The Xbox One doesn’t have its own virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD). It may be that creator Microsoft presents its own VR kit later down the line but, for now it appears that the company is focusing on its own mixed reality (MR) HMD, HoloLens, which launched pre-orders for a Development Edition earlier this week. However, Microsoft’s console rival, Sony Computer Entertainment’s (SCE’s) PlayStation 4, does have its own VR HMD in PlayStation VR. Surprisingly, Xbox is hoping that company has success with its product.
Head of Xbox Phil Spencer said as much in a recent interview with GameSpot. “I think VR is still right at the beginning. Taking that to a closed ecosystem today, I think to me is just too early,” he said. “It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t belong in console…I hope Sony has success with what they’re trying to do because I think it’s good for our industry as innovations like VR take off. But for me, and where we are with Xbox, my bet is putting the development tools in the hands of literally millions of people who can go on Windows and start building their own VR experiences is likely to lead to faster content innovation than a closed ecosystem would.”
It may not have its own VR HMD but, instead, Microsoft is opting to support PC-based kits such as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. The company is integrating its game streaming technology to allow users to play console titles on a giant 2D screen within a virtual environment. It’s not clear if this feature will be available at the launch of either the Oculus Rift on 28th March or HTC Vive on 5th April right now.
Stay tuned to VRFocus for the latest on Microsoft’s work in VR.