Microsoft Learned Their Lesson From The Kinect
If you were under the impression that Microsoft didn’t have a real virtual reality showing this year, well, you’re right. While the PC and PS4 scenes were thick with offerings to the newly-hatched VR gods, Microsoft made a calculated decision to train their focus elsewhere. Albert Penello, Microsoft’s Senior Director of Product Management and Planning, had this to say on the subject:
There’s still a tonne of experimentation in VR. That’s not designed to be a backhanded statement. There are obviously consumer products. Moving the problem into the display of your goggles versus the limits of the TV was a result of some of the 3D TV challenges. But VR has so much potential. Is it a viable consumer product? For a certain size of audience.
We learned with Kinect and the Wii that just translating a typical game experience to VR is not a winning strategy. It’s the oddball VR-specific stuff that makes it sing. It wasn’t something we wanted to distract developers with this year.
In other words, Microsoft is playing it cool. And that’s just fine! Virtual reality is still something of a niche market. It may be a better strategy to wait out this initial period until the dust settles. Or maybe Microsoft is just biding their time coming up with that elusive ‘killer app’ for the VR market. Only time will tell.