Whereas for three years virtual reality has started to become more and more popular in the video game industry. The year 2016 was a pivotal year with the arrival in the space of 10 months of three major helmets namely Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR.
With a rather high price (between 400 € for the PSVR at its output and up to 1100 € for Vive), virtual reality was not a technology accessible to all players. However, Sony quickly became the market leader with a high performance PlayStation VR (especially on the price / quality ratio). In the first year, more PSVR will be sold than Oculus Rift and HTC Vive combined.
To date, the PlayStation VR has reached 5 million copies (for more than 100 million consoles sold). If some players think that this result is a failure, in reality it is a very good performance for Sony with a niche technology that does not concern many players. Sony remains today the leader of this market.
But that is not enough for Xbox and especially for its boss Phil Spencer, who recently announced that virtual reality would not be a project for Project Scarlett, simply because it is not yet ready and profitable. A statement that quickly reacted Sony.
PlayStation while subtle
So yesterday, the Australian site Stevivor, published his interview with Phil Spencer, head of the firm Xbox about virtual reality. The latter declared as follows:
I have some reservations about RV. It's an experience that isolates and I see video games as a community experience, bringing people together. We listen to our players and we are not asked about virtual reality.
Most of our players know that if they want a VR experience, the options already exist. We see the volume that this represents on PC and other media. (…) No one sells millions and millions (VR headsets). We will arrive there one day. For the moment, it's not our priority.
A statement that has not failed to react with players rather agree with Spencer and others on the contrary who do not have the same optics. Anyway, if this statement may suggest that Xbox does not want to take risks and focus on safe values, PlayStation defends the opposite.
Indeed, Shuhei Yoshida, new boss of the independent studios at Sony Interactive Entertainment, went there his tweet to remind that PlayStation was not afraid to take these risks.
('-`) .. oo (we oftentimes work hard to make things that we are asking for)
– Shuhei Yoshida (@yosp) November 26, 2019
We are used to working hard to offer experiences that players do not expect at all.
Xbox against attack
A small peak that will also quickly react to the main target. Indeed, a few hours later, Phil Spencer is justified via a tweet about his real position about VR.
Fair feedback. I've said publicly, I love how we have pioneered: AI, physics, 3D, RT, VR / AR etc. For us, it's about focus on our innovations right now. I've played some great VR games, I got to play HL: Alyx in the summer, amazing. It's just not our focus with Scarlett
– Phil Spencer (@ XboxP3) November 27, 2019
I said it publicly, I like the way our industry was pioneering: AI, physics, 3D, RT, VR / AR, etc. For us, it's about focusing on our current innovations. I played great VR games, I played Half Life: Alyx and it was amazing. It's just not our goal with Scarlett.