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Most VR games feel like demos - Spencer

Xbox head says VR will find its spot in gaming, but it will be a couple years before developers learn the ropes

Last month, Oculus' John Carmack said VR devs have for the most part been coasting on novelty so far. He isn't the only representative of a company with a stake in VR questioning the first steps into the new medium, as Microsoft head of Xbox Phil Spencer echoed similar sentiments in a recent interview with Stevivor that was published today.

"I don't think the creators in the game space have yet found - well, they haven't obviously perfected the craft of building VR games," Spencer said. "It's so early, I think we're a couple of years before we'll really see that hit mainstream."

Spencer said he's sold on VR films that transport people to new environments, but hasn't seen compelling counterparts in the gaming field.

"I think VR will find its spot in gaming; I would make that bet," Spencer said. "We designed Scorpio as a VR-capable console. Whether that happens this year, next year or the year after... like I said, I still think the creative community has to get its arms around what are these new tools, and this new feeling - this new immersion.

"What experiences do you put in people's hands to have a long-term engagement? Most of these things I'm playing now feel like demos and experiments, which I actually think it's absolutely the right thing to have happened. That's not a criticism at all, but should be happening. But I think it will take time."

Spencer likened the situation to the Kinect, saying that only a handful of games took advantage of the technology properly. Those that tried to offer traditional gameplay and just let users wave their arms as a substitute for pushing buttons failed, while games like Dance Central, which couldn't really map to a controller, fared better.

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Brendan Sinclair avatar

Brendan Sinclair

Managing Editor

Brendan joined GamesIndustry.biz in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot in the US.