Sony previously made it clear that the PlayStation VR would be a part of its PlayStation 5 future, though it didn’t explain to what extent. Meanwhile, it sounds like Microsoft’s Project Scarlett will take a different route.
Speaking with Stevivor, Xbox head Phil Spencer explained that the company’s next console won’t have a focus on VR.
“I have some issues with VR,” 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’s statement is a slight change of track from what he said in the past, noting that virtual reality could come to the Xbox One X once it exited the “demos and experiments” phase.
“The vast majority of our customers know if they want a VR experience, there’s places to go get those,” he continued. “We see the volumes of those on PC and other places.”
Part of that decision comes from virtual reality sales. He noted that “nobody’s selling millions and millions” of units in that market.
“I think we might get there (eventually),” he concluded. “But yeah, that’s not where our focus is.”
Microsoft has been building up its Xbox Game Studios portfolio over the past couple of years, including studios like Ninja Theory and Obsidian Entertainment. Their focus may be on general next-gen experiences, rather than ones based around virtual reality.
That might be a step for the best, considering that PlayStation VR, while suitably profitable, isn’t exactly going gangbusters on the market.
Project Scarlett is set to release on the market during the 2020 holiday season.