As you’ll see in my PSVR 2 review, I’m very impressed with Sony’s new virtual reality headset. In fact, I think it is probably the best VR headset around, beating the Meta Quest 2 in high-end specs but avoiding the need to have a powerful gaming PC to run it.
My only worry is if it’ll prove popular enough to see Sony and third-party developers produce enough new top-tier virtual reality games for the PSVR 2. And that’s why I really hope Microsoft takes a look at VR on the Xbox Series X.
The PS5, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S share the same core AMD architecture, with the former two consoles definitely sporting enough grunt to power VR headsets. Yet despite supporting VR headsets on Windows and flirting with augmented reality with HoloLens, Microsoft hasn’t really shown any interest in VR for Xbox.
This is a shame, as given the current state of Xbox Game Studios and Microsoft’s gaming arm as a whole, the Xbox has an enviable mass of studios with the creative chops to create some truly compelling VR games. And if there’s one thing VR gaming needs, it’s a steady stream of games that really suck the player into a virtual world rather than offer short-lived experiences.
Xbox Series X has the power
When testing the PSVR 2, Horizon Call of the Mountain did a lot of the heavy lifting when it came to showing off the VR tech and offering a compelling reason to pop on the headset rather than flop down on my sofa and play God of War Ragnarok. The same could be said the PC-based VR gaming, with Half-Life Alyx being one of the few real heavy hitters.
With the PSVR 2, I found myself thinking “wouldn’t it be great if I could play Deathloop in VR, and get closer to the bizarre island of Blackreef.” But then I remembered that developer Arkane is now owned by Microsoft and seemingly won’t be making new games for the PS5.
And its developers like Arkane, who, with the backing of Microsoft’s tech and money, have the scope to be experimental with the games they make. But unless Microsoft makes an Xbox Series X VR system, then it’s very likely that the creativity and smart design Arkane is great at will never come to a virtual reality system.
Microsoft could find a middle ground and nudge its developers to make VR games for Windows, where one can use a Vive or Valve Index headset, or even tether a Quest 2 to a PC. But VR gaming on PC in my experience is nowhere near as simple as getting the PSVR 2 up and running; its single-cable setup is an utter joy.
Where is my VR Halo?
So unless Sony and Microsoft were to come to some agreement that sees the latter’s game studios make VR titles for the former’s system, we’d need a dedicated Xbox VR headset to further harness creative talent from the likes of Obsidian, Playground Games, and the aforementioned Arkane. I”m also pretty sure Bethesda could great at making VR games, given it’s flirted with VR for the likes of Skyrim.
All that's not to say I don’t have faith in Sony making more VR games for the PSVR 2, especially as it's said there are more than 100 games in development for the PSVR 2.
But for console-based VR gaming to really grow and let competition fuel even better hardware and experiences, I want to see Microsoft get Xbox involved. After all, I’d love to play Halo Infinite in VR. And the exploration promised by Starfield would seem perfect for virtual reality.
We’re at a time when the power of games consoles can deliver proper virtual reality games and experiences without many shortcomings; I can live with being tethered to the console for now. But I worry that tech could be wasted if Sony remains the only player in the console VR arena.
And for more opinions on VR, check out why I want to see ChatGPT and AI used in VR gaming.
PSVR1 was the first successful VR device on the market. It was better and cheaper than competition and it sold well. Now it's the same situation, PSVR2 is cheaper and better than the competition and on top of that, the VR market has matured to the point where we have a lot higher quality games and hardware. Just having Call of The Mountain, Resident Evil 8, GT7 and Switchback on release as console exclusives is amazing. And on top of that we have a bunch of other games and multiplats that are improved versions of games. If that's not exciting to you, that's fine, we all like what we like. Xbox sales are dropping, so they need to first figure out how to make games and sell their console before they can even think about VR...
And to get VR games on the Xbox would take probably require zero microsoft VR team people to do it, all they need to do is allow anyone's VR headset to be recognized as a usable headset and then allow some games that already have VR support by their own devs. The only reason they fired everyone from those teams is that they're giving up on trying to make their own hardware or platform for it. People who own Xbox and not PS5 also would like VR too, the article is valid and your criticism is weak to say the least. PSVR1 was not the first successful or the most successful VR on the market either. Both of those go to the oculus quest 1 and 2, and to mention power difference between quest and PSVR is also ignorant AF because you're ignoring that you can plug it into a PC and get better quality games and visuals than PSVR (call me when you get Half-life Alyx for example still one ofbthe best VR games ive ever played)
I get it, you are a playstation fan boi, but don't go around spitting out biased opinions as facts.