The great prominence of virtual reality during the last GDC has not gone unnoticed by Microsoft, and Phil Spencer, in charge of the Xbox division almost a year ago, leaves a very interesting comment.
While Oculus, Sony and HTC-Valve are clearly betting on virtual reality and almost all have revealed launch dates for their commercial products, it seems that Xbox is betting on augmented reality and the integration of Xbox One and PC through Windows 10. Does this mean that they are out of the virtual reality market? Not according to Phil Spencer.
I don’t think we’ve self-deprecated. We believe that the mixed reality space that we can achieve with Hololens is something unique, but that does not exclude that we will do something in the field of virtual reality, whether we are ourselves or in partnership with someone. I’ve tried Morpheus, I’ve tried Oculus, and I’ll keep watching the demos that come.
Thus, they do not close the doors to a possible collaboration with another company to bring virtual reality to Xbox One. A collaboration with Sony to use Morpheus on Xbox One seems unlikely, in fact it sounds crazy, but who knows if they could opt for some other product?
There are regular conversations between all of us in this space, many are looking at Xbox, and obviously Oculus on the PC and other things, and the discussions are great and we are all excited about the direction we are moving in. I don’t think – and this is not an attack on VR by any means – that it is still clear what it is and how it will reach the market, but the innovation work is incredible and it is something that the video game industry has always done, it is always a place for innovation.
He has also had words for Valve, which has undoubtedly turned the entire market upside down, and we are not only talking about virtual reality, but about the assault on the video game market in the salon, completely dominated by consoles, which is now threatened by Steam Machines and Steam Link, as well as Windows as a gaming platform with SteamOS.
I think that [Valve] he has an enormous vision. I’ve said it before, the work they’ve been doing for the video game world on Windows for the last 15 or 20 years has been incredible. They have been the main voice in this ecosystem, while we ourselves have been somewhat more absent. They are very clear about what they intend with Steam and all its connections, and giving away Source is a very smart move. Now I see it as a new opportunity, for them and for us. I think there is both innovation and modernization in the players. I myself have a Steam account that I don’t plan to delete tomorrow. Ori, one of our games that we are going to release this month, is coming out on Steam. Within five years you will be able to buy games on Steam and also on the Windows Store. We have conversations with Valve regularly, I consider them a critical ISV… [desarrollador independiente de software] on Windows, and we are always open to the feedbak they give us. Are they competitors? I see it as an advantageous opportunity now.