microsoft xbox stage at press event

Image source: Xbox Game Studios

Still too niche for Xbox.

There’s no question that interest in VR is on the rise, but it’s apparently still not a big enough market for Microsoft and its Xbox brand. In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, head of Xbox Game Studios Matt Booty explained that Microsoft perceives as niche and not yet worth investing in.

He went on to suggest that Microsoft typically looks for a playerbase to hit at least 10 million before citing it as a success, and AR/VR just isn’t there yet.

Booty explained:

“I think for us, it’s just a bit of wait until there’s an audience there,” Booty said. “We’re very fortunate that we have got these big IPs that have turned into ongoing franchises with big communities. We have 10 games that have achieved over 10 million players life-to-date, which is a pretty big accomplishment, but that’s the kind of scale that we need to see success for the game and it’s just, it’s not quite there yet with AR, VR.”

This is not the first time Microsoft has addressed the VR question or expressed its lack of interest in the market due to various reasons.

Elsewhere, other major players in the market are making waves in the VR space. Meta is set to launch the Quest 3 later this year, and Sony’s PS VR2 was released earlier this year. It has to be said, though, that the success of both units hangs in the balance. Meta’s longterm VR strategy doesn’t seem viable following its big reveal a couple of years ago, while Sony’s PSVR2 hasn’t sold as well as its predecessor.

Microsoft will be hoping its investment in major game studios such as Bethesda Softworks will pay off following its launch of titles like Starfield.