Xbox Chief Says Project Scorpio Will Gain VR When It Exits ‘Demo and Experiments’ Phase

When Microsoft announced its Xbox One Scorpio this past summer, it was assumed that it would bring a major VR focus with it when it comes out next year. However, according to Xbox chief Phil Spencer, we all need to readjust that thinking, as VR support is simply not planned at this particular moment.

PlayStation VR
Sony just released its own VR solution, PS VR

That notion might seem a bit bizarre on account of the fact that even the original PlayStation 4 - at about a third of Scorpio's total graphics performance - supports VR. However, Spencer has a reason: VR content just isn't there yet. That doesn't mean that Scorpio doesn't have VR planned; we're sure it does. It's just that right now, the timing doesn't seem to be right for the Xbox.

Spencer's biggest complaint, if you want to call it that, is that most VR content out right now feels like "demos and experiments", a concern that's hard to disagree with. Spencer, like many other game developers, believes that we still haven't found the perfect recipe for a VR title. There's a lot to learn, and that learning could take a couple of years, based on Spencer's assumptions.

xbox one s retail box
Microsoft's Xbox One S does not officially support VR

It might sound like Spencer simply isn't a fan of VR, but that isn't the case. He says that he owns both an Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, and that he's put some time into his competitor's VR solution, as well. Overall, he enjoys what VR offers, but wants to launch the capability on Xbox when the ecosystem is better fleshed out, and it will feel more like a real solution than just a gimmick.

We can't help but wonder if that will prove to be a bad decision. Based on Spencer's answers, we might not see VR on Xbox One Scorpio for a couple of years, and with PS VR having just launched, that means Sony will have had a couple of years' worth of VR experience before Microsoft even gets out the door with its solution. Time will tell if this is a mistake on Microsoft's part, or a brilliant strategy.