It’s almost time for the latest generation of home gaming Xbox and sony consoles – Sony’s PS5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and S – to be released.
Both consoles are due out in November 2020, and both are already sold out for pre-orders in most retailers. While both the PS5 and the Xbox Series X pack in some game-changing specs, only one of these consoles have any virtual reality technology included.
While the PS5 is compatible with the previous generation of VR headsets released for virtual reality PlayStation titles, there’s no such investment in VR going on at Microsoft.
Microsoft says there’s no demand for Xbox VR
Xbox head Phil Spencer recently said in an interview that customers aren’t asking for VR on the Xbox consoles, and this claim was later backed up by Mat Piscatella of industry analyst group NPD.
It’s true that VR tech is costly and imperfect. PlayStation VR headsets were launched at a price point of $399/£350, and while they’re now available a little cheaper, they’ll still set you back the cost of a brand new Xbox Series S console. For most players, it simply isn’t worth the investment.
PlayStation VR sales figures paint a different picture
Despite the high cost of entry, PlayStation’s VR tech hasn’t performed badly at all. In 2017, Sony Interactive Entertainment claimed that sales of the original VR headset topped 915,000 units which far exceeded the company’s expectations upon launch.
Since then, a total of 5 million units have been sold globally. This figure might pale in comparison to the 112 million PS4 consoles that Sony have sold across the globe, but it still shows that almost 1 in 22 PS4 gamers has invested in VR.
Where does VR gaming go next?
Despite Microsoft’s reluctance to invest in VR tech for Xbox players, there are plenty of exciting VR titles coming out in the next year for both PC gamers and PlayStation owners, including Half-Life: Alyx, and After the Fall.
With no VR compatibility announced for the Xbox Series X/S, it looks like Xbox players will be waiting at least another five years for VR games – but in the meantime, there are plenty of other companies offering top-quality VR experiences for players who can afford it.