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Microsoft admits VR support won’t be coming to the Xbox after all

Your dreams of an Xbox VR headset crumbling away…

DESPITE GREAT AMBITIONS for virtual reality (VR) support on the Xbox One, particularly with the gutsy One X, Microsoft has admitted that be supporting VR on its games console.

In an interview with Gamesindustry.biz Mike Nichols, chief marketing officer of Redmond’s gaming division, poured cold water on the smouldering ideas of Xbox One VR support.

“We don’t have any plans specific to Xbox consoles in virtual reality or mixed reality,” he said.

This is a different tune to the one Xbox boss Phil Spencer danced to in 2016, when he touted the Xbox One X, known as ‘Project Scorpio’ at the time, as being the company’s first games console to support high-end VR.

Given Microsoft’s work on Mixed Reality (MR) in Windows 10, and the abiity to use the firm’s Xbox controllers with the Oculus Rift, it was thought that VR support would surely wing its way over to the Xbox One X at least.

But that’s not going to happen, unless Nichols is carrying out some misdirection. Microsoft had a solid E3 2018 showing, but the games showcased for the Xbox One had no hit of being particularly suitable for VR, with perhaps the exception of Forza Horizon 4.

While Microsoft is pushing its idea of ‘mixed reality’ (MR) with the Hololens augmented reality headset and work on MR headset from the likes of Acer, Samsung and HP, enthusiasm for VR on Xbox has sloped off considerably.

There’s an argument that Spencer’s initial pro-VR bluster was a little premature as games suitable for VR haven’t exactly been prolific.

That being said, there’s a counterpoint in that Sony has the PlayStation VR headset, so the Xbox is left with nothing to rival the Japanese company’s VR efforts.

PlayStation VR hasn’t exactly fired VR gaming into the stratosphere but it lays the foundations for future gaming experiences if developers are willing to build them.

Given the Xbox One is still on the back foot when compared to the  success of the PS4, perhaps it’s best Microsoft concentrates on building out exclusive games and developers for its console rather than take a stab at VR, particularly given its efforts with Kinect didn’t really pan out.

Nevertheless, it still feels there’s a missed opportunity here for Microsoft to show off MR beyond the confines of Windows 10. µ

Further reading

Source : Inquirer

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