While VR didn’t quite take off like many maybe expected, there is still a lot of companies that are behind the technology in a big way. Valve and Facebook are both working on their versions of the tech, and in the console space Sony is pushing forward with a new VR headset that could come as early as next year. One company that hasn’t shown much interest however is Microsoft, and it seems that won’t be changing anytime soon.
Phil Spencer spoke to the Wall Street Journal at a Tech Live Event (thanks to VGC for transcribing). There he was asked about VR, specifically if he saw it as a “differentiator” between what Microsoft is doing with Xbox and Sony is doing with the PlayStation brand. He said that he applauded what Sony, and others, were doing in that space but said that as of now Microsoft doesn’t have plans to enter into VR, saying they want to focus on more traditional hardware and software to build community with consumers.
“We’re big believers in that software platform and the devices that will enable that. Absolutely. [But] we’re focused a lot more on the software side of that right now. When I think about immersive worlds and I think about the connection of a player and community, that’s something that’s very high on our investment list.
“I think the devices that are out there now, we stay connected with a lot of the players that are out there. [With] people building hardware, a lot of that happens on Windows and we experiment and talk to a lot of the partners that are there.
“I think that the hardware innovation that’s happening is great and it’s an important enabler, [but] right now I’m deciding to stay more in the software side of that enablement. I believe it will scale better in the long run.”
Spencer has gone back and forth on VR, at times seeming to dismiss the idea completely and others saying that he hopes the technology will eventually become mainstream enough to be viable. As it stands now, however, I wouldn’t really expect a VR headset for any of your Xbox consoles anytime soon.