Virtual reality technology has been promised as the next big evolutionary leap for interactive gaming since the early 1990s, but only recently has it seemed to take any real hold with the advent of high-end devices like Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Playstation VR devices. But while much of the games industry has enthusiastically chased this new trend, some prominent voices have remained skeptical of whether VR will finally deliver long-term.
Fans may be interested in playing games with the newest technology available to them, but they may have to question those desires after one more prominent name is added to the list of skeptics: Xbox’s Phil Spencer.
In an interview with Stevivor, Spencer expanded on why the upcoming Xbox Scorpio hasn’t pursued virtual reality as aggressively as other consoles. The always outspoken Xbox head praised the technological leaps that has made VR feasible, but stopped short of endorsing the actual supply of games that have been produced for the units thus far:
“I think VR will find its spot in gaming; I would make that bet. We designed Scorpio as a VR-capable console. Whether that happens this year, next year or the year after… like I said, I still think the creative community has to get its arms around what are these new tools, and this new feeling — this new immersion.”
“What experiences do you put in people’s hands to have a long term engagement? Most of these things I’m playing now feel like demos and experiments, which I actually think it’s absolutely the right thing to have happened. That’s not a criticism at all, but should be happening. But I think it will take time.”
While that sounds hopeful for fans who want to see future Xbox projects embrace VR more enthusiastically, Spencer also laid out his issues with the base technology itself — opining that the current state of VR may be too cumbersome to appeal to mainstream audiences at this juncture.
“If I think about the technology I would say the idea… that I’m going to put on a head-mounted display and have a wire hanging out the back of my head that connects to some box in a room [is wrong]. It’s gotta go away. Most non-core gaming people are not going to do that.”
“Whether people are going to put something on their head, I think is actually a legitimate question. They’re definitely not going to walk around in a shielded environment with a cord at scale. That’s absolutely where VR has to be today.”
Stick with Screen Rant for more news on the future of VR and the Xbox brand as it develops.