Half-Life: Alyx: Xbox Boss Phil Spencer Has Played It, Says It’s ‘Amazing’
The Xbox boss has already played Half-Life: Alyx and he says that it’s “amazing.”
While at XO19, Microsoft’s head of gaming Phil Spencer said in an interview that virtual reality isn’t a focus for next-gen console Project Scarlett as Xbox players aren’t asking for it.
After this news came out, Spencer replied to a discussion on Twitter that criticised him for dismissing VR as a novelty while Valve, Sony, and Oculus are investing heavily in it.
“Fair feedback. I’ve said publically [sic], I love how our industry has pioneered: AI, physics, 3D, RT, VR/AR etc. For us, it’s about focus on our innovations right now,” Spencer wrote in his reply.
While Spencer reaffirms that Scarlett won’t focus on VR, the second part of his response reveals that he has already played the newly announced VR game Half-Life: Alyx, which he describes as “amazing.”
“I’ve played some great VR games, I got to play HL:Alyx in the summer, amazing,” Spencer writes. “It’s just not our focus with Scarlett.”
Fair feedback. I’ve said publically, I love how our industry has pioneered: AI, physics, 3D, RT, VR/AR etc. For us, it’s about focus on our innovations right now. I’ve played some great VR games, I got to play HL:Alyx in the summer, amazing. It’s just not our focus with Scarlett— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) November 27, 2019Half-Life: Alyx is to be a full-length Half-Life game but will only be available on PC-based VR headsets when it launches in March 2020. If you were holding out hope that it may one day be announced for Project Scarlett then Spencer’s recent comments aren’t encouraging.The fact that the head of Xbox played Half-Life: Alyx back in the summer and since then has said that VR won’t be a focus for Microsoft’s next-gen console makes it unlikely the two will meet.
Half-Life: Alyx First Screenshots (4K)
There is, perhaps, a little more hope if you’re planning on getting a PlayStation 5. Sony’s Shuhei Yoshida seemed to respond to Spencer’s comments on VR on Twitter when saying, “we oftentimes work hard to make things that no customers are asking for them.”
（´-`）.｡oO（we oftentimes work hard to make things that no customers are asking for them）— Shuhei Yoshida (@yosp) November 26, 2019Given that Sony has sold over 4.2 million PSVR headsets as of March 2019 it seems likely that it’ll be interested in VR for PS5.Patents that the company has filed ahead of the console’s launch in holiday 2020 seem to back this up. There was one for VR-compatible VR subscription glasses and another that mentions capturing full-body motion for user-generated content sharing.
Get the full scoop on Half-Life: Alyx with our trailer breakdown which includes details on enemies, easter eggs, and much more.
Chris Priestman is a freelancer who writes news for IGN. Follow him on Twitter.