A comment from Phil Spencer as he explained Xbox’s lack of focus on VR as a result “nobody” asking for it seems to have drawn the attention of Sony’s former head of worldwide studios, Shuhei Yoshida. The Sony man’s approach to innovating new content for consumers is apparently very different from that of Spencer’s.
Speaking to Stevivor during Microsoft’s recent X019 event, Spencer said:
“I have some issues with VR — it’s isolating and I think of games as a communal, kind of together experience. We’re responding to what our customers are asking for and… nobody’s asking for VR.
The vast majority of our customers know if they want a VR experience, there’s places to go get those. We see the volumes of those on PC and other places.”
He also drew attention to the fact that there aren’t any companies “selling millions and millions” of VR units — an odd factoid to cite given that we know PSVR has sold over four million units.
Spencer’s comments appear to have provoked a response from Sony’s former head of worldwide studios Shuhei Yoshida, who took to Twitter to note:
（´-`）.｡oO（we oftentimes work hard to make things that no customers are asking for them）
— Shuhei Yoshida (@yosp) November 26, 2019
Of course, Yoshida doesn’t explicitly mention Spencer, but it does seem as though he’s referencing Spencer’s comments. After all, Sony has enjoyed plenty of success pushing its PSVR peripheral, even if it hasn’t set the world on fire. As far as we know, PSVR is set to continue playing an important role in PlayStation’s future moving into the next generation PS5 console.
It’s worth noting that Shuhei Yoshida is currently transitioning from PlayStation’s head of worldwide studios to an initiative focused on establishing new indie relationships. Many of these, I suspect, will be partnerships with VR developers as Sony looks to support its headset. Yoshida has long been a proponent of VR.