A new report from GameSpot sister site CNET goes into depth about Microsoft’s plans for an Xbox virtual reality headset that ultimately never got off the ground. “Early briefs” on the headset suggested the headset was to be a traditionally designed competitor to Sony’s PlayStation VR instead of something new and completely groundbreaking. The screen quality was considered “good,” according to the report, but not on the same level as Oculus Rift or HTC Vive.
Microsoft’s plans for an Xbox VR headset are now reportedly on hold. Why did Microsoft pause it’s VR plans? Sources inside Microsoft told CNET that the company is waiting until it can release a trailblazing piece of technology that is “sleeker” and possibly wireless.
Indeed, one of the issues some people have with VR headsets in their current form is that they are too big and bulky, and clunky with the need for wires. A smaller, wireless headset would indeed be a significant step forward. There is also the matter of processing power, as some have said the PS4 and Xbox One are too limited for true VR.
According to CNET’s story, Microsoft informed partners earlier this year that it was putting its VR plans on ice. Perhaps more intriguingly, Microsoft also reportedly reached out to unspecified partners “over the past couple years” to make VR games, though no other details are known about this.
It’s been rumoured for a long time that Microsoft was working on a VR headset, as a supposed design document from 2012 showed an Xbox VR headset of some kind.
While Microsoft hasn’t itself made a VR headset for Xbox or as a general device, the company has partnered with VR giant Oculus to include Xbox controllers with the device. Microsoft is, however, moving forward with augmented reality technology with its HoloLens headset. Microsoft showed a Halo HoloLens demo at E3 2015–and it was pretty magical.
The full CNET story is stacked with more interesting insight–go read it here.
When Microsoft first started talking about Project Scorpio, the console we now know as the Xbox One, the company said it was VR-ready. However, in 2017 Microsoft said its VR plans are more focused on PC than Xbox, so the news from CNET’s story is no big surprise.
At E3 2018, Microsoft announced that it is working on new Xbox consoles to follow the Xbox One, and it’s exciting to think about how powerful the systems might be and if they will support VR/AR in any capacity.
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Author: Eddie Makuch
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