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Former Chief Xbox Officer Bach's take on VR

"We're at a stage where things are unclear"

Robbie Bach worked at Microsoft for 22 years but is best known for his role as Chief Xbox Officer, which started in 1999. There he oversaw the creation of a new platform, the Xbox, and overcame all the challenges that process posed. Yesterday at the GamesBeat Summit he offered his advice for the next-generation of platform, virtual and augmented reality.

"None of this is about the technology, it's all about the experience. So if the experience is spend a lot of money, look goofy, have 15 cool moments and not have anything after that it's going to be a cool hot fad and things won't go anywhere," he told attendees.

"Hardcore gamers will get it, that's fine, but if you want to get beyond that audience the experience has to improve dramatically"

He suggested that virtual reality could be "a huge thing in gaming," but to do so it would need to address the cost issue. That, and content that lasted for months and also content that comes from outside of the gaming space would be crucial.

"But I think it's entirely unclear today whether people are going to get the experience right. And that 's not a knock at anybody, it's just that we're at a stage where things are unclear. The hardware is too expensive, it looks a little goofy, you've got to have a couple of different machines... it's just not simple enough. Hardcore gamers will get it, that's fine, but if you want to get beyond that audience the experience has to improve dramatically.

"So I think I think it's a platform that's going to come. I don't think it's going to happen this year or next year, I think it's two, three years out. But I think when we get there, there's real meat there, there's real opportunity."

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Rachel Weber

Senior Editor

Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.