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Microsoft Xbox chief: VR is not a ‘now thing’

At least two dedicated virtual reality headsets are heading to the market in late 2015 – early 2016 timeframe and a number of game developers are working on titles that will take advantage of these VR devices. However, many doubt that virtual reality technology in its current form will become popular at all. Phil Spencer, the head of Microsoft Xbox division, is among those, who believes in VR, but he claims that this is not something that is required today.

“I don’t think VR is a ‘now’ thing,” said Mr. Spencer in an interview with Edge Magazine, reports GamesRadar. “I’m not saying it’s five years from now, but it’s not really a ‘now’ thing. […] Right now, it has just been about technologies and things that I think we need to do on Xbox One to make the experience better, and that is where our focus has been.”

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In an interview last year Phil Spencer revealed that Microsoft had played with virtual reality technologies, but he did not outline any exact plans. One of the main VR-related concerns are stable framerate and ultra-fast responsiveness of games, which requires a lot of computing horsepower. While it is relatively easy to get high framerates and responsiveness on personal computers, Xbox One game console is not as powerful as modern PCs. As a result, it is not surprising that Mr. Spencer is not exactly a VR fan right now. Still, the head of Xbox division understands the potential of virtual reality.

“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,” said Mr. Spencer.

Sony plans to commercially launch its project Morpheus virtual reality headset for PlayStation 4 in the first half of 2016. Once PS4 gets its own VR gear, it will gain another advantage over Microsoft’s Xbox One. Whether or not Microsoft plans to respond is completely unclear.

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KitGuru Says: In a bid to release something tomorrow, you need to start its development today. There are no doubts that a company as large as Microsoft could develop a VR hardware for Xbox One relatively quickly. However, it would take years before game developers learn how to use new hardware efficiently. Therefore, if Microsoft claims that VR is not something that the company is focused on right now, chances are that Xbox One will simply not get a VR headset from Microsoft. Keeping in mind that new-generation consoles can barely run all games in 1920*1080 (1080p) resolution, it is obvious why VR is not a priority for Microsoft. Does anyone regret about it?

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