Dev: Next Xbox Console May Not Have VR, Microsoft shows no interest in it.

Is it a good or bad thing that Microsoft is not participating in VR?


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Voost Kain

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Microsoft, however, have been sitting out the VR race as the one notable absentee, and based on their practices and their plans, it seems like VR might not be something they’ll look to focus on anytime soon.

As per Pablo Lafora, game designer at Tessera Studios, developers of the upcoming PSVR horror title Intruders: Hide and Seek, it’s likely that Microsoft will be sitting out VR next generation as well, with maybe HoloLens 2 functionality – potentially – figuring in somewhere for the Xbox Scarlet (or whatever Microsoft chooses to call the next Xbox).
“No matter how much I ask, I never get any news on Microsoft VR,” Lafora told GamingBolt in an exclusive interview. “Just some rumors about HoloLens 2. It seems like they don’t have much interest in VR. On one hand, it looks like right now they won’t include VR features on their next console. On the other hand… that sounds really risky. Maybe the next Xbox will be HoloLens 2 compatible? It might be, but we don’t think the console/marketing will make HoloLens the core of it all.”

Though Microsoft’s focus on services such as Game Pass and xCloud has been clear to see already, and undoubtedly will be even more at the forefront of their strategy in the coming years, the one major thing they have been noticeable silent on is VR. While that doesn’t completely rule out the possibility of them doing something in that space down the line, their silence on the front has certainly not gone unnoticed.
Some may be wondering whether MS will do it or not, but to me it's been clear about Micrsosofts flagging interest in VR since they removed all mentions of it months before the reveal of the Xbox One X. The page had VR removed from its feature list, and despite the E3 2016 video, no other videos about Xbox VR ever surfaced, and while Oculus partnered with Microsoft, MS never did anything with that partnership for the Xbox One S or the Xbox One X. On top of that VR hasn't really been flying off the shelves, but it's doing a decent number.

I think Microsoft, based on their actions from 2016 until now, with them not even commenting on VR from not just this dev, but other devs over the last year, has already show us that they have no interest in VR. Also Hololens is not VR, and will be too expensive to be a mass market service.

It seems to me that Microsoft is splitting with other companies in the industry and focusing more on Games on Demand with Gamepass and projectXcloud wireless streaming. As well as other software focused features. If they do introduce a hardware accessory for the next Xbox it'll either be a 3rd attempt at Kinect or something new, but it seems clear to me that VR is not something MS will be pursuing.

Now, whether that's a good thing or not is a completely different subject. Post your opinion on why it's a "good" thing or "bad" thing that MS is avoiding VR, share your thoughts below on them going in a different direction and abandoning VR for other pastures.
 
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angelic

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Might have something to do with a certain camera based device destroying their prospects 5 years ago.
 

Vawn

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Hey Voost, do you like Xbox?

VR is awesome, but I'm fine with Xbox doing something different instead of just trying to be a substitute for the PlayStation which is what it has kind of felt like since they entered the industry.
 
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mcjmetroid

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It's very difficult to see where VR is going. I don't think the tech is there yet for it to be accessible to the masses.
There is still a lot of setup required and it's too expensive.

It's a gamble for sure but we'll see how they works out for MS.
 

Cert.in.Death

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MS has more pressing matters, mainly rejuvenating their 1st party QA. Without their own division producing content for their VR platform, they’re just another schmo actively competing with Valve’s Vive brand and Oculus’ Rift.

I imagine that if Xbox were to incorporate a VR headset, they would be device-agnostic or would push the MS variant (albeit my experience with it was comparatively lackluster next to OR).
 

Wonko_C

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Some of the studios they recently acquired have VR development experience and want to keep making VR games (inXile with The Mage's Tale, Ninja Theory with Hellblade VR), and Microsoft said they're gonna let them make whatever they want to make. They're just not ready to announce anything yet.
 
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Nickolaidas

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Frankly, as long as the VR headset lowers the resolution so much that it distorts the picture, I'm not interested. If the next-gen consoles have 1080p AT LEAST when showing VR, I may be on board … if I fight through the motion sickness.
 

Al3x1s

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How is Microsoft an absentee to VR when they have WMR? How does this guy not see any Microsoft VR news given that? I guess they're just taking a wait and see approach before committing to it on console but if VR is all the rage at some point between now and next gen's launch window (or even later) they can always release an update that enables compatibility with WMR, in their current form or with whatever upgrades (hopefully substantial but honestly they're already better than PSVR overall and in controller tracking, just not as good as other PCVR, but there are also WMR sets with much, much nicer image quality than the more popular PCVR sets as well, without costing a crazy amount like the Vive Pro and getting deep discounts often enough on top of that) they may have done by then (or both). They're in a pretty good position to enable it for Xbox when/if needed. Either way to say Microsoft shows no interest in VR is quite far from the mark, their inside out tracking style is being even more widely adopted despite potential deficiencies (that I'm sure will be reduced as they keep working on the tech) compared to outside in tracking simply because it's easier for people to set things up with that kind of hardware, both for mobile VR and for VR that requires a console/PC box, whether tethered or wireless. They're doing pretty good work and hopefully we'll see upgraded specs/capabilities/build quality with the next wave of WMR sets relatively soon...

The two poll choices miss the mark as well since they take those blatantly false statements for granted.
 
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Voost Kain

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Some of the studios they recently acquired have VR development experience and want to keep making VR games (inXile with The Mage's Tale, Ninja Theory with Hellblade VR), and Microsoft said they're gonna let them make whatever they want to make. They're just not ready to announce anything yet.
This could just be for PC though, that's doesn't mean they'll be putting our VR for xbox.
 

GoldenEye98

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Me seeing thread title : "Please don't be from Gamingbolt, Please don't be from Gamingbolt"

*opens thread* "of course.."
 
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Redneckerz

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Good thing since their focus is on Hololens. Makes little sense to shift attention away from that to VR which isn't a standard in the PC space and PS4 VR requires a lot of extra hardware making it effectively a seperate platform.

Hololens's concept is geniune mindfuckery. VR today is still VR from the 90's, just way more refined and now do-able at an attainable consumer price.
 

Hotspurr

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I tried some VR experienced here and there, most of them are lame in comparison to standard gaming. Not a fan, and seems the hype has been dying down.

The problem with VR is it's not a direct successor to standard gaming. I see it as its own thing that does not necessarily appeal to me as a gamer. If anything 3D TVs were more of a natural step forward for movies/gaming, and that ended up being a non starter. Maybe there is a threshold for how far people are willing to separate themselves from the real world, and a standard TV is where most draw the line.
 

Sycomunkee

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This is both good and bad. I'm glad they know where there focus is. But VR is sweet and should be bigger. I love my Oculus.
 

ZywyPL

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Can't remember when was the last time I read about VR, isn't it dead already? Either way, good to hear if true, no need to waste time and resources for a niche gimmicks
 

Wonko_C

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Maybe there is a threshold for how far people are willing to separate themselves from the real world, and a standard TV is where most draw the line.
This is something my mind has always been unable to compute. Why wouldn't people want to be instantly transported to another world? Is reality really that exciting to them? Tell me where can I grab the next starship to a distant alien planet then, please!
 

McHuj

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Good. Until VR is completely wireless and portable it will be a very niche product.

Concentrate on lean gaming machine, MS.
 

FullTilt18

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That's a little odd considering the next gen consoles should be more than powerful enough to push any VR game on the market at high resolution/graphical fidelity.
 

Al3x1s

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This is something my mind has always been unable to compute. Why wouldn't people want to be instantly transported to another world? Is reality really that exciting to them? Tell me where can I grab the next starship to a distant alien planet then, please!
You just have to ignore people who don't know what they're talking about because they either haven't tried VR or they tried some random undisclosed software at some random undisclosed place with god knows what undisclosed quality and therefor speak out of their ass when they say VR has or can have no deep gaming (or not) experiences. It's a growing industry in various fields, from PC to console to location based entertainment and plenty companies are thriving off it, anyone trying to put it down because it doesn't already sell the numbers a Sony or Nintendo console does is just being ignorant. Same for people that place arbitrary standards for when VR "will be worth it" which is much like someone trying to convince us for the last 10 years that non VR gaming "will be worth it" when we have 4K HDR photorealism at 140fps, as if we weren't having tons of fun without it.

The only thing that's true is that the AAA companies haven't yet produced much beyond ports (like Skyrim VR which is pretty good) or smaller scale projects (like Ubisoft's Transference). I also think it's kind of bad that RE7 became something of a poster child for AAA VR software given that while immersion is definitely increased in VR it doesn't use involving gameplay controls since it's a standard gamepad game without VR controller support which would have made it 1000x better. But personally I wasn't all about AAA gaming before so I find plenty to like about existing VR software anyway, not to mention the promise they show for when we do start seeing higher budget productions (like some of the Oculus funded games like Lone Echo 1 and the upcoming 2 and Asgard's Wrath) given smaller companies already provide so much fun with their more limited resources.
 
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Hendrick's

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Need a third result. They should just let allow for compatibility with Oculus and let third parties make VR games. If there is a demand for VR, it will grow organically. I don't see the need for MS to invest anything into VR themselves at this time.
 

Norse

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Ready player one says 2025 is the yr of true vr. When vr reaches that level I'll jump in.
 

Naked Lunch

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Is this supposed to be a bad thing?

Any form of VR is DOA - now and for the foreseeable future.
 

Voost Kain

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Need a third result. They should just let allow for compatibility with Oculus and let third parties make VR games. If there is a demand for VR, it will grow organically. I don't see the need for MS to invest anything into VR themselves at this time.
Because then MS won't get a cut. MS wants at least partial control of the content, what benefit is there for MS to just allow Oculus to be plugged in with its current library if MS doesn't get anything out of it? MS would likely try and have some sort of controlled partnership so they get money for games sold and/or each oculus sold. Likely a Xbox specific Oculus that only works with Xbox but can play all the Oculus library.

But that's what was rumored in 2016, back when VR was a bulletpoint to own the Xbox One X before release.
 

Meowzers

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Nothing beats a control pad and never will. It's the bread and butter of gaming.

Sure, there's a few prawn sandwiches about, but they come and go.
 

Z O N E

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Fine with me. I have a PSVR and it's just a hassle with all the cables. Last time I played it was Resident Evil 7 and that was a long ass time ago, so there's how much use it's getting from me so far...
 

Al3x1s

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Because then MS won't get a cut. MS wants at least partial control of the content, what benefit is there for MS to just allow Oculus to be plugged in with its current library if MS doesn't get anything out of it? MS would likely try and have some sort of controlled partnership so they get money for games sold and/or each oculus sold. Likely a Xbox specific Oculus that only works with Xbox but can play all the Oculus library.

But that's what was rumored in 2016, back when VR was a bulletpoint to own the Xbox One X before release.
"With its current library" was your own addition, he could just speak of the hardware, games would obviously still need to be published on Xbox and go through whatever Microsoft channel and fee as non VR games do. Not that I agree with him, they'll obviously rather allow WMR than Oculus and I doubt they'd leave that side of their platform so open as to allow for all kinds of hardware and the required SteamVR style wrappers and drivers to get them all compatible with each other and the software like you can do on PC so WMR seems like their best and only choice for console.
Nothing beats a control pad and never will. It's the bread and butter of gaming.

Sure, there's a few prawn sandwiches about, but they come and go.
I mean, all primary/popular VR sets have "control pads" with buttons, triggers and sticks to match so what does that have to do with anything? Sure, there are some experimental set ups where you don't use "control pads" to move around but rather your own self (though you still obviously need the pads to do anything more than move) but for most software that's supplementary movement combined with the "control pads" and not the only way as it's understandable not everyone has the space for that. Vive's pads also don't have analog sticks (trackpads instead to emulate them with) but all others do and even the next iteration of Vive tech (both from HTC and Valve) does. Have you tried anything substantial in VR in a well setup environment? Anything like Contractors for example to see how that compares to something like Call of Duty (in gameplay, not production values)? Or immersing adventures like Red Matter and Budget Cuts? Rogue-lites with interesting systems like In Death? SUPERHOT VR vs the regular non VR SUPERHOT? All the cockpit games where you can use your controllers of choice, from the control pads to the wheels and joysticks or whatever else?
 
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Petrae

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I don’t give a rat’s ass about VR, as something that’s supposed to have been the “next big thing” for the last 25+ years and hasn’t done shit with most consumers.

If platform-holders want to pursue it, whatever— but don’t focus too much on a technology that a small, niche group cares about.
 

Hendrick's

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Because then MS won't get a cut. MS wants at least partial control of the content, what benefit is there for MS to just allow Oculus to be plugged in with its current library if MS doesn't get anything out of it? MS would likely try and have some sort of controlled partnership so they get money for games sold and/or each oculus sold. Likely a Xbox specific Oculus that only works with Xbox but can play all the Oculus library.

But that's what was rumored in 2016, back when VR was a bulletpoint to own the Xbox One X before release.
MS would get a cut of VR game sales just like everything else sold on the Xbox store.
 

Voost Kain

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MS would get a cut of VR game sales just like everything else sold on the Xbox store.
The implication of the poster was to use the Oculus store and just have it so oculus was compatible for Xbox and MS not put any investment into it and just like the TPs put games on it.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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If Microsoft was investing themselves into adding something to the game industry besides AI, this wouldn't be a big deal. A ton of game companies aren't showing interest in VR.

However, they seem more interested in revenue models than gaming. They might be making gaming more affordable or more convenient, but Microsoft isn't breaking any new ground when it comes to gaming itself. VR might not be in their future, but they could at least put some effort into improving videogames as a medium. Right now their aim seems to be enriching the game industry.
 

Al3x1s

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The implication of the poster was to use the Oculus store and just have it so oculus was compatible for Xbox and MS not put any investment into it and just like the TPs put games on it.
Again, that implication was added by you, he just said Oculus compatibility and "let third parties make VR games" or some such. Like third parties make non VR Xbox games and release them via MS.
If Microsoft was investing themselves into adding something to the game industry besides AI, this wouldn't be a big deal. A ton of game companies aren't showing interest in VR.

However, they seem more interested in revenue models than gaming. They might be making gaming more affordable or more convenient, but Microsoft isn't breaking any new ground when it comes to gaming itself. VR might not be in their future, but they could at least put some effort into improving videogames as a medium. Right now their aim seems to be enriching the game industry.
Again, they have VR initiatives, Windows Mixed Reality is a thing even if that dev/the poll ignores its existence. Microsoft is neither oblivious nor apathetic to VR even if there's no confirmation about VR on the next Xbox yet (as if much else is confirmed for it).
 
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mckmas8808

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The Number One Reason why I never got excited for Hololens. I knew MS wasn't bout that VR or AR life.
 

CatLady

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Personally I have less than zero interest in VR at this time. When it was first brought up for consoles I thought it sounded great then I tried it out at E3 a few years ago and hated it. Hated the stupid headset and cables that gave me a headache and VR made me dizzy. I'd much rather MS devote their time and resources to something else.
 

Omeggos

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I’m indifferent. I don’t care for VR nor do I consider it a modern standard. But maybe next gen will prove me wrong with better quality at hopefully cheaper price points.
Added a neutral option to the poll.
I was wondering why I was the only one who voted for it... (at first I mean)
 
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PaNaMa

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This makes me happy. I have no interest in VR products presently. It looks like Sony will offer it up for people who want that experience (and I'm sure there are lots of people).
If future VR innovations and refinements can improve and lower the cost of the tech, Microsoft can always put together a peripheral down the road. But it's not something I want from my next Xbox.
 

Jigsaah

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If I were an investor...I really would prefer Microsoft to let VR mature before throwing brain power and resources behind it. They need to get these studios making blockbusters. They need to nail the next gen console. I wouldn't feel comfortable with them chasing this largely unproven genre of gaming.

Sony is doing their due diligence, but I can't imagine this being very profitable at this stage. However Sony has mastered it's first party, they are more free to explore VR.
 

DarthBuzzer

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Good thing since their focus is on Hololens. Makes little sense to shift attention away from that to VR which isn't a standard in the PC space and PS4 VR requires a lot of extra hardware making it effectively a seperate platform.

Hololens's concept is geniune mindfuckery. VR today is still VR from the 90's, just way more refined and now do-able at an attainable consumer price.
This seems a bit of an odd comment. If HoloLens concept is genuine mindfuckey, how is VR not so?

Aside from the fact that AR/HoloLens is still years behind VR in hardware, software, and pricing, Microsoft have made it clear that they want to focus on both. They have Windows MR on PC. Alex Kipman who leads the HoloLens project, doesn't envision AR or VR as the future, but MR, or others call it XR. This is the combination of both VR and AR, a toggable mode, sometimes a blend between
 

The Alien

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I would like to see, and still think it is possible, for Microsoft to go the low effort approach.

Use Windows 10 and port what is available on PC dont focus on new VR gear and use existing peripherals (HTC, etc.)
 

DarthBuzzer

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I tried some VR experienced here and there, most of them are lame in comparison to standard gaming. Not a fan, and seems the hype has been dying down.

The problem with VR is it's not a direct successor to standard gaming. I see it as its own thing that does not necessarily appeal to me as a gamer. If anything 3D TVs were more of a natural step forward for movies/gaming, and that ended up being a non starter. Maybe there is a threshold for how far people are willing to separate themselves from the real world, and a standard TV is where most draw the line.
What did you try? A lot of them are certainly lower budget and still figuring out the design side of things, but games like Astro Bot and Lone Echo / Echo VR stand on their own two feet. I mean Astro Bot was one of the highest rated games of 2018 in general.

The hype dying down is what happens for all technologies. This is known as the gartner hype cycle.
 

o'dium

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I think that Microsoft are affraid that if they do VR they will have another Kinect on their hands if it’s not done right.

Now, the thing is, there’s nothing stopping them doing a VR head set later, like Sony did with the PS4. But outright saying no seems... silly, to me.

I still think the Kinect was a good product made poorly. I mean, I used it a lot for fun stuff like dance central and the like. But most of the time it was a “Xbox on” machine, something which I still believe could be built into the console itself.

But yeah for me this is the wrong call to make.