Microsoft’s development of augmented reality and “mixed reality” technology over the last few years had us hopeful that the Xbox One would eventually be home to VR games even more impressive than what Sony offers with PlayStation VR. It no longer looks like that will be the case.
Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, chief marketing officer for gaming Mike Nichols revealed that Microsoft doesn’t feel consoles are the best fit for the technology.
“Our perspective [on virtual reality] has been and continues to be that the PC is probably the best platform for more immersive VR and MR,” Nichols added. “As an open platform, it just allows faster, more rapid iteration.”
Nichols also mentioned that augmented reality technology was a particularly poor fit for consoles, and has much more viability on mobile devices. We’ve certainly seen this with the success of Pokémon Go, but his remarks are somewhat disappointing when considering what Microsoft’s HoloLens technology has promised.
Back at E3 2015, Microsoft demonstrated HoloLens with Minecraft, showing a customizable world on a table that could be manipulated in augmented reality. We’d still love to see this on Xbox systems, as it could offer an experience far different from that on PlayStation, mobile, or Nintendo Switch.
Of course, as Microsoft also develops Windows 10, it can afford to let some of its players game on PC exclusively. The company announced the turn-based strategy title Gears Tactics at E3, and despite the Gears of War franchise’s history on Xbox 360 and Xbox One, it will be skipping consoles completely. Microsoft has effectively stopped releasing exclusives for the Xbox One altogether, instead offering them as “Xbox Play Anywhere” titles with digital cross-buy for PC and Xbox One.
This generation, the PlayStation 4 is the only console that offers virtual reality support of any kind, and it does it at a price much lower than its PC competitors. Games like Moss and Farpoint offer truly unique experiences, and with bundles going for only $300, it’s the perfect time to jump into VR. Just make sure you take it slowly when you begin, as the dreaded “VR sweats” can pop up during even the most benign moments.