Speaking to GamesRadar, Xbox chief Phil Spencer spoke about why Microsoft currently have nothing on Xbox One to compete with Sony’s Project Morpheus. Read his full response below.
While PC platforms can make use of Rift, Vive and other thirdparty VR headsets, you currently have nothing on Xbox One to compete with Sony’s Project Morpheus. Is that something that’s on your mind?
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. I look at VR as an interesting space. It’s certainly different to the mixed reality we do with HoloLens, but there’s nothing that precludes us from doing something in the VR space. 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. Funnily enough, they are very interested in Minecraft and how it could work in those VR spaces, so even from a content perspective there are a lot of conversations about VR, and I think it’s a very interesting tech for us to watch on the console side as well as the PC side.
In the llast month issue of Game Informer, Kudo Tsunoda from Xbox team said that Microsoft has nothing against VR, but the ability of HoloLens to blend your digital world with your real world is what it makes unique and bringing these two things together unlocks all kinds of different experiences.
“None of that stuff is things you could do with VR,” Tsunoda explained. “It’s nothing against VR; I think VR is great tech. But it’s the ‘blending of the worlds’ part about HoloLens that makes it unique. From a gameplay perspective, it’s being able to make your real world environment an integral part of the experience. That’s really different than what you would get from a VR experience.”
Going by the responses from Microsoft’s executives, Microsoft is not going to release a VR device anytime soon. They are going to see the success of other VR platforms and then respond to them in market in the coming years.