Ever since Microsoft revealed its HoloLens augmented reality (AR) head-mounted display (HMD) earlier in 2015, many have assumed that this was the company’s answer to virtual reality (VR) HMDs such as the Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus. In fact, the company even went as far as to invite Oculus VR to work with it on HoloLens at its announcement. However, Microsoft’s work with HoloLens doesn’t necessarily mean that it won’t be working on Xbox VR, perhaps for its Xbox One console.
Head of Xbox Phil Spencer recently stated as much to Eurogamer. “I don’t think we’ve locked ourselves out,” Spencer replied when asked about a potential VR HMD at GDC 2015. “We’ve looked at a mixed reality space that we could do with Hololens and think about it as a unique set of features and technologies to enable, that doesn’t preclude us from doing anything in the VR space either from a first-party or partnership perspective. I’ve used Morpheus, I’ve used Oculus, I’m going to see more of the demos here.
“The conversations between all of us in this space remain strong, a lot of them look at Xbox, and obviously with Oculus on PC and other things, and the discussions are great as all of us look forward into where this space is going to go. I don’t think – and this isn’t a shot at VR in any way – I don’t think it’s landed yet on what it is and how it’s gong to go to market, but the innovation work is amazing, and it’s something the games industry has always done, whether it’s AI or voice. The games industry is always a place for innovation.”
Back in December 2014 VRFocus reported on confirmation from several developers that were working with an Xbox One VR HMD. It was thought that this could have perhaps referred to HoloLens, but other rumours also pointed towards a reveal at this year’s E3 in June. Is such a reveal still on the cards?
VRFocus will continue to follow Microsoft’s work in VR, reporting back with any further updates.