Microsoft Won’t ‘Distract Developers’ With Xbox One X VR Support Just Yet

by Jamie Feltham • October 9th, 2017

We’re still expecting Microsoft’s Xbox One X console to get VR support at some point down the line, but the company doesn’t want to “distract” developers with integration in 2017.

Albert Penello, Senior Director of Product Management and Planning at Microsoft, said as much to Wired in a recent interview. “We learned with Kinect and the Wii that just translating a typical game experience to VR is not a winning strategy,” he said. “It’s the oddball VR-specific stuff that makes it sing. It wasn’t something we wanted to distract developers with this year.”

When Xbox One X was first announced in 2016 Head of Xbox Phil Spencer stated the console would be capable of “high fidelity VR”. The technology wasn’t even mentioned at the console’s full unveiling a year later, though, leading to some confusion. From what we can gather, Microsoft will be bringing what it calls “mixed reality” to Xbox One X in 2018, but with what experiences and what headset we still don’t know, though there have been hints that it will be a wireless device.

Penello later added: “But VR has so much potential. Is it a viable consumer product? For a certain size of audience.”

As it stands, Xbox One X is capable of running certain Xbox One games in 4K resolution, though it’s not to be considered the true successor to that console. Presumably the company wants its developers to focus on 4K support right now before appealing to the VR crowd later on. It has promised that VR support is still coming, though.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is just a week away from launching Windows 10 VR headsets on PC in partnership with companies like Samsung, Dell and HP. These headsets use inside-out positional tracking, meaning they don’t require external tracking sensors as seen on the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. It’s possible that Microsoft’s treatment of that platform will reflect what VR looks like on Xbox One X, so anyone interested should be paying attention.

Hopefully we’ll see Microsoft get a little more decisive about Xbox One X and VR next year, then. The console launches next month.

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  • GrangerFX

    I won’t buy the XBox One X until it gets VR support. I would not want to distract Microsoft.

    • Frederick Louis E✖

      Lol your so funny.

    • Jean-Sebastien Perron

      So you will never buy one, good for you. Don’t disrespect yourself with underpowered deprecated console, buy a PS4 pro with VR.

      • GrangerFX

        Got one, thanks. Samsung Mixed Reality headset coming next month. I sure wish there were some games I wanted to play for more than 30 minutes on the PSVR. Otherwise it is a solid VR product.

    • Eddie Barsh

      Exactly! same here. I love Xbox passionately. But I love VR just a wee bit more. So much so that I sold my Xbox to get the money for PSVR. So they can keep losing more and more fans by dividing them because of their incompetence. If they’re content with being in 3rd place behind Sony and Nintendo and don’t want to take that next step then so be it.. I’ll happily become a member of the PS family if it gets me console VR

      • polysix

        If you ‘love VR’ you should have got a rift + fast PC. I’ve had vive, dk2, PSVR and rift. Rift is night and day over PSVR for actual virtual reality.

        Though I do agree that VR > normal gaming now so go with the console that supports it, but you don’t really ‘love’ VR until you’ve tried it on a fast PC with stunning tracking and GREAT controls (and roomscale at times). PSVR isn’t that thing, it’s just a taste. I sold mine (and Vive and DK2) and kept rift which is, even with its gen 1 flaws, pretty amazing and way nicer to use.

      • TimothyStone

        Eddie VR for Xbox is coming. I would rather have something that is quality instead of something that is extremely limited.
        VR shouldn’t be just tech demos, it should be a fun “experience” that can be enjoyed at a much deeper level.

        Microsoft’s VR should be way ahead of the other competitors at least hardware wise. Maybe it’s not 4K, but we eventually will get there.

      • Umar Munir

        You’re being stupid here.

    • GIBBS v2

      Boom!

      I was crushed when they didn’t say jack about VR this year.

  • greatnessIsaLIE

    Great I wanted vr but I’m glad they stayed away from the approach that Sony Took at it. Which was Vr first then 4k later, then forget about both because none were good enough.

    I’m glad they just focused on the games and 4k. That’s why the xbox will have more upgraded games even with a year head start for sony.

    • Jean-Sebastien Perron

      Only 1 game is full 4K with Antialiasing (dumb-sim-cade Froza) all the other ones are upscaled. So you are an upscale cuck faggot.

      • daveinpublic

        Are you this passionate about your peanut butter brands, too? As far as XBox One X goes, there’s many games that are ‘enhanced’ for it. It may not be at 4K, but that can also be improved textures, HDR, higher framerates, and higher resolutions. Many Xbox and PS4 games weren’t even rendered at 1080p, but 900 and upscaled. So this is a great improvement for some.

      • greatnessIsaLIE

        There’s over 140 enhanced games for Xbox x.
        I wasn’t talking about full 4k games but just games supported by the new console. It’s like Sony gave up compared to Xbox.
        The pro only had 40 supported games at launch.

        They don’t need to dumb them down because that not how game development works. They make the best Version for future pcs, but also make it so it easily scales down or up. It’s like that on pc look at the minimum requirements.
        Even the pro blows those away.
        The worst versions of games are played on pcs that can’t run them properly or below the minimum specs. Did you forget about that aspect of pc gaming.

  • Jean-Sebastien Perron

    The truth is XboneX not powerful enough for VR. Even the old ps4 can do VR very well. Microsoft is pretending that they don’t want VR on XboneX, but we all know it’s not capable of (numbers vs reality). Even if MS added VR for it, it would take developers another year to bring some games to it. So in the best scenario it won’t get any VR games before 2019. Only VR Virgins buys underpowered xbox trash. And XboneX is not full 4K, only 1 game is in 4K (Forza dumb-sim-cade), the other ones are all upscaled.

    • daveinpublic

      You seem quite passionate on this topic.

    • Eddie Barsh

      So let me get this straight, the Xbox One X is far more powerful than the PS4.. Everyone agrees on that. But yet you insist that the X can’t play VR although a console released in 2013 can? Dude shut up. Don’t talk

      • Jean-Sebastien Perron

        So explain the lack of VR, The future of gaming? Why would MS not include VR when it’s clearly the future of gaming and everything else.There is only one logical explaination : The XboneX can’t do VR because it’s just numbers and in reality it’s not powerful enough for proper VR while the original PS4 is powerful enough for VR. Original PS4 > XboneX

        • polysix

          How old are you? I don’t even like Xbox brand, I have a PS4 and I owned PSVR (I also have a rift and a fast PC which is way better and have owned Vive and DK2 also).. but what you are saying just makes no sense. PS4 and Xb1X are both ‘computers’ and XB1X is far more powerful than PS4 which supported VR albeit a low res version with terrible tracking. WHY wouldn’t XB1x be able to support VR? even if it was more limited than PC it would/should be more capable than PS4/Pro and that’s a fact!

          Your logic is flawed, your fanboyism is obvious. And that’s from a fellow ps4 owner.

          • Jean-Sebastien Perron

            N64 was more powerful than the Atari Jaguar, yet only the Jaguar had VR. The N64 was limited by low framerate, the Atari Jaguar was not. I agree, the xbonex should be able to handle VR, yet it does not. I suspect it is because it can’t for some reason that we don’t know.

          • beestee

            Why should anyone buy into your theory when Microsoft explained exactly what their stance is in the very article you are commenting on? The explanation is logical to me, it would have diverted developer effort to push for VR experiences on Xbox One X at launch, so focus on the core console gamer experience and give developers the time they need to make good VR experiences on it later.

        • Doctor Bambi

          “These things, they take time.” -Gabe Newell.
          Just because it can’t do it today, doesn’t mean it’s totally incapable. It’s graphical capabilities are comparable to a GTX 1070, it could run current PC VR experiences without breaking much of a sweat.

          VR is not a priority for the Xbox team right now. That will likely change in the near future as suggested by this article. They have a massive fan base of traditional gamers to appease first and to justify that higher price tag of the XboneX.

        • care package

          PS4 > X1X. lol. Please tell me you’re just trolling. No one is that stupid.

  • dk

    just make it part of the MS store and forget the fucking consoles

  • crizz1066

    More media spin bull crap and lies from Philly boy!!!!!!

    I bet of they could find a way of forcing its customers to pay for the R&D on it like the did with kinnect. They’d jump at it.

    But I think people have cottoned on to their tricks. Hence why such limited stock in UK. For which I can see only 2 reasons.

    1, The Xbox just isnt that much in demand anywhere but US. Out of those I know who game, only 1 is even considering getting this.
    2, Once they’ve sold out they can spin that into “We’ve sold out” media crap. Like they tried spinning the Xbox One’s sales fugures untill it became so embaressing for them, they just stopped giving out numbers all together!!!!

    it’s like M$ just have no clue. Physical media on the way out, they stick a UHD drive it it. Everything seeming to move towrdas VR and Ar….they not doing anythng yet!!!!

    • care package

      You forgot to mention the part that was lies, or do you just run around calling everyone a liar.

      • crizz1066

        Media spin is a way of twisting lies etc to look like truths. Any other words you need help with?

        • care package

          You mean like how you just spun your answer into something that didn’t answer what I asked?

          • crizz1066

            Er you trying to be stupid on purpose. How about the integral kinnect that was a big pile of horse sh#t wasn’t it! Er no problem with RROD there 2 biggies for ya!

          • care package

            Not sure what 2 flops from 5 years ago has to do with lying. Still waiting.

          • crizz1066

            Er they said kinnect was integral, forced people to buy it. Then when it turned out to be kak, the stopped forcing it on people. After they’d fleeced millions off foolish early adopters. I’ll let you try n work other one out for you.

          • care package

            Philly boy is who decided to axe the kinnect so it was a product change. Not lying. Maybe you just don’t know what lying means?

          • crizz1066

            Errr what.

            The Kinect was forced apon everyone. Then when M$ and Xbox
            was haemorrhaging players daily by the 1000’ back to PS. They then decided all
            of a sudden it wasn’t integral. In fact as always it had been an unwanted piece
            of plastic, which only really worked with limited US accents.

            I really think you should stop reply buddy.

          • care package

            ok…..still waiting for the lies.

          • crizz1066

            I have done you just don’t except them as lies. Fools like you who give m$ a pass to everything they do. Same as short sited fools who voted for trump.

            There’s a reason for limited amounts being available here in UK.

            It’s not really wanted.

            But you go defending any negativety about it.

            Now stop wasting my time, you’re boring me with same question, which has been answered. You just don’t like answer.

          • care package

            Only the a-moralists hate trump so bad they bring him into non political dicussions. Then you turn it into an anti-X1X thing. True intent always seems to surface.

            You never gave an example of a lie. Just how you didn’t like MS’s stance on Kinect, but then neither did Philly boy which is why he changed it. I am a fool for answering a fool according to his own folly.

          • crizz1066

            I’m a-moral!?

            Run along now.

  • Sven

    Microsoft hardly has any first party studios left, so it makes sense to focus on 4K first. It’s a shame though as more players in the market is only a good thing.

    Meanwhile I will have enough to do with Skyrim, Doom, RE7 DLC and GT Sport, while still playing the excellent Solus Project and dipping back into DC and Dirt Rally. See, I’m totally fine with translating the typical game experience to VR. I am getting kinda tired of the oddball short experiences. Let me play Forza and Forza Horizon in VR and I will get the xbox one x plus Samsung mixed reality headset.

  • zadriel

    AND THIS!!! Is exactly why I didn’t decide to buy opening day! Because all they were pitching was the power of the cpu. Frankly who cares how fast your CPU is if you don’t use it right for VR? Mark my words, I’ve owned every new console since original xbox…. but after the xbone kinnect you guys got the last dollars from me until you have PROOF of concept and SUPPORT of concept is obvious. Frankly, I see NOTHING in this new version worth paying xtra for. I could care less about 4k over 1080p. I mean really? Most can’t tell the difference in their living room. You’ve missed it Microsoft, you should have boldly taken us into the future with VR. Sony’s gonna run all over you with this one, and I may have to finally go back to the playstation after nearly 20 years.

  • Umar Munir

    I know what they’re doing. In almost all the comparisons of PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, the reviewers said Xbox One X is better in all aspects than PS4 Pro, except price and games. They said PS4 Pro has more titles and they are overall just better exclusives than what Xbox has. Kevin Kenson said that if PS4 Pro and Xbox One X both had the same games, he would have chosen the latter, but right now he thinks PS4 Pro is still the more valuable deal.

    So Microsoft wants the developers to make as more games as they can as they have the hardware, now they just need the software (ChampChong). If they announce a VR headset now, then developers would get divided. Some would think about making VR games. The library of games for Xbox which don’t require VR would not keep up with PS4 Pro and consumer attention will be split between Xbox One X and Xbox One X with VR. Nobody would benefit from the small number of games at each side.