VR on Project Scarlett? Don’t bet on it

Eric Abent - Nov 26, 2019, 9:20 am CST
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VR on Project Scarlett? Don’t bet on it

With Valve officially revealing Half-Life: Alyx last week, virtual reality is back in the spotlight in a big way. There are a number big players in the VR space already, including Valve, Oculus, and HTC on PC and Sony on console, which created a VR headset for the PlayStation 4. Even though Microsoft has entered the space on the PC side with HoloLens and Windows Mixed Reality, we haven’t heard anything about console-based VR for Xbox.

As it turns out, that probably won’t change anytime soon. In an interview with Stevivor, Xbox chief Phil Spencer said flat out that Microsoft isn’t focusing on VR for Project Scarlett, the company’s upcoming next-generation console. Spencer noted his own problems with virtual reality as a way to play games, before pointing out that Xbox customers simply aren’t asking for it.

“I have some issues with VR — it’s isolating and I think of games as a communal, kind of together experience,” he said. “We’re responding to what our customers are asking for and… nobody’s asking for VR. 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 also suggested that the money just isn’t there as the moment, noting that “nobody’s selling millions and millions” of headsets. He did, however, leave the door open to Microsoft one day jumping into console-based VR with Project Scarlett, but said that for now, that isn’t where the company’s focus is.

So, it sounds like we’ll have to see how VR adoption progresses throughout the rest of this generation and into the next. If it’s something that begins to boom, then Microsoft may change course concerning console-based VR. For now, though, it’s probably best to get your VR kicks elsewhere and not hold out hope for a headset that will work with Project Scarlett.


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