Whether it’s Valve, Sony, Oculus, or Samsung pushing ahead with the Gear, you don’t have to cast your eyes too far to find the burgeoning market for virtual reality in the video game industry. All of these companies are easing closer to consumer-ready models, and though Microsoft has been working on augmented reality via the HoloLens, the company’s Xbox Boss Phil Spencer touched upon the tech itself, and why he believes VR isn’t quite a “now” thing.
In the latest issue of EDGE magazine, Spencer addressed Microsoft’s approach to the technology, along with competition in the field – specifically, Sony’s Project Morpheus headset.
It’s more of an announcement than anybody really having any VR stuff right now – and that’s not a shot at Sony. I mean, it’s hard tech, and I think it’s great what they’re doing with Morpheus. But they’ve announced [it for] the first half of 2016, so a little over a year from now.
Much has been said about Microsoft’s presence – or lack thereof – in the VR market, leading many to believe that the Redmond-based giant had a device in the works and that simply wasn’t ready to be revealed. And though Spencer didn’t rule out the possibility of the company one day entering the fray, he elaborated on why he believes the technology isn’t quite there yet.
As you say, there are partners out there, and while these guys are PC-based today, if we want to do something with Xbox… Right now, it’s just been about technologies and things that I think we need to do on Xbox One to make the experience better, and that’s where our focus has been. And I don’t think VR is a now thing. I’m not saying it’s five years from now, but it’s not really a now now thing. Valve’s got their VR thing, which I think is great; Samsung has GearVR, too.
Microsoft is developing the HoloLens to release in tandem with Windows 10. Circling back to the virtual side of reality, though, what do you make of Spencer’s comments?