Microsoft’s Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, is someone I continue to have great respect for. Listening to him talk, it’s clear that he has the utmost passion for his company and the greater gaming industry that they operate in. On many occasions, Spencer has gone on record for his admiration, if not acceptance, of milestones achieved by PlayStation. In previous console generation cycles, mudslinging between competitors was an all too familiar affair that sadly still runs deep among users of both platforms.
When speaking to Gamasutra about the current status of VR and Xbox’s approach to it, Spencer said:
The Sony guys have been great. they’ve had our teams down, we’ve had them up to look at HoloLens and stuff that’s been going on. Obviously Valve’s about a stone’s throw from here. So the VR community itself is actually very collaborative because I think everybody realizes how early we are in the evolution of what this thing is about.
Just last week, we saw Sony Pictures developing a game for Microsoft HoloLens and as I noted then, VR/AR is still in its infancy. We’re still nowhere near mass interest from consumers, nor is the technology truly ready for them. This means that until we arrive at such a point, which could take years, it’s in the best interest of Sony and Microsoft to work together and share notes on what works and what doesn’t. If the general consensus from consumers becomes that VR isn’t great like it did with 3D, it’s something that could sink the entire platform, making it vital for developers to share best practices with each other, even if their implementation is good.
If/when the technology does reach a point of maturity where it can fully deliver on the promise, don’t be surprised to see the sharing of notes come to an end. But even then, it doesn’t mean competitors can’t be civil towards one another, and Phil Spencer sets such a tone.