Xbox boss Phil Spencer has provided his own two cents on the topic of VR gaming and whether he considers it to be the future. In a recent interview with Gamespot, Spencer goes into detail about his views on the emerging technology and its potential to become the focus of video games, but his response may not be what you’d expect…
Well, now it’s just my opinion. I’ll say, obviously we have relationships with Valve, we have a relationship with Oculus around the VR work that they’re doing, but I’m going to say I kind of hope not.
He continues on to clarify that he’s excited to see what kind of experiences VR can offer gamers, but that he hopes it doesn’t became the primary way in which to play – stating that it goes against his own personal view of how video games should be experienced.
It doesn’t mean I don’t think VR has great experiences to offer. I think it does, and we’ll find those, and people will love playing those. I love playing games in my family room with my kids. I love people coming together and watching what’s happening on screen and laughing, and the kind of fun of what video games were always about. That doesn’t mean that can’t happen in a kind of socially connected VR environment, but to me it would be too bad if all gaming became people with head mounted displays on, headphones on, kind of blocked out from everything that happens.
There will be certain experiences where that’s perfect. I don’t know necessarily if it will be genre based, but I just love me watching you play Mario and giving you ideas about where things might be, and we laugh, and we can kind of sit around and eat chips, and do things that people do. I think that’s kind of the basis of what gaming is about.
Could Spencer’s comments be a sign that Microsoft are ruling out VR for the Xbox One entirely? Not likely. The company have already shown their commitment to the Oculus Rift by providing an Xbox controller with every headset, and they also revealed their own VR technology with Microsoft Hololens at this year’s E3.
The technology is certainly still in its infancy, and it’ll be interesting to see if it truly does take-off beyond just a novelty. Meanwhile, Sony’s PlayStation VR is due to release in 2o16.