[H]ardOCP: Microsoft Declares PC Best for VR & AR

Remigio Civitarese
Giugno 24, 2018

A senior Microsoft marketing exec has signalled that there are now no plans to do develop VR/MR experiences for Xbox, and that the platform is focussed upon entertainment for your living room TV. Earlier this month, it was reported the Xbox One successor, known as Project Scarlett, would be revealed in 2020.

In an interview with Gamesindustry.biz Mike Nichols, chief marketing officer of Redmond's gaming division, poured cold water on the smouldering ideas of Xbox One VR support. After all VR still has more ways it could improve before it really grabs the attention of the mainstream consumer and if Xbox doesn't feel it's ready, then offering it before that point or at all if there's not much interest from the company itself would probably complicate things. "There are plenty of companies investing in it in the hardware side and the content side, or some combination therein", Nichols continued. Obviously on phones, augmented reality is a good scenario as well that's going to grow. At least in some markets. 'We have nothing to share about MR for console at this time.

On the one hand, virtual reality has yet to truly ignite the sales charts or the masses. In the aftermath of this year's E3 gaming conference, MSFT says Xbox VR support is on hold. VR was one of the features the company promised the Xbox One X would support when it was unveiled past year. Should Microsoft have stuck with VR or was this the right move? The plan of PS4 was to release a piece of hardware that can provide high quality VR experience by creating an output of a picture to both the headset and to the television.

This news comes as quite the surprise as just previous year, Microsoft's Head of Xbox Phil Spencer reiterated the company's commitment to supporting VR for the Xbox One X. But it looks like things have changed on that front, which may be partly due to the VR hype dying down and the technology itself not reaching the point where it's more convenient and affordable. It would achieve that, the company hinted, by supporting virtual reality headsets on the Xbox. It's quite a shame for Microsoft to withdraw VR support in the context of its home consoles, especially after appearing so passionate about it just several years ago.

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