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Microsoft's gaming chief is optimistic about virtual reality

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Phil Spencer, Microsoft EVP
Phil Spencer, Microsoft EVP

Virtual reality is the talk of the town at the 2014 Game Developers Conference, with Sony's Project Morpheus and a new Oculus Rift driving the conversation. But just because Microsoft didn't bring its own virtual reality headgear to GDC 2014 doesn't mean the company isn't interested. We cornered Microsoft Game Studios boss Phil Spencer before his panel today, and he tells us he actually believes VR could be commercially viable for gaming.

"We're right at the beginning of this."

Though Spencer stops short of saying that Microsoft is working on any commercial VR products, he says the Microsoft Research group has definitely experimented with the idea. "If you think about the kid who can't fit a 60-inch plasma TV in his dorm room," the idea could make a lot of sense, Spencer says, adding that he believes the idea of seamless 360-degree virtual worlds could be really compelling for gamers. Spencer tells us that it's still not clear whether consumers might embrace the technology, and that the technology isn't there yet — "We're right at the beginning of this," he says — but he definitely seems to be leaving the door open for those rumored Kinect Glasses.