Mike Ybarra, Vice President of Xbox at Microsoft, doesn’t sound very impressed with VR software.
The much became evident via a conversation with Cliff Bleszinski on Twitter last week. Replying to a tweet from the Gears of War developer asking if VR had any killer apps yet, Ybarra said there wasn’t anything that made it “worthwhile. Sigh.”
Well, there’s that. Maybe the ‘sigh’ was a bit much.
No. Google Earth is cool but not even close to what is needed to make the tech worthwhile. Sigh.
— ⌨️?Mike Ybarra? (@XboxQwik) January 2, 2019
Xbox has thus far remained on the sidelines of the VR industry. Sony has PSVR for its competing PS4 console and Microsoft itself has a line of headsets for PC. The enhanced Xbox One X was introduced to the world as a VR-ready console, but support never materialized. Last year, reports suggested Microsoft had put plans for a headset on ice. Ybarra’s comments may reveal one reason why the company pulled that plug. Other statements surrounding VR on Xbox suggest that the company is waiting for VR to go truly wireless, too.
Do you agree with Ybarra’s comments? It’s true that VR is yet to see an app that really boosts headset sales, but there are plenty of great VR games out there. In fact we think there’s at least 100 that are worth playing.
Still, Xbox acquired two developers that have done great work in VR last year. The first was Ninja Theory, makers of Dexed and Hellblade VR. It also scooped up inXile, which is soon to port The Mage’s Tale to PSVR and is working on another title. Hopefully that means Microsoft is working on a VR killer app to call its own for the next Xbox. We think Microsoft is well-poised to do so.