Microsoft's approach to implementing virtual reality into its mainline home consoles has been mixed at best. When it introduced the Xbox One X in 2016, it stated that the device would support "high fidelity VR," and it also promised that mixed reality would arrive on the console this year.
None of that has happened yet, though, and so far, getting a straight answer from the company has been quite difficult. But during E3, Microsoft finally clarified its plans for VR and MR on Xbox One consoles: it's not happening.
Nope, Virtual Or Mixed Reality Isn't Coming To Xbox One
That's right — don't expect VR or MR on Xbox One systems anytime soon. Speaking to Gamesindustry.biz, Microsoft's marketing boss Mike Nichols confirmed that the company doesn't have any plans to bring VR to Xbox right now. Instead, it's focusing on existing VR or MR headsets for PC.
"Our perspective on it has been and continues to be that the PC is probably the best platform for more immersive VR and MR. As an open platform, it just allows faster, more rapid iteration," said Nichols, adding that the company's primary focus is enhancing the living room experience. "Our focus is primarily on experiences you would play on your TV, and ultimately we'd like to make those experiences more broadly."
So there goes Xbox players' dream of playing VR or MR on their console. It's quite a shame for Microsoft to withdraw VR support in the context of its home consoles, especially after appearing so passionate about it just several years ago.
The Next Xbox Console
There's still some smidge of hope, however. At E3, Microsoft said that work had begun on the next iteration of Xbox, hinting that they may be two or so years from arrival. Perhaps by that time the resulting console would be powerful and seamless enough to support an above-average VR or MR experience for players. That's not to say the Xbox One X isn't powerful enough, though — one look at its specs confirms that it's more than capable. Microsoft, however, thinks there's better use of power, and time.
Do you think Microsoft should at least explore VR or MR on Xbox One consoles, or are those ventures not worthwhile enough at the moment despite the VR boom? Do you agree that PC is better fit for VR than Xbox? As always, if you have anything to share, feel free to sound off in the comments section below!