The gaming industry has been enjoying a massive rise in consumer attachment to both the PS4 and Xbox One, since they debuted back in November 2013. The companies behind each console, Sony and Microsoft, respectively, have worked hard to diversify the systems in their own unique ways, but another piece of tech is coming into the limelight.
Virtual Reality (VR) has seen a boom of hardware support over the past few years, with Oculus leading the way in that regard. Companies such as Samsung, Sony and Valve have all announced their own VR headsets, making the world of VR a much greater, more competitive environment.
Even with all of this competition and enthusiasm from both consumers and investors though, there is still a lot for the companies and their technology to prove. In an interview with Edge (via GamesRadar), Xbox One boss Phil Spencer talked about the position VR currently is in, even despite the handful of companies that are investing in the technology right now.
“[The] things that I think we need to do on Xbox One [are] make the experience[s] better, and that’s where our focus has been. And I don’t think VR is a now thing. I’m not saying it’s five years from now, but it’s not really a now now thing.
“Valve’s got their VR thing, which I think is great; Samsung has GearVR, too. Funnily enough, they are very interested in Minecraft and how it could work in those VR spaces, so even from a content perspective there are a lot of conversations about VR, and I think it’s a very interesting tech for us to watch on the console side as well as the PC side,” Spencer said.
It’s wise for Microsoft to focus on improving the Xbox One’s experience, and doing everything they can to ensure owners are completely satisfied with its services. The Xbox One had a magnificent 2014 and it looks like 2015 could be the same story, so for Microsoft to take their eyes off the ball now, and place them on VR, would be a grave mistake.
VR is a very unproven space for both game developers and publishers. That means there are some major tests the technology must go through before it’s considered a “now thing,” as Spencer put it. VR certainly has the attention of consumers, there is no doubt about that, but until the hardware is tangibly in the hands of people, VR is mostly words for those who would purchase a unit.
Microsoft has an enormous opportunity to make a significant impact on the industry this year. With the potential exclusives the Xbox One could be receiving this Fall, the console could really make up some serious, serious ground on Sony and the PS4. We’ll all see what the Fall looks like at E3 2015, which begins in only a matter of weeks.