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(Pocket-lint) - It's tempting to see VR as one of the next big technological battlefields in gaming, but Microsoft won't be overcommitting with its next Xbox, it would seem.

Phil Spencer, pretty much the head of all things Xbox at Microsoft, indicated in a recent interview with Stevivor that VR is unlikely to figure much in the plan for the next-generation Xbox, still known as Project Scarlett for now. 

As Spencer explained, Microsoft appears to be remaining skeptical over the current mainstream potential of VR. Pulling no punches, he said: "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."

That's fairly definitive, although he did also say that this is likely due in part to people knowing that to get top-class VR they can go down the PC route and buy a standalone headset. 

This is in clear contrast to the approach of console rival Sony, which has made Playstation VR a major part of its planning, and looks set to usher in a second generation of its VR tech with the Playstation 5 late in 2020. 

It now looks like it will have the console VR market to itself for the foreseeable future, until Microsoft changes its tune. Of course, the PC side of things is a far busier field, with big names like Vive and Oculus fighting it out. With Valve's Index launching this summer, and Half Life: Alyx releasing in March 2020, interest in VR could well spike in 2020. 

Whether Microsoft is being canny by sitting the market out until it has the numbers to return actual profits and sustainable numbers, or is missing out on brand awareness and consumer take-up, only time will tell. 

Writing by Max Freeman-Mills. Originally published on 27 November 2019.