Geoff Keighley wasn’t the only games industry veteran keeping Half-Life: Alyx a secret. Microsoft’s Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, has played it too and he thinks it’s “amazing”.
Spencer said as much in a recent tweet replying to criticism of comments he made about VR reported earlier this week. In a recently-published interview, Spencer said that VR wasn’t Microsoft’s focus for its next Xbox console, codenamed Scarlett. He reasoned that “no one was asking” for VR support on an Xbox console, thus the company was looking into other areas.
His comments were met with widespread criticism, including a jab from Sony’s Shuhei Yoshida himself. Many noted that Xbox’s lack of interest in VR would likely mean Microsoft loses out on having the highly-anticipated Half-Life: Alyx playable on its next console.
“‘Ive [sic] said publically, I love how our industry has pioneered: AI, physics, 3D, RT, VR/AR etc,” Spencer said on Twitter. “For us, it’s about focus on our innovations right now. I’ve played some great VR games, I got to play HL:Alyx in the summer, amazing. It’s just not our focus with Scarlett.”
Well, there’s that.
It’d be tempting to say that Alyx wasn’t enough to convince Spencer to change up his stance on VR, but that would be oversimplifying the situation for sure. And that’s not to say that Scarlett, due for release next year, will never get VR support. But it certainly seems like Microsoft won’t have a competitor to PSVR 2 whenever that rolls around.
Does Microsoft’s stance on VR turn you off of getting the next-generation Xbox? Would Half-Life: Alyx on Xbox change your mind? Let us know in the comments below!