Back when Microsoft announced the Xbox One X in 2016, Phil Spencer mentioned that the console would deliver 4K gaming in addition to ‘high-fidelity VR’. The Xbox team definitely had some virtual reality support plans in the works but earlier this year, we learned that it had been scrapped for the current generation consoles. Now this week, sources have shed some light on the subject, explaining what happened.
Microsoft reportedly began telling partners about its Xbox VR plans a few years ago, with the goal of building something to rival the Oculus Rift or HTC VIVE. All of that work was eventually scrapped, as confirmed two months ago. According to two sources speaking with CNET about the matter, we now know that Microsoft is waiting for promising new technologies to mature.
Specifically, Microsoft is waiting on wireless VR and higher fidelity displays. Those involved in early Xbox VR briefings claim that Microsoft’s headset would have been similar in specs to the PlayStation VR, which is decent enough but not groundbreaking.
When Microsoft does return to the idea of VR on Xbox, the company wants sleeker designs, wireless technology and higher resolution displays to be more readily available. By that time, the VR market may be more worthy of investment as right now, VR is still very niche with very few jumping on board.
KitGuru Says: I’m a fan of virtual reality gaming but I think Microsoft made the right choice in waiting. The company has already struggled with securing exclusive games for Xbox this generation and adding VR development on top of that could have complicated things further. Still, the door seems to be open for an Xbox VR headset next time around, perhaps after the launch of ‘Project Scarlett’.