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Superhot VR

If you've been holding out hope that Microsoft will introduce virtual reality gaming on Xbox platforms at some point in the future, you might want to go ahead and invest elsewhere. According to a recent interview, the company is stepping away from virtual and mixed reality on its consoles, and instead allowing that attention to head directly to the PC or competing platforms. Unfortunately, that means no Master Chief VR Experience whenever Halo Infinite finally launches.

This news comes to us from the folks at Gamesindustry, who had a chat with Microsoft Chief Marketing Officer Mike Nichols during E3 2018. They asked Nichols about the future of VR and MR on Xbox consoles, and Nichols shot those ideas down outright.

The way Nichols phrases it; there are no plans for VR or MR on Xbox platforms. He adds that Microsoft plans to keep the focus on games that can be played on the television when it comes to their home console. That doesn't mean they aren't interested in that type of gaming, simply that any such attention is being put squarely on the PC and even mobile platforms.

What's interesting about Nichols' phrasing is that he said "Xbox platforms" and, since Microsoft has already started touting their new console expected to launch sometime in 2020, we have to wonder if that new console was included under this particular umbrella. After all, if Microsoft was interested in bringing VR to its next console and they are already talking about said next console, you would imagine Nichols would have said something along the lines of "not currently but, in the future, who knows?"

For whatever reason, Microsoft has had a pretty rough track record with what we'll call "fringe gaming" over the years. Neither version of the Kinect ever took hold and their Hololens technology seems to have disappeared to a very small, specific branch of game development that consumers may likely never be looped in on. It seemed like VR gaming was being kicked around for a bit there, especially with the arrival of the Xbox One X, but apparently that is no longer the case.

Of course, that might be due to the fact that, while successful, VR gaming hasn't exactly taken the world by form. Oculus and Vive are doing well enough on the PC and the PlayStation VR headset is certainly alive and kicking, but the VR craze has definitely died down a bit. In other words, if Microsoft doesn't expect VR to suddenly explode in the near future, it makes sense they wouldn't try to shoehorn it onto their consoles, existing or upcoming.

That's also kind of a shame, though, as the added support -- especially out of the gate on Microsoft's next machine -- could have potentially served as a boost for VR in general. With games like Moss, Resident Evil VII, Superhot VR and Bethesda's various VR projects, it seems a little early to assume that VR gaming on consoles doesn't have a future.