VR in its current state is a highly collaborative industry, with companies showing a rare sign of sportsmanship as they share best practises for development both on hardware and software. That said, we still wouldn’t expect console rivals Microsoft and Sony to show their hands to each other, but that’s exactly what they’ve done.
Talking to Gamasutra, Microsoft’s Head of Xbox Phil Spencer noted that the company had invited Sony to check out its HoloLens mixed reality headset, and Sony had done the same with its PlayStation VR (PSVR) device. Spencer called the current VR community “really open.”
“The Sony guys have been great,” he added, “they’ve had our teams down, we’ve had them up to look at HoloLens and stuff that’s been going on. Obviously Valve’s about a stone’s throw from here. So the VR community itself is actually very collaborative because I think everybody realizes how early we are in the evolution of what this thing is about.”
Back when PSVR and Facebook’s Oculus Rift were in early development the two would talk about how the teams would meet up to showcase their hardware and talk about getting the most out of each other’s devices. Still, with Sony’s PlayStation 4 currently locked in the endless battle for sales with Microsoft’s Xbox One, it’s surprising to see the two work together.
Spencer also spoke about his belief in an open VR ecosystem, which others were failing to provide right now.
Currently the PS4 is the only VR capable home gaming console on the market, but that’s set to change with the launch of Microsoft’s upgraded Xbox One, codenamed Project Scorpio. Announced last year, the system is said to be capable of “high fidelity VR”, which it will bring to the console in 2018. There’s still a lot to learn about Microsoft’s plans for VR, though, and seeing how they stack up to PSVR will be one of 2017’s most interesting stories. E3 is just a few weeks away now, and we’re expecting things to really heat up then.