Phil Spencer: Xbox Scarlett Doesn’t “Focus” on VR Due to Lack of Demand

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Project Scarlett Microsoft

Microsoft’s upcoming Xbox Scarlett is not focused on VR due to the lack of demand for it, according to Xbox head Phil Spencer.

During Microsoft’s X019 event in London, Australian website Stevivor sat down with Spencer to discuss the company’s view on Virtual Reality (VR). Apparently, Microsoft’s stance on VR has somewhat changed since 2016 when Spencer said to be open to implementing the simulation experience in the current Xbox One X (then codenamed Project Scorpio). Truth be told, Spencer then already mentioned that Microsoft won't be focusing on 1st-party VR hardware for the One X.

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We're "not focused on an first party VR hardware device right now", Spencer said back in 2016.

"The best place for VR innovation is the PC. I think developers should still go focus on the PC, because I think that’s a great place to innovate. What we’re doing… is we’re able to take some of the PC innovation that we see… and bring it to the console space, to enable those magical experiences on Scorpio when it launches."

“Yeah,” Microsoft’s executive vice-president of Gaming acknowledged. “I don’t love my quote there because I’m not trying to demean the work that people are doing in VR,”

Spencer went on to explain his changed stance on VR.

“I have some issues with VR — it’s isolating and I think of games as a communal, kind of together experience. We’re responding to what our customers are asking for and… nobody’s asking for VR,” he said. “The vast majority of our customers know if they want a VR experience, there’s places to go get those. We see the volumes of those on PC and other places.”

Spencer wrapped up the VR discussion by saying that VR is not Microsoft’s focus. “I think we might get there [eventually]. But yeah, that’s not where our focus is.”

Microsoft next-gen Xbox Scarlett is planned to be released during next year’s holiday season. Hardware specifications, pricing and an exact release date have yet to be announced.

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