The Head of Xbox Phil Spencer has said that virtual reality is “not a focus” for the upcoming Project Scarlett console.
Spencer made the comments in an interview with Stevivor in which the developer said that the firm isn’t concentrating on creating VR games because customers haven’t been asking for it and because Spencer himself doesn’t seem to like it.
In the interview, Spencer said: “I have some issues with VR – 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.
“The vast majority of our customers know if they want a VR experience, there’s places to go get those. We see the volumes of those on PC and other places,” he added.
Later in the interview, Spencer revealed that the decision was partly made on profit because “nobody’s selling millions and millions” of VR units. However, he then suggested that it may be something Microsoft will try, saying: “I think we might get there [eventually]. But yeah, that’s not where our focus is.”
Contrary to Spencer’s comments, the news sparked backlash on social media sites like Reddit and Twitter where users called Spencer and Xbox “shortsighted” and others claiming that the firm was setting itself “up for failure” regarding the next generation of consoles.
PlayStation’s Surprising Response
Shortly after news of Spencer’s comments hit the internet, Head of PlayStation Shuhei Yoshida hit back at the Xbox head by tweeting: “We oftentimes work hard to make things that no customers are asking for them”.
While many dismissed Yoshida’s comments for being juvenile, Sony PlayStation has shown there is a demand for VR. Back in March, the firm revealed that it had sold 4.2 million VR units since its launch back in 2016.
What’s more, Sony is expected to continue developing and supporting VR with their upcoming PlayStation 5 console which is set for a holiday 2020 release, around the same time Xbox will be releasing its Project Scarlett.
So far, we know that the next-generation Xbox will support 4K video at 60 frames-per-second. Similarly to the PlayStation 5, the next Xbox console will include a solid-state drive (SSD) to minimise load times.
Microsoft has also announced that all current Xbox One accessories will work with the upcoming console including controllers and headsets. It’s also been revealed that Halo Infinite will be a Project Scarlett launch title.
Although it won’t be released for another year, Project Scarlett has already promised to be the world’s most powerful games console by the time it comes out. However, a game developer recently suggested that the PlayStation 5 is currently stronger considering their devkits.
Regardless, Project Scarlett will include custom-built components from AMD as well as an SSD drive. And since the Xbox One X is still currently the most powerful console around, we have big expectations for the next Xbox console.
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