that no customers are asking for them）— Shuhei Yoshida (@yosp) November 26, 2019
Xbox Scarlett launches in Holiday 2020 with Halo Infinite as a launch title.