This article was originally published on June 18th, 2018.
Microsoft’s messaging around VR on Xbox has been confused to say the least, having introduced its Xbox One X console to the world in 2016 stating that it would support “high fidelity VR”, then promising that ‘Mixed Reality’ experiences would come to the console this year. None of that has happened, though, and getting a straight answer out of the company as to if it ever will has been difficult. But at E3 last week, we finally got something concrete.
Speaking to GI.biz, Microsoft Chief Marketing Officer Mike Nichols confirmed that that company doesn’t have any plans to bring VR to Xbox right now, instead focusing on its existing Mixed Reality VR headsets for PC.
“We don’t have any plans specific to Xbox consoles in virtual reality or mixed reality,” Nichols said. “Our 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. There are plenty of companies investing in it in the hardware side and the content side, or some combination therein.”
It’s definitely a shame to see Microsoft backing out of console VR after appearing so bullish on it just two years ago. The real question, though, is if Nichols is referring to future Xbox consoles in his statement. At its E3 press conference, Microsoft confirmed work had begun on the next Xbox consoles, suggesting they may be two or so years from arrival. By that time, you’d hope console power and headset design was good enough to provide an experience far beyond what’s currently possible with Sony’s PlayStation VR. The only question is if Microsoft will act on that.