Undoubtedly one of Oculus VR’s most surprising announcements of 2015 has been the reveal of a partnership with Microsoft to bring Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) support to the Xbox One console. The kit won’t be natively supporting the console, but will instead allow Windows 10 PC owners to stream Xbox One games into a virtual theatre of sorts, playing on a giant screen. It’s an intriguing combination of the 2 that few saw coming but, according to Oculus VR itself, Xbox VR integration is ‘amazingly good’.
The company’s Jason Rubin said as much in a recent interview at GamesBeat 2015. “We have an Xbox integration that plays through Rift,” he told host Geoff Keighley on-stage. “It’s amazingly good. It really is a great way of playing it. And, again, when I grew up and you grew up we would play Mario Kart next to each other on the sofa. And we’ve lost the crap talking, right? We’ve lost the ability to look over and laugh at somebody in their face. Trust me when I tell you, even though you are an avatar and you’re playing a gnome and I’m playing a flaming chicken. When I look at you and I laugh, you get that ‘he just laughed at me’. You feel that. So, going back to the Mario Kart party, even though we’re not in the same room is incredibly compelling.”
The integration goes some way to filling in for the lack of a native Xbox One HMD. Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) of course has its PlayStation VR HMD, which brings true VR to the PlayStation 4. While it appears that Microsoft doesn’t yet have its own VR device, it does have the unique HoloLens mixed reality (MR) HMD. This kit allows players to peer into the real world, augmenting it with virtual objects. The developer edition of the device is set to go on sale in Q1 2016.
VRFocus will continue to follow the Xbox VR integration closely, reporting back with any further updates on it.