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PSVR 2 won't be challenged by an Xbox VR headset 'until there's an audience there'
Microsoft's head of Xbox Game Studios has once again poured cold water over future Xbox VR support
Microsoft won’t be releasing an Xbox VR headset to challenge PSVR 2 in the near future, according to the company’s head of Xbox Game Studios Matt Booty.
Booty told The Hollywood Reporter (thanks, VGC) that the current VR and AR market, which is going to be hotly contested by Meta Quest 3 and Apple Vision Pro in the coming months, is still too small to make it worthwhile.
“I think for us, it’s just a bit of wait until there’s an audience there,” Booty said. “We’re very fortunate that we have got these big IPs that have turned into ongoing franchises with big communities.
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Xbox VR plans
🙅♂️ Microsoft isn’t jumping into VR in the near future
✋ Xbox Game Studios head Matt Booty has ruled it out for now
🤷♂️ Microsoft wants to see a bigger audience before it dabbles in VR and AR
🥽 Sony launched its VR headset, the PSVR 2, in February this year
“We have 10 games that have achieved over 10 million players life-to-date, which is a pretty big accomplishment, but that’s the kind of scale that we need to see success for the game and it’s just, it’s not quite there yet with AR, VR.”
Booty’s comments may disappoint those who are already invested in VR and enjoy what the medium can offer, but PSVR 2’s sales suggest he may have a point. Even though the headset is outselling the original PSVR 2, momentum has arguably come to a halt. I’ve since concluded with my time with the headset that PSVR 2 isn’t worth it right now, at least.
The amount of PSVR 2 games we’re seeing announced has slowed, after an initial launch lineup of over 40 games. Sony’s first-party studios also failed to show any new games at the PlayStation Showcase, suggesting PlayStation VR2 owners will have to wait a while until something big comes along.
After a strong showing at the Xbox Game Showcase and the launch of Starfield and Forza Motorsport only a few months away, an Xbox VR headset would likely be nothing more than a distraction for Microsoft, which has faced criticism for a lack of releases and some questionable quality control.
I’d prefer to see Microsoft focusing on hitting its goal of releasing four first-party games a year than getting roped into supporting a VR headset. Microsoft is still embroiled in trying to complete its $69bn deal for Activision Blizzard, too, which hangs in the balance after the FTC has temporarily blocked the deal.
Microsoft also ruled out releasing an Xbox Series X Pro or mid-gen upgrade anytime soon. CEO of Gaming, Phil Spencer, dismissed the idea of a more powerful Xbox arriving soon, suggesting demand isn’t there.
“That’s not the feedback we’re getting right now. Right now, we’re pretty set on the hardware we have,” Spencer said.
New Xbox hardware is coming, however. A black Xbox Series S with a 1TB SSD is out on September 1 and costs $349.99 instead of $299.99. You can also get a Starfield Xbox controller and headset before the game’s launch on September 6.
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