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Xbox to stay out the VR space, believe software will scale better but applauds Sony, Oculus, Valve

Three

Member
So no Xbox fans want to play MS Flight Sim or Forza in VR? I find that surprising because the technology is there. I honestly don’t know how this decision can be deemed as a good one for gamers.
It isn't good in any way but people will turn anything into a positive or negative regardless. When hololens was being shown everyone was all for it. VR didn't show up on xbox in the end and that's somehow a good thing now.

How is having more games and more immersive tech a bad thing?
 
Source: https://www.videogameschronicle.com/news/xbox-is-staying-out-of-the-vr-hardware-space-says-spencer/

"We’re big believers in that software platform and the devices that will enable that. Absolutely. [But] we’re focused a lot more on the software side of that right now. When I think about immersive worlds and I think about the connection of a player and community, that’s something that’s very high on our investment list.

I think that the hardware innovation that’s happening is great and it’s an important enabler, [but] right now I’m deciding to stay more in the software side of that enablement. I believe it will scale better in the long run.

“And you know, I applaud what Sony‘s doing, I applaud what Oculus is doing, what Valve has done. I mean, there’s a lot of good players out there that have done some amazing VR work."

Sorry but i've never felt anything more immersive than Skyrim in VR, VR adds a whole other level of immersiveness that simply cannot be replicated on a television, its night and day, its C64 to 3090GTX levels of disparity.. i'm buying PSVR2 day 1, as much as it sucks setting up PSVR1 anytime i do, it still brings a fucking smile to my face when you're "in" the videogame instead of looking at it, besides surely it would be a no brainer to enable 3rd party headsets on the Series X, the damn thing has the power.
 
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yurinka

Member
I remember MS said while ago that Xbox was going to support VR but never mentioned it again. I asume they expected that it was going to grow faster, but since it didn't became a mainstream thing maybe he decided to wait until it grows way more.
 

JCK75

Member
It's odd as they have their own line of PC VR sets and it would be nice if they just added support for existing hardware in the same way.
 

Three

Member
I think the Kinect failure has knocked MS's confidence to experiment with niche hardware a lot
Kinect made them a shitload of money. Their issue with the XB1 was bundling it and having a more expensive yet weaker console. They just don't see VR in their roadmap because they are moving to this cloud and services company. The Series S wouldn't exist if VR was a serious consideration too.
 
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TBiddy

Member
VR as a product is a niche, and it's very expensive to design, develop, test and produce a headset. Add to that the market is still in its infancy and that it is very much unclear if it will ever take off and Microsofts decision suddenly sounds like the right one.

Sure, if you really love VR, you'll need to buy a PS5 or a PC, but let's face it. Those who love VR would probably own either anyways.
 

FrankWza

Member
Around 4% of the PS4 istall base bought PSVR and even less were invested enough to buy hames frequently.
So more than 5 million people spent $299-$399(console equivalent pricing)on a peripheral that launched almost halfway through the generation and, had sales and production curbed towards the end in anticipation of a new VR that would release with a new console launch. That’s a bad thing?
 

Ceadeus

Member
It sucks yeah, i wish they would be a part of it instead of waiting.

I'm currently more excited for Resident Evil 4 and Medal of honor on quest 2 than a lot of regular upcoming games.
 

hlm666

Member
I love playing games in VR, but honestly I don't think it's games that will be what push VR mainstream. It's going to be standalone headsets in small form factors (like that vive one posted in a thread the other day but more refined) that people will use to watch concerts, sport events and other passive kind of experiences. It would be pretty cool being able to watch something like a motogp race or the isle of mann tt (add whatever other sport you like) and be able to switch to cameras around the track watching from positions and distances we as spectators normally can't view from.
 

anthony2690

Gold Member
I'm personally happy about this, as someone with no interest in VR at all, I still think RE7VR is the best VR game, but even then I'd rather play it on a nice big TV whilst relaxing with better visuals etc.

Sucks for those hoping for vr on the Xbox platform, but VR in my opinion is more a novelty or something to show off once or twice like a 3D TV was (anyone remember those?)

Plus everyone else I know that has/had one has either shifted it or it is stored away collecting dust.
 
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The_Mike

Banned
So no Xbox fans want to play MS Flight Sim or Forza in VR? I find that surprising because the technology is there. I honestly don’t know how this decision can be deemed as a good one for gamers.
The technology is there on pc as well but the majority there seems to agree with Microsoft.
 
As close as consoles are to Pcs i think it would be easy for MS to make a deal with a 3rd party VR if it somehow becomes more succesful than last gen. ~5% of the PS userbase wasn't exactly a huge success. But i'm glad Sony continues to try it.
 

Lognor

Member
There is such minimal interest in VR that it makes sense for Microsoft not to invest in it. The biggest VR game has been Half Life and that came and went. It didn't move hardware. What's the point of investing in VR if there's no money to be made. Good decision
 

skit_data

Member
I assume that this should’ve been possible to see since the consoles launched.

The PS5 has specific hardware related to VR and its mobo is designed to output a video signal from the front USB-C port. AFAIK Series X/S doesn’t have that.
 
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Markio128

Member
The technology is there on pc as well but the majority there seems to agree with Microsoft.
So it’s good not having access to VR? I understand the sentiment that it may stretch MS, but we have to bear in mind that MS are one of the richest companies in the world, so if Sony can do it, then I’m sure MS can manage it too. I find MS’s reluctance to jump on board anything even remotely exciting in the gaming world as depressing because they have the ability to push the envelope more than anyone. All they seem to be interested in is signing everyone up to a subscription service.
 

The_Mike

Banned
So it’s good not having access to VR? I understand the sentiment that it may stretch MS, but we have to bear in mind that MS are one of the richest companies in the world, so if Sony can do it, then I’m sure MS can manage it too. I find MS’s reluctance to jump on board anything even remotely exciting in the gaming world as depressing because they have the ability to push the envelope more than anyone. All they seem to be interested in is signing everyone up to a subscription service.

I never meant its a good thing that the consumers doesn't have the choice, but I understand why Microsoft doesn't invest in it.

Sony was the front company with VR, and I am sure Microsoft watches on the sideline to see if its profitable or not. Which they decided it wasn't.

Microsoft are more focused getting exclusives now more than ever, which seems to be a better focus than VR not every xbox user would use.
 

Markio128

Member
I never meant its a good thing that the consumers doesn't have the choice, but I understand why Microsoft doesn't invest in it.

Sony was the front company with VR, and I am sure Microsoft watches on the sideline to see if its profitable or not. Which they decided it wasn't.

Microsoft are more focused getting exclusives now more than ever, which seems to be a better focus than VR not every xbox user would use.
I don’t think Sony would be invested in VR if it wasn’t profitable, nor would the other players. I found PSVR 1 to be a lot of fun, but also a little lacklustre tech wise, but I’m optimistic about PSVR 2 and I reckon it could really catch on, especially with the new packed-in controller. Regardless, I believe it is better to try and fail, than to not try at all, but that’s just me.
 

Kokoloko85

Member
Im sure they will jump in when the tech is better. Same with Nintendo
I think by the time PSVR 3 comes and after the tech will be cheaper, better and wireless.

Imagine games like Halo, Forza, Animal Crossing, Mario Kart, Pikmin, Luigi’s Mansion Zelda in VR.

PSVR1 was cool with its faults too, but I can imagine the tech getting so much better. Its only the start, the future VR games will be so good
 
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The_Mike

Banned
I don’t think Sony would be invested in VR if it wasn’t profitable, nor would the other players. I found PSVR 1 to be a lot of fun, but also a little lacklustre tech wise, but I’m optimistic about PSVR 2 and I reckon it could really catch on, especially with the new packed-in controller. Regardless, I believe it is better to try and fail, than to not try at all, but that’s just me.
Well, typically when these discussions comes up, it's primarily ps users who thinks Microsoft should do VR, not the Xbox users.

I would never buy or use any vr equipment myself, even though pc has the best tech available in that category. It's just not interesting for me and I've tried it.
 

Markio128

Member
Im sure they will jump in when the tech is better. Same with Nintendo
I think by the time PSVR 3 comes and after the tech will be cheaper, better and wireless.

Imagine games like Halo, Forza, Animal Crossing, Mario Kart, Pikmin, Luigi’s Mansion Zelda in VR.

PSVR1 was cool with its faults too, but I can imagine the tech getting so much better. Its only the start, the future VR games will be so good
I agree mostly with what you are saying, but for tech to improve, you need all the big players to invest and to push each other.
 

Markio128

Member
Well, typically when these discussions comes up, it's primarily ps users who thinks Microsoft should do VR, not the Xbox users.

I would never buy or use any vr equipment myself, even though pc has the best tech available in that category. It's just not interesting for me and I've tried it.
Well, I have a PS5 and Series X, and MS Flight Sim, amongst other games (particularly Bethesda) would greatly appeal to me in VR. I can’t justify investing in PC gaming as well, so I’m just a bit disappointed by this news.
 

MaulerX

Member
So more than 5 million people spent $299-$399(console equivalent pricing)on a peripheral that launched almost halfway through the generation and, had sales and production curbed towards the end in anticipation of a new VR that would release with a new console launch. That’s a bad thing?


Not sure why so defensive.

Point is that 96% of PS4 owners didn't care about VR for various reasons. And no, a new PSVR didn't release with the new console (PS5) launch. Maybe next year?

Not saying it as a knock or anything. Out of all the PC users out there same thing applies. It just hasn't taken off yet.
 
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dvdvideo

Member
That's why collaborating with Oculus would've been a good move. It's not a big ressource drain that way and you still get all the benefits of VR.

I see some benefit, however it doesn't do the MS/Xbox name much good if they launch VR on their system without a full array of AAA games. It's this lack of AAA gaming software that is part of the reason VR sales are not to where they could be. Even if it says VR by oculus if it's running on MS hardware it will be considered basically their VR implementation and execution, so if it's weak in any way it will look like a failure. Plus why take the risk when the market is so small?
 

FrankWza

Member
Not sure why so defensive.

Point is that 96% of PS4 owners didn't care about VR for various reasons. And no, a new PSVR didn't release with the new console (PS5) launch. Maybe next year?

Not saying it as a knock or anything. Out of all the PC users out there same thing applies. It just hasn't taken off yet.
It’s not defensive. You’re speaking in percentages which doesn’t paint a picture. And I didn’t say PSVR was released with PS5. I said sales of the VR would taper when it wouldn’t make sense to invest $299 in something that was going to be upgraded soon. The peripheral was available 3 years into the life of PS4 and probably sold consistently until sometime in 2020. It costs as much as a console. 1 in 20 attach rate is pretty good for a first attempt at something still considered niche. There may be some people of that 5 million that won’t invest in PSVR2, but I’d bet there will be more that didn’t take the plunge that are ready to buy it if it gets a nice tech upgrade and some cool games.
 

Flintty

Member
I remember MS said while ago that Xbox was going to support VR but never mentioned it again. I asume they expected that it was going to grow faster, but since it didn't became a mainstream thing maybe he decided to wait until it grows way more.
Sounds like MS really need to re-evaluate their growth expectations 😜

Though I’ve said it before, no matter how small the market is, options are good. Why let the competition have something (no matter how niche) which could be a selling point, and not offer an alternative? Short sighted if you ask me. I’d love to be able to plug my Rift into the XSX.
 
theres no point. theres quite a few players in the space already and microsoft probably know they will barely be able to sell any. even most xbox fans here say they dont want or care about vr.
 
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MaulerX

Member
It’s not defensive. You’re speaking in percentages which doesn’t paint a picture. And I didn’t say PSVR was released with PS5. I said sales of the VR would taper when it wouldn’t make sense to invest $299 in something that was going to be upgraded soon. The peripheral was available 3 years into the life of PS4 and probably sold consistently until sometime in 2020. It costs as much as a console. 1 in 20 attach rate is pretty good for a first attempt at something still considered niche. There may be some people of that 5 million that won’t invest in PSVR2, but I’d bet there will be more that didn’t take the plunge that are ready to buy it if it gets a nice tech upgrade and some cool games.


Point still stands. Investing in games exclusively for VR is expensive and the install base just isn't there regardless of reason.

Then there's the issue of motion sickness that plagues the medium. Not everyone suffers from it but it's enough to turn people off from VR even if they like it.
 

Kokoloko85

Member
I agree mostly with what you are saying, but for tech to improve, you need all the big players to invest and to push each other.

True. It might be slower build up than traditional games or something like phones because of all the tech needed.
Hopefully HTC VIVE, Occulus and Playstation VR will push each other enough so then the others will join in the future. Im sure Apple will jump in one day and make it super commercial and usable
 

Markio128

Member
Hey MS, I know you said Starfield is a Series console exclusive, but what about Starfield VR?
puss in boots please GIF by Universal Kids
 
Bad move why? The market is too small, if they divert resources from the main console it won't pay them back.
That shouldn't be the only dictating factor at play here. You can make this same argument about game subscription services and streaming, but hasn't Microsoft invested into GamePass and xCloud for long-term potential even if the market still needs to grow and they have to invest a lot of cash into it to get things going?

The way Microsoft is looking at GamePass and cloud gaming, Sony are basically looking towards VR, and in both cases they are getting valuable experience with not just content developed in-house to use the tech, but the tech itself, in ways that they can control through vertical integration and position themselves to leverage to maximal once the tech finally goes truly mainstream. Sony actually did this in a way with CDs back in the early '90s not just through audio CDs but also being one of the biggest supporters of platforms like the Sega CD because that was experience gained on CD games production (and working with CD console gaming technology) that benefited them when the PS1 was ready to be released.

That kind of long-term experience isn't something you can just throw money at to catch up in. Just like how Sony can't simply "throw money" into a full GamePass and xCloud (let alone Azure) type of service/technology/infrastructure overnight (don't bring up Genkai and PS Now, those are investments that haven't been fully cultivated for years), Microsoft can't just "wait" until VR or AR go mainstream and decide then to pump money into it and just catch up with Sony in that area of expertise. At the very least Microsoft should form a partnership with a VR provider and allow device compatibility on Series, maybe a new bundle in the future packaging them together to encourage more adoption.

Gives a lot of their 1P teams to develop with VR in mind (but not exclusively), adds value to the games and makes them that much more prepared for an (IMO) inevitable shift towards VR & AR mainstream gaming by the time 10th gen gets here.

I assume that this should’ve been possible to see since the consoles launched.

The PS5 has specific hardware related to VR and its mobo is designed to output a video signal from the front USB-C port. AFAIK Series X/S doesn’t have that.

I think any general USB-C port can be configured for Alt Mode functionality, and the Series systems support USB-C, so it would likely be a BIOS setting to configure through a firmware update. Though, port bandwidth could be anything (2.4 GB/s, 4.2 GB/s depending on if it's 2x2 or 2x3, or even if it's Gen 4 or Gen 3), etc.

Having specific hardware customizations for VR help but aren't necessary for VR functionality in and of itself, we also don't know what those specific customizations would be and whether or not DX12U already supports them on some level through API accessibility, and just general features of the Series APUs.

They also wouldn't technically need USB connectivity for VR if they wanted to provide a wireless link instead, though that would probably prevent wifi being usable for internet I think (ethernet only), if you want good enough bandwidth and coverage for wireless VR especially since Series use Wifi 5 instead of Wifi 6.
 
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yurinka

Member
Sounds like MS really need to re-evaluate their growth expectations 😜

Though I’ve said it before, no matter how small the market is, options are good. Why let the competition have something (no matter how niche) which could be a selling point, and not offer an alternative? Short sighted if you ask me. I’d love to be able to plug my Rift into the XSX.
Well, I wouldn't blame MS. The reality is that the VR market is still small and its technology, userbase, catalog, pricing and dev support still needs to improve to become mainstream. Maybe this generation the technology, catalog, support and userbase will improve significantly but still will need some extra horsepower, tech tweaks, lower pricing and a bigger support.

I think the next generation maybe will make more sense for MS. But maybe it's too late and PS & Oculus already dominate too much the market in terms of userbase and catalog.
 
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MacReady13

Member
Let those others spend the r&d on vr. Then ms can enter when/ if the market develops further. Not worth the hassle for ms right now. They're going after the big fish
Please do tell- what would the Xbox division down at Microsoft be busy doing right now that would not allow them to focus some energies on VR?
 
I really don't understand this wireless obsession. I only play games that can be played while seated, so it doesn't mater if there's a cable or not. I'll pass any game that requires me to be standing up doing a lot of movement.
At least half of all VR games require some form of movement to experience properly. Some require you to be able to turn your whole body in 360 degree radius and some require you to be standing. If you only want to be seated while gaming, VR is not the right medium unless you're only into simulation-type games.
 

RiccochetJ

Gold Member
Please do tell- what would the Xbox division down at Microsoft be busy doing right now that would not allow them to focus some energies on VR?
I'm not the one you asked the question, but I think they've already said that they're working/prototyping the next generation console. And honestly if there is the standard 5-7 year cycle they may indeed be thinking about VR integration for that one. Just not this one or any mid-cycle refresh. I could definitely see wireless VR headsets becoming available in 5-7 years which would line up.
 
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