Microsoft has abandoned working on bringing VR to the Xbox One X, the company confirmed in a new interview. VR was one of the features the company promised the Xbox One X would support when it was unveiled last year.
Speaking with Gamesindustry.biz, Microsoft Chief Marketing Officer for Gaming Mike Nichols said that the company doesn’t have “any plans specific to Xbox consoles in virtual reality or mixed reality.” Nichols also added that the company’s focus remains “primarily on experiences you would play on your TV, and ultimately we’d like to make those experiences more broadly.”
This news comes as quite the surprise as just last year, Microsoft’s Head of Xbox Phil Spencer reiterated the company’s commitment to supporting VR for the Xbox One X. But it looks like things have changed on that front, which may be partly due to the VR hype dying down and the technology itself not reaching the point where it’s more convenient and affordable.
According to Nichols, the company believes that VR is still better suited for the PC rather than the Xbox One, due to the former being a more open platform that has more companies investing in VR for. He stated that the company’s “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.”
Nichol’s statement is reflected by Microsoft’s continued work on VR and MR for the PC. It’s currently working on the next iteration of its HoloLens mixed reality headset and has previously released more affordable mixed reality controllers that don’t require a sensor setup. The company has also partnered with several companies such as Samsung, Lenovo, and Acer to bring more mixed reality headsets to the PC.
While this latest development may be sad news for those who have been waiting to experience VR on the Xbox One X, the company focusing on TV-centric experiences could lead to more and better first-party titles for the Xbox One and Xbox One X. At E3, the company announced that it purchased five new studios to develop exclusive titles for the company’s gaming console, whether all those new titles will make it on the company’s current generation of consoles is still unsure.