Virtual reality is slowly being integrated into the gaming world, but some companies haven’t hopped on the trend just yet. While PSVR is already available for the PS4, the Xbox One X isn’t expected to come out with a VR system anytime soon. Albert Penello, Senior Director of Product Management and Planning at Microsoft, believes VR isn’t a focus for the Xbox One X.
In an interview with Wired, Penello explained the reason for not directing more focus toward VR development for the XB1X:
“We learned with Kinect and the Wii that just translating a typical game experience to VR is not a winning strategy. It’s the oddball VR-specific stuff that makes it sing. It wasn’t something we wanted to distract developers with this year.”
Microsoft’s competitor Sony has taken a different business approach with the release of PSVR last year. Not even a year passed when over 1 million PSVR units were sold by June of this year according to The Verge. Sony also recently announced an upgraded version of the PSVR headset, so it seems like PlayStation is moving fast with VR development.
The Xbox One X, which will release next month, will be able to run certain games in 4K resolution. Penello mentioned that he wants the company to focus development on 4K support instead of VR. Microsoft wants to match the sudden rise in 4K TV sales expected to occur soon.
VR is still not as popular as typical console gaming. Penello elaborated into this issue, stating: “There’s still a tonne[sic] of experimentation in VR.” Does he think VR is a viable consumer product? Penello thinks so, and believes that while there is an audience for VR support it’s not popular enough now to shift the Xbox team’s focus towards VR.
The Xbox One X will be released November 7th. How do you feel about Microsoft’s decision to not prioritize VR support on the XB1X? Should Microsoft follow Sony and jump on the VR trend? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.