Xbox Head Phil Spencer Isn’t Crazy About VR
It doesn’t look like Phil Spencer, the current Head of Microsoft’s Xbox Division, is a big fan of virtual reality (VR) gaming.
In a recent interview with GameSpot, Spencer was asked about his thoughts on the future of VR. Spencer explained that VR takes away from the social aspect of gaming, and thus takes away from some of the fun.
Well, now it’s just my opinion. I’ll say, obviously we have relationships with Valve, we have a relationship with Oculus around the VR work that they’re doing, but I’m going to say I kind of hope not. It doesn’t mean I don’t think VR has great experiences to offer. I think it does, and we’ll find those, and people will love playing those. I love playing games in my family room with my kids. I love people coming together and watching what’s happening on screen and laughing, and the kind of fun of what video games were always about. That doesn’t mean that can’t happen in a kind of socially connected VR environment, but to me it would be too bad if all gaming became people with head mounted displays on, headphones on, kind of blocked out from everything that happens. I do think there’ll be great experiences there, but just kind of for the sake of what gaming is, I don’t think that should be the only way people play.
However, he did say that VR will have a place somewhere, and it is creating a lot of innovative technology.
I think there will be certain experiences where that’s perfect. I don’t know necessarily if it will be genre based, but I just love me watching you play Mario and giving you ideas about where things might be, and we laugh, and we can kind of sit around and eat chips, and do things that people do. I think that’s kind of the basis of what gaming is about. I think there’s a place for VR. I think it’s really cool to see the innovation, like many innovations in the past. Gaming is taking a role in the forefront, because VR will touch more things than just gaming. Holograms and AR I think is a more complex space, but again, you’re going to find games will be there really stretching the technology like they have in so many other areas.
What are your thoughts on VR? Will you buy PlayStation VR when it releases sometime next year?