Microsoft Xbox One X is very powerful and is also VR-ready, but the company has yet to reveal plans for virtual reality gaming on the console. The company has revealed that it’s actually focusing on VR for PCs, instead of the Xbox.
“Our focus right now is admittedly on the PC space,” Microsoft general manager Dave McCarthy told GameSpot. “So we look at Windows 10, we see an open ecosystem for developers. We see a huge installed base of half a billion monthly active devices on Windows 10. And we say that feels like the right area of focus right now [for VR/AR].”
Based on McCarthy’s statements, it looks like Microsoft wants to focus more on VR for PC simply because of the amount of people already engaged in that particular space. That doesn’t necessarily mean that VR won’t be heading to the Xbox One consoles. This could simply mean that it might arrive a little bit later.
McCarthy also said that there really isn’t a “killer experience” for virtual reality yet, which would help VR be more appealing to a wider audience. However, he did point out that that wasn’t really a big issue since a lot of developers, including Microsoft’s own studios, are currently working on it.
“I would say developers are still finding their way to define the killer experience there, which is great at this point in its evolution overall,” McCarthy said. “We believe in it enough that we have several of our first-party studios actually working on content for our Windows 10 devices. We’ll have more to talk about later this year on that.”
Microsoft originally marketed the Xbox One X, called Project Scorpio at the time, as a high-powered console that also supports VR. However, the company later removed mention of VR support for the console earlier this year on its website. A Microsoft spokesperson later said that the Xbox One X will support “high-fidelity VR experiences,” but he didn’t provide any reason as to why that was removed from the website. As of late, the current Xbox One X product page still does not mention VR gaming support.
When Microsoft officially unveiled the Xbox One X last month during E3 2017, it focused more the console’s 4K HDR capabilities and high frame rates. The company didn’t provide any information on virtual reality support, nor did it share plans for any future VR games.
It seems like Microsoft adamantly believes that VR games are not yet ready for home consoles, regardless of how powerful they are. Back in November, Xbox boss Phil Spencer did say that he believes that VR gaming on console are still “a couple of years” away from becoming mainstream.
“I think VR will find its spot in gaming; I would make that bet,” Spencer told Stevivor. “We designed Scorpio as a VR-capable console. Whether that happens this year, next year or the year after… like I said, I still think the creative community has to get its arms around what are these new tools, and this new feeling — this new immersion.”
Sony has already brought VR gaming to its PlayStation 4 consoles by making its own headset with the PlayStation VR. So far, Sony’s PSVR has been received well as the company is also slowly growing its library of VR-supported games.
If Microsoft ever decides to finally bring VR to the Xbox One X, it could leverage the technology it has developed for the HoloLens. Another possible route it could take is to simply add support for third-party headsets like the Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive.