It seems after years of promises, Microsoft has finally admitted that they will not be bringing virtual reality gaming to the Xbox One.
“We don’t have any plans specific to Xbox consoles in virtual reality or mixed reality,” Microsoft Chief Marketing Officer Mike Nichols told GamesIndustry.biz at the E3 video game convention in Los Angeles last week. “Our perspective on it has been and continues to be that the PC is probably the best platform for more immersive VR and MR.”
The confession goes against Microsoft’s original promise in June 2016, when, speaking about Project Scorpio, Xbox chief Phil Spencer said: “This is hardware built specifically to lead the console industry into true 4K gaming and high-fidelity VR,” adding the hardware would enable “premiere VR experiences without sacrificing performance.”
Spencer re-confirmed Microsoft’s commitment to VR in 2017, saying the Xbox One X fully supports virtual reality technology.
Fast-forward to 2018 and a Microsoft spokesperson now said: “Because of the opportunity with Windows Mixed Reality, and because we believe the user experience will be best on PC right now, that is where our focus is. We have nothing to share about MR for console at this time.”
In a separate comment to GameSpot, Spencer said he hadn’t gotten many requests for mixed reality console games, but didn’t close the door on MR games for Xbox One X.
Of course the same could be said about the demand for the Xbox One – over the same period Sony has sold more than double the number of PS4 consoles, and also successfully shipped more than 2 million PlayStation VR headsets.