Phil Spencer, corporate vice president of Microsoft Corp. and the head of Microsoft Game Studios, said in an interview that the company is not trying to bring virtual reality games to its Xbox One game console because Windows is a better platform for VR while the technology is still at an early development stage.
“Where we are in the adoption of VR, Windows is just a better platform,” said Mr. Spencer in an interview with Eurogamer. “We are early enough that getting hundreds of different creative minds thinking about what’s happening – whether it’s on Oculus or Valve’s VR – is really what the industry needs. Linking it to a closed platform this early, and a handful of games that any dedicated platform is going to go fund, I don’t think VR is at that point.”
It is not a secret that virtual reality games will require massive amount of compute and graphics processing power, something that modern game consoles from Microsoft and Sony just cannot provide. Both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One feature performance of an entry-level gaming PC, but leading-edge VR games will require performance of a high-end gaming system with a top-of-the-range graphics adapter and a powerful microprocessor, according to Palmer Luckey, the founder of Oculus VR.
In a bid to make its PS4 even more competitive, Sony wants to offer virtual reality headset for it, which is currently known as the project Morpheus. It remains to be seen how many VR helmets will Sony sell and whether it will encourage game developers to design VR games for PlayStation 4.
According to Microsoft, Windows – which is installed on billions of PCs and which is used by hundreds of millions of people, who play video games – is a preferable platform for VR compared to any console. On the other hand, if there is demand, Microsoft may reassess its views and add VR gear support to its Xbox One, the high-ranking executive stressed.
“I think the openness of Windows is the right way to approach it – which is why we spent time with Oculus and Valve in making sure Windows is a great platform for VR,” said Mr. Spencer. “We are just choosing to focus our efforts in the PC space. But if people want to adopt VR on a console platform, we wouldn’t have any problem to keep that as an option.”
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KitGuru Says: What’s the point of sitting near a TV with a headset on to play VR games? Especially considering the fact that modern game consoles just do not have enough performance for VR? Share your thoughts with us, guys!