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Phil Spencer: Microsoft won't bet big on VR while it's mostly 'demos and experiments'

"What experiences do you put in people’s hands to have a long term engagement? Most of these things I’m playing now feel like demos and experiments."

Chris Kerr, News Editor

November 1, 2016

1 Min Read

Microsoft's head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, has weighed in on the current state of virtual reality gaming, suggesting the medium needs to develop more before it embeds itself in the consumer consciousness. 

Speaking to Stevivor about Microsoft's own plan for VR on the Xbox One and Windows PC, Spencer explained it's too early for the tech giant to bet big on the emerging tech. 

The Xbox boss wasn't trying to downplay the potential of VR. In fact, he talked up a lot of the devices currently sitting on shelves, and said he's a proud owner of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. 

When it comes to VR in games, the problem, he says, is that content creators still haven't found their feet. They're experimenting, ironing out the creases, and while that's hardly unexpected, it's a situation that means Microsoft isn't going to double down on the nascent tech. 

"What experiences do you put in people's hands to have a long term engagement? Most of these things I’m playing now feel like demos and experiments, which I actually think it's absolutely the right thing to have happened," offered Spencer.

"I think VR will find its spot in gaming; I would make that bet. We designed Scorpio as a VR-capable console. Whether that happens this year, next year, or the year after. I still think the creative community has to get its arms around what are these new tools, and this new feeling -- this new immersion."

Check out Stevivor's complete interview with Spencer to hear more thoughts from the Xbox chief. 

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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