When Microsoft officially announced Xbox One X – Project Scorpio as it was back then – during the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2016, Xbox chief Phil Spencer didn’t shy away from announcing that the console would deliver ‘high fidelity VR’ experiences. Since then however any mention of virtual reality (VR) has been actively snubbed by the company, with no mention at E3 2017 – Spencer even avoided the question when asked during the event. But it seems the possibility of VR on Xbox One X hasn’t completely disappeared just yet if recent comments are to be believed.
In an interview with CNBC, Panos Panay, corporate vice president of devices at Microsoft was asked about whether Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality headsets – which are now available – would come to the console, saying that you may: “start to see that happen.”
“Mixed reality can span in so many different forms,” Panay went on to say. “Whether it’s off the back of the device, whether it’s in virtual reality headsets that you have, or its HoloLens, you are starting to see that span through Windows and that platform for Windows does bring it to life.”
There’s certainly been mixed messages coming from different areas of Microsoft in regards to VR support for Xbox One X as earlier in the year, Alex Kipman, Technical Fellow and creator of HoloLens said: “We’re also excited to share that Windows Mixed Reality experiences will light up on other devices over time, beyond desktop and Microsoft HoloLens. Our plan is to bring mixed reality content to the Xbox One family of devices, including Project Scorpio, in 2018.”
So while Microsoft hasn’t yet categorically stated ‘yes, Xbox One X will get VR support on this date’, surmising that it’ll never happen would be slightly foolish.
And there’s another glaring reason for the company to do it, PlayStation VR. Sony Interactive Entertainment’s (SIE) headset has certainly been the sales winner when compared to PC rivals Oculus Rift and HTC Vive which could largely be attributed to PlayStation 4’s massive adoption and that PlayStation VR was the cheapest headset until Oculus Rift’s recent price drop.
Certainly having VR as an added sales incentive wouldn’t hurt Xbox One X sales, plus Windows Mixed Reality headsets offer technology like inside-out tracking which will give players far more freedom than the PlayStation Camera setup, as well as multiple designs.
Whatever happens, VRFocus will keep you updated.