With everyone seemingly so excited about the impeding release of Virtual Reality, there is perhaps one man who is hoping that it doesn’t take off just as well as some of us are hoping.
That man is Xbox Chief Phil Spencer and to some degree, we can see where he is coming from. Speaking to Gamespot about whether or not be thought that Virtual Reality would be the future of gaming, he said how he hoped it wouldn’t as he didn’t want gamers to lose that social aspect of people coming together and watching what’s happening on screen and having fun together.
“Well, now it’s just my opinion. I’ll say, obviously we have relationships with Valve, we have a relationship with Oculus around the VR work that they’re doing, but I’m going to say I kind of hope not.”
“It doesn’t mean I don’t think VR has great experiences to offer. I think it does, and we’ll find those, and people will love playing those. I love playing games in my family room with my kids. I love people coming together and watching what’s happening on screen and laughing, and the kind of fun of what video games were always about,” Spencer added. “That doesn’t mean that can’t happen in a kind of socially connected VR environment, but to me it would be too bad if all gaming became people with head mounted displays on, headphones on, kind of blocked out from everything that happens. I do think there’ll be great experiences there, but just kind of for the sake of what gaming is, I don’t think that should be the only way people play.”
However Spencer agrees that for certain experiences, Virtual Reality will be perfect. He just feels that VR shouldn’t be the only way people play in future, citing how he loved watching people play Mario for example and everyone sharing in the experience.
“I think there will be certain experiences where that’s perfect. I don’t know necessarily if it will be genre based, but I just love me watching you play Mario and giving you ideas about where things might be, and we laugh, and we can kind of sit around and eat chips, and do things that people do. I think that’s kind of the basis of what gaming is about.”
Just like most pieces of technology, Virtual Reality is one of those innovations which comes around every so often trying to change the game and Phil Spencer believes that gaming is not the only are where virtual reality will expand into. Regardless of whether it be VR, AR or Holograms, gaming will always be at the forefront pushing that technology he says.
“I think there’s a place for VR. I think it’s really cool to see the innovation, like many innovations in the past. Gaming is taking a role in the forefront, because VR will touch more things than just gaming. Holograms and AR I think is a more complex space, but again, you’re going to find games will be there really stretching the technology like they have in so many other areas.”
Does Phil Spencer have a point? Let us know!