Xbox Head Phil Spencer: I Hope Sony Has Success With PlayStation VR
But he’s not sure if a closed VR ecosystem is the right move for the medium’s future.
Phil Spencer is known for being a class act- the man has a passion for games and gaming, which comes through. And even though he heads up the Xbox brand, he still has had no problems ever giving credit to others, including the competition, where it has been due.
So it comes as no surprise to hear him be a good sport again, this time related to the upcoming PlayStation VR by Sony. Although Spencer is considerably tempered in his expectations from the product, as well as how Sony seem to be going about it in general, he does wish Sony the very best of luck with the headset.
“Our bet on VR right now on an open platform for innovation [like Windows 10] is the best place for something that is this early in its incubation,” Spencer said in an interview with Gamespot. “You can say Minecraft will be the killer app, but nobody’s bought a copy of Minecraft for VR.”
Given this preference for open platforms, Spencer is not entirely sold on the concept of a closed VR ecosystem.
“I think VR is still right at the beginning. Taking that to a closed ecosystem today, I think to me is just too early,” he said. “It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t belong in console…I hope Sony has success with what they’re trying to do because I think it’s good for our industry as innovations like VR take off. But for me, and where we are with Xbox, my bet is putting the development tools in the hands of literally millions of people who can go on Windows and start building their own VR experiences is likely to lead to faster content innovation than a closed ecosystem would.
“So we’re supporting Valve, we’re supporting Oculus, we want to make sure Windows 10 is a great place for those developers that want to build those ideas for what might make the killer app for VR.”
While Microsoft so far does not have a VR product of its own, it does have the AR powered HoloLens, which launches at the end of March for developers, for a price of $3,000. Sony’s PlayStation VR, meanwhile, is the last major VR product launch remaining for this year- and no confirmation of either price or launch dates has been made yet.