Microsoft No Longer Plans to Bring VR to the Xbox One

Posted on June 21, 2018 by Mehedi Hassan in Games, Xbox One with 40 Comments

Microsoft does not have any plans to bring virtual reality to its Xbox consoles. The company previously mentioned its plans for VR on the Xbox One X, aka Project Scorpio, but we never really got to see VR actually running on any Xbox One devices. Plus, the company quickly corrected itself about bringing VR to the Xbox shortly before the announcement of the Xbox One X at E3 2017.

While Microsoft continues its investment on Windows Mixed Reality, the company recently confirmed in an interview that it is not bringing VR or MR to the Xbox. Microsoft thinks PC is “probably the best platform” for VR and MR, despite talking about wireless VR for consoles earlier. Microsoft has been criticised in the past for not having VR on the Xbox One X or even a competitor to the PlayStation VR, but that didn’t seem to have any effects on the company’s current plans.

“We don’t have any plans specific to Xbox consoles in virtual reality or mixed reality. Our perspective on it has been and continues to be that the PC is probably the best platform for more immersive VR and MR. As an open platform, it just allows faster, more rapid iteration. There are plenty of companies investing in it in the hardware side and the content side, or some combination therein. Obviously on phones, augmented reality is a good scenario as well that’s going to grow. But as it relates to Xbox, no. Our focus is primarily on experiences you would play on your TV, and ultimately we’d like to make those experiences more broadly,” Microsoft Gaming’s CMO Mike Nichols told GameIndustry in an interview.

The confirmation from Microsoft doesn’t come as a surprise, however. The firm was expected to discuss VR back at E3 2017 — that didn’t happen. And at this year’s E3, there was 0 mention of VR on the Xbox One. While the company did tease the next-gen Xbox console, codenamed Scarlett, there was little to no talk about hardware at this year’s E3 from the company. Will there be VR on the Scarlett? For now, no one really knows — but time will tell.

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Comments (42)

42 responses to “Microsoft No Longer Plans to Bring VR to the Xbox One”

  1. Avatar

    spacein_vader

    Maybe they've decided VR is the new 3D tv?

    • Avatar

      Orin

      In reply to spacein_vader:

      That sounds right to me. There's too much of a barrier in entry for the average consumer to get on board. Complex hardware, not enough software, not to mention you have to wear the gear. After a long day at work and dealing with the ins and outs of life, I just want to turn on the TV and be watching something in a short period of time in a comfortable spot on the couch. I have a feeling I'm not the only person who feels this way.

      • Avatar

        Robert Wade

        In reply to Orin: That's just BS. WMR headsets are very inexpensive now (believe me, I was a naysayer when they first came out specifically because the price was higher than any value I felt I'd get). And I'm running it on a 1070 (previously a 1060) and a 4 year old i7. You can't tell me there's a cost barrier.


    • Avatar

      skane2600

      In reply to spacein_vader:

      3D TV is the perfect example of why the "Hype Cycle" graph is wrong. The end story for many ideas and products is "crash and burn" rather than reaching the "Plateau of Productivity".

    • Avatar

      TwinStripeUK

      In reply to spacein_vader:

      I'd go so far as to say that it's much, MUCH worse than 3D TV. At the very least you could use your 3D TV for standard content, so at worst you'd only feel that you'd overpaid for a lesser experience if the content didn't keep coming.


      With VR you basically spend a small fortune, get a trickle of largely sub-standard content and constantly feel like you're being physically punished for it.


      If I really wanted to spend my free time with blurred vision, pounding headaches and an almost constant need to vomit, then two grand can buy me a LOT of booze...


      • Avatar

        Robert Wade

        In reply to TwinStripeUK: You people must shop at the most expensive places. This hasn't been my experience at all.


        • Avatar

          TwinStripeUK

          In reply to Robert_Wade:

          Cheapest VR experience you can get right now?


          PS4+PSVR @ just over £400/$450 or possibly the Oculus Go @ £200/$250 (for the 32GB version), although the Go isn't actually available yet.


          Both are actually pretty ropey, you don't get the full 'six degrees of freedom' with them (even with the wireless Go) and you're pretty much guaranteed to feel ill after 1-2 hours (although strangely the Go seems to do a slightly better job in that respect).


          Average VR experience?


          Around £900-1000/$1100-1300 for a PC and a Vive/Rift. Looks better, but still harnessed and they'll still make you feel sick as a dog.


          Cheapest AR experience right now?


          Samsung Galaxy J3 and a copy of Pokémon Go @ £19.99/$25


          I rest my case...


          • Avatar

            Robert Wade

            In reply to TwinStripeUK: Please, you can do it with $1,000. And the ONLY time I've gotten sick was because I was driving an SRV in ED across very hilly terrain----I have lived with motion sickness my entire life. My friends who aren't prone to it (one is an Air Force pilot) had zero issues.


            • Avatar

              TwinStripeUK

              In reply to Robert_Wade:

              You're really going to quibble over $100 difference in pricing and then also claim that because an Air Force Pilot (who is specifically TRAINED to deal with adverse motion related effects) isn't affected, then it isn't an issue? Seriously???


              Look, I get it - you've made a serious investment in VR, and to that end you feel compelled to defend it (else you wouldn't have also felt compelled to be the sole voice in defence of it on this thread), but you're utterly missing the point. Even at $1000 (which you CAN'T do, I'm afraid, as much as you might wish it especially considering that the VR hardware alone will set you back 40-50% of that), VR is doomed to be the latest in a long line of dying fads.


              Why? Well because you're asking $1000+ for an entirely constrained, individual experience (which is largely disappointing in terms of quality and longevity, because very little 'long-form' content exists for it, partially due to the aformentioned sickness issues which are documented to occur in as little as 30 minutes).


              I myself don't suffer from motion sickness, but after my first VR demo I had to lie down for nearly an hour to get over it, and from a lot of the feedback I've heard, I'm not the only one. Even some hardcore advocates have talked about having to spend weeks acclimatizing (and most of them are journalists who have the hardware bought for them and get paid to persevere). The average consumer doesn't have the time or patience for that.


              And even at that price point, you're talking about a fully tethered experience, which means giving up personal space or having to devote room (or maybe an ENTIRE room) to it.


              Compare that to an equivalent $1000 investment in a games console and/or a 4K TV, which an entire family can enjoy and can be retasked to serve more than one purpose.


              Or perhaps compare that to the aforementioned $25 AR experience which can be taken anywhere and shared and demonstrated socially.


              The ONLY way VR will ever avoid going the way of the 3DTV is to have the current 'high end' experience retail at $500 COMPLETE, and the low end experience retail at $100. At those prices the average consumer would be tempted to try the low end and still feel that the high end represented less of a risky investment. Even then, you'll have to get buy in from developers to produce content, and they're not likely to do that until you have some form of a unified development platform and SIGNIFICANT hardware numbers to release on.


              PSVR is currently the best selling VR hardware at 2M units and is struggling for content because it needs to be at around 5 times that in order to be worthwhile for any AAA publishers. In actual fact it needs to achieve that figure before Sony can even consider it 'break even'.That's also the case on PC (apparently Frontier wouldn't even have put it in ED if there hadn't have been a drive for it during the crowdfunding stage).


              But those price points and numbers are never going to happen. Oculus Go is a nice start, but it's little more powerful than a phone (and you can't make calls on it)! 'Santa Cruz' looks nice on paper, but if it's not launching at $500 or under, it's already dead (and that doesn't look likely given the launch price of the Rift and how they still can't shift them after the price cut). There are still too many proprietary variences in the hardware, and different specs and development platforms. And how did that work out for Steam machines?


              Microsoft have recognised this. There's absolutely zero point in them investing time and money in supporting a technology that's only going to generate a couple of million unit sales at best. They'd basically need to get everyone who bought a One X to buy VR hardware just to stand still. PC is a slightly different prospect because they can share the load with third party hardware manufacturers.


              You go ahead and enjoy it though - if it does what you want, and you're happy with it, then how it fares with the rest of the world shouldn't affect that.


              But you just need to be aware that VR has a very short time to do one of two things:


              1) Get a hell of a lot better at doing what it does at the current price point

              2) Do exactly what it does at a much, MUCH lower price point


              And I'm afraid that the average consumer doesn't have the inclination to wait long enough for it to do either, so the stuff you enjoy doing with it now might well be 'it'..


              • Avatar

                Ugur

                In reply to TwinStripeUK:

                What's wrong in your assessment is that no, a technology does not have a very short amount of time.

                It is that kind of view where nowadays, as we got some nice breakthroughs in some areas over the last 20 years, some (many) people on the web think any new technology/device/medium has to be a blockbuster on the level of smartphones and ARM tablets in year 1-3 or it is sure to be failed forever.


                That kind of stance is just complete nonsense and further on top very detrimental to any progress in any field.


                Think about it.

                In most fields, for most devices, it was very clearly not the first iteration, nor the second, often not even the 5th or 10th which was that huge giant blockbuster on billions selling level.

                It took many many iterations in most fields to stepwise get there.


                The iPhone was not the first phone, the iPad was not the first tablet.

                There were many, many, many iterations of such form factor devices before them.

                (Neither did Apple come up with the revolutionary multi touch input, they got the tech from other companies who worked in those fields for quite a while).

                Even then it still took Apple another 1-3 iterations on top of all that pre existing progress in those fields to get them to a level were they would take off in that huge blockbuster level of today.


                Now suddenly all new devices in other categories have to take off on that level in iteration 1-3 or they are doomed? That's just such a misguided way to look at it and if every explorer and creator would think that way, well, we could pack up and go back to our caves, because yeah, for most things it takes many attempts and iterations to get there stepwise, why bother, right? Captain obvious said it is just like 3DTV (while not related in any form besides being technology in the broadest term), so of course he is right, he compared tech A with failed tech B i heard about and didn't like, that totally makes sense.



                The reality is both AR and VR devices and software are in early days right now. But the reality is also anyone with any bit of knowledge in this field and foresight can see the potential and there is so much so huge potential for so many use cases, that no, these things will not go away.

                They will stepwise progress further and further.


                Right now, they are already useful and used in more and more commercial/business applications, over time that will become more and more.


                Right now the hardware form factors and input ways and software is on a level where for regular consumers it is still mostly appealing to early adopters and enthusiasts.


                But it would be naive at best to think that's just how it will always be.


                You can decide for yourself of course whether you like the current implementation or not, but why attempt to talk it dead for everyone else while already millions enjoy it in the most cutting edge form it is right now?

                • Avatar

                  TwinStripeUK

                  In reply to Ugur:

                  While you're right to say that you can't necessarily place a lifespan assement on emergent technology, consumer VR is FAR from being in its infancy. In fact if you were to draw a very direct (and fairly apt, IMHO) analogy from a technology facing the same challenges, then look no further than 3DTV (which actually started its consumer journey a mere four years ahead of consumer VR).


                  While 3DTV certainly isn't VR, the same refrains are heard when discussing it:


                  'Yeah, great, but what am I going to use it for?'

                  'Seems expensive for what it is'

                  'It makes me feel ill/makes me look stupid/just doesn't 'work' for me'


                  There were the same arguments in place; high unit cost, low quality content and a lack thereof plus a distinct split in the comfort and convenience of the user experience.


                  The first 'affordable' sets launched around 2011/2012 (although 'affordable' is a very lose term) and by 2017 the manufacturers of those sets had completely abandoned production of them. That's a mere 5-6 years.


                  If you don't count the development kits, the Rift , Vive and PSVR (the three biggest sellers in the field) are all nearly two years old. If you do count them, the Rift turned 5 this year.


                  And their sales most definitely not setting the world on fire. When the BBC abandoned 3D broadcasting in the UK, 3DTV sales stood at around 1.5 Million. Combined sales of 'VR' units (from Google cardboard right up to the Vive) in the UK are at around 600 thousand, barely even a third of it.


                  Of course it 'could' turn around. Hats off to Oculus VR for making the Go a more accessible way to access VR - making it cheaper and untethered opens far more avenues for people to try it on a whim. Only 3DOF actually goes in its favour, because while 3DOF is less 'immersive', it's also far less likely to make you feel ill.


                  Kudos to them for 'Santa Cruz' too - an untethered higher-end unit is just what the Rift SHOULD have been at launch. The only thing that could hamstring it is the price...


                  And therein lies the rub. Nobody is going to spend $500-800 on a unit PLUS the same (probably more) on a PC to run it 'just because they've heard it's good'. Nobody is going to 'impulse buy' a standalone VR unit at $200-250. They certainly aren't doing that now.


                  To draw another TV analogy, look at UHD TV. Did many people buy them when they were averaging $2000-5000 and there was nothing to watch on them? Nope.


                  How about when they were averaging $1500-3000? A few did, but it took a few showings of 'Planet Earth 2' in order to sway them.


                  How about when they were averaging $500-1500? Absolutely, because they were inexpensive enough to buy when you didn't have the content to show them off and stunning when you did.


                  And consumer UHDTV and consumer VR are roughly the same 'age'. VR has about 2 years left at most in order to 'prove itself' to the general public by becoming cheaper, more accessible and higher quality.


                  Personally I don't see that happening, because things are just moving way too slow and at best it'll become an expensive, 'enthusiast-only' hobby.


                  At worst it'll become just another passing fad that 'seemed like a good idea at the time'.



                • Avatar

                  Ugur

                  In reply to TwinStripeUK:

                  The main difference between 3DTV and VR is that 3DTV was just a slight visual enhancement, like hey, things look sorta a bit more volumetric.
                  That was about it, it did not allow any really new types of content or new forms of interaction with the content.
                  So due to that, once the excitement about the a bit more 3D looking vsuals is passed, there is no other unique use case or selling point to it.
                  So due to that, yeah, it is a novelty where the lack of it does not suddenly make all sorts of unique content to it missed/not possible, there was none to begin with.

                  With VR, it is not just a different look. Yes, the look of the content is way more different than with a 3DTV, since with VR it feels like one is actually inside the 3D world and all objects have actual depth to them to the degree where one can estimate distances, sizes and dimensions way better etc, all actually feels like solid objects around you.
                  But it goes way further than that. It allows new types of content and interactions, and due to that, it will not go away.
                  Already just on business applications side there are many possible already now in VR which are greatly enhanced by it, like for 3D product design and prototyping (think cars, shoes or whatever other product profits from visualizing an object/product quickly in most volumetric/real feeling form before actually building it or having to print out things with 3d printing constantly, one can considerably increase iteration times and reduce costs), architecture (visualizing house plans/designs before building them) , real estate (checking out houses without having to travel to each of them in real life), medical, education and many other fields.
                  So already due to those, VR will not go away because there are actual practical unique and very constructive use cases for it.

                  Then, on consumer content side there's mostly games and movies right now, but actually allowing different content that is beyond regular flat screen content and not possible with same interaction and physicality in flat screen content.
                  Some games/movies will always make more sense on a flatscreen, others will always make more sense and only be possible in VR, so again, due to that, it will not go away.

                  And yes, while i wouldn't promote that as main use case for me personally, well made porn in VR (not just regular 360 movies but things taking it a level further with volumetric video graphy) are a selling point, too. If you think about it lots of people would be into adult entertainment which feels more real..


                  Overall in movie/video section (not just adult entertainment) we are not even fully in baby steps part yet with what will be possible in VR in the future though, just getting first early form glimpses at it.

                  Because right now most real life recordings movies available for VR are basically 360 video recordings. So those allow to look around freely in the scenery but not to lean in and around or move around in it. Volumetric light field capture and related technologies will allow that but tools and hardware for that are still in early stages and it will then also take a while to overcome internet bandwidth limitations to allow to stream such content instead of only downloading the whole large thing up front.


                  But if you picture a movie in which you can actually not just look around but lean in and in some cases then even move around in, yeah, it's easy to picture why that will be a big thing over time.


                  Regarding your statements on how old VR devices are already, i feel like those are a bit off. The first consumer versions of let's call them modern high end consumer VR headsets are less than 3 years old. Again, the first consumer iteration.

                  Then moaning about them not selling blockbusters right away is like as if you'd have expected the first super bulky cell phone to sell 5 billion. It of course didn't, it was an expensive niche thing for business people and few enthusiasts.


                  Many of your criticisms regarding that things would be too expensive when one wants high end VR and also needs a high end computer will basically sort themselves out over time as tech progresses and what was cutting edge 2-3 years ago is then stepwise available at lower price levels (while the next highest end thing is again the expensive option for the most cutting edge thing wanting people).


                  Btw you're off in your assumption that the " less 'immersive', it's also far less likely to make you feel ill."


                  Actually it is the other way round, when you play a VR game or app with direct camera and character controls, so where you are the character in first person and move the camera only with your head/body movement 1:1, that is actually the option not causing nausea for most people. That is the option which causes nausea for pretty much noone besides people who get super easily nauseas in regular everyday life.

                  So for example if you play a game like job simulator, Lone Echo, Robo Recall, Superhot etc.

                  I let those get tried by many friends and colleagues and noone got nauseous in those.


                  Nausea chance is bigger when a game instead moves the camera independently of your head/body, so with analogue sticks or similar for example. Like for example if you play a game where you drive a car and you can move the camera/view around independent of your actual body/head movement. That mismatch is what can cause nausea in VR.

                  And again, for that case, too there are workarounds to reduce it, like teleport movement or to reduce the field of view in such moments or show a non moving reference object in your view like a black nose bridge or part of the car frame when driving a car etc.

                  And as more VR developers become aware of that and include such comfort options, any game/app which does is no problem.



                  Regarding self contained VR headsets like Oculus GO i agree it is great those options are available for people who want to get into VR without having to buy a more expensive PC VR headset and upgrade their computer graphics card right away and i just got an Oculus GO and it is way, way better than a Google cardboard and also way better than a Gear VR, but in my opinion, it is good exactly if you want to dive into VR and don't want to invest that much money right away yet, so like for starters.

                  If you want the best VR experience with the coolest kickass content, there is no way around a nice pc with an Oculus Rift with touch controllers or a Vive right now.



                  Me personally, i don't worry about whether VR does blockbuster style right away, as i said, i think over time things like price and form factors will improve and that will automatically make it more appealing to more and more people.


                  To me it is important if there is cool exciting content available for me right now, and there is =)


                  Right now the biggest hurdle to bigger adoption (besides prices which will change over time) is basically that lots of people have not tried any of the coolest stuff in VR yet and so have no or a negative prejudice based or one poorly made content tried experience on it.


                  When i let any of my friends try something like Job Simulator, Superhot, Arizona Sunshine, Lone Echo, Star trek Bridge crew etc, they all get what's so unique and cool about it.


                  Or for graphics artist people apps like TitlBrush, Quill etc, tools which take creation of content to a whole different level in workflow and possibilities.


                  Heck, one time when i just used Google Earth VR for an hour and just flew around places i lived in in VR and while the graphics are still not on as high level as i'd like in that one, purely thanks to how volumetric and real enough it already felt when flying across all the streets i lived in and played in when i was small, it actually brought tears to my eyes in between thanks to evoking all those memories.

                  When you check the reviews for Google Earth VR on Steam, several people seem to have had such an experience.

                  It's powerful stuff which one can not have on a flatscreen or with a 3DTV or any such things, it's just something on a whole new level.

                  And again, that's with the very cool but early days iteration of today. In a few years when stuff like that will be in fully photo realistic look, that will be on yet another whole different level.


                  But yeah, to me super cool i can try this exciting stuff now, today, it is not the holdeck in full form yet, but the way closest thing to it possible today, and it is very cool =)



                  The thing is: with any such tech people expect it to take off blockbuster style and not just that, ideally it transforms our way of life and we use only that and nothing else going forward, or it has failed, right?


                  With VR, yes, it allows completely new types of content and interactions, but due to its current nature/form, no, most people will not use it nonstop every day.

                  After the initial OMG THIS IS INSANE feeling one gets when trying some kickass content made for it, sure, one gets more used to it and then, as with other things, one integrates it more to every day average life routine. For me personally that means i don't use VR nonstop every day, but instead still use a lot of regular flat screen content and then use VR stuff like a few times a week, sometimes every few weeks.

                  In return every time i try a new kickass VR app or game, it is still quite impressive and i'm happy to have that additional option allowing so many cool new unique things =)


                  Maybe give it a try on a good pc with the vive or rift and some of the best games and other apps for them and it might just change your mind on it =)



          • Avatar

            Ugur

            In reply to TwinStripeUK: What is your case? That AR is better than VR because of Y?
            It doesn't make any sense to me to compare the two, because they are very different and have very different main use cases.
            I create content for both regular screens and also XR stuff (term for all AR/MR/VR stuff), so i create both AR and VR content. But some "analysts" and tech "reporters" were first hyped about VR and then hyped about AR and lots of people seem to always be so over eager to hype something up or be among those having first cried it is doomed then, as if that would make them special or some kind of great tech prophet or something.
            While it is not a sign of a prophet to just be a debbie downer on everything, a sign of a tech visionary is the opposite, it is to see and shape the potential into reality when most average joes can't see it yet until it is already released.

            First: regarding your "VR makes you sick" talk, for well made content that is nonsense and affects only a tiny minority of the population (similar to how flashing imagery causes epilepsy for a tiny minority of the population, so one still shows epilepsy warnings at the beginning of regular screen games but would not call by the dead of all video games because a tiny fraction of potential users could have epilepsy issues).
            Again, with well tailored VR content motion/VR sickness only affects a tiny fraction of the population.
            For badly done VR content, yes, it can affect way more people. It is very easy to spot that type of content once one knows what is happening though and so one can easily avoid that:
            -VR sickness/nausea, is similar to how it happens for some people on boat rides or car rides largely caused when the sensor input of your visual sense (eyes) and positional/movement sense (your inner ear vestibular system) gives different inputs and the brain gets confusedm, thinks it might be poisoned and tells your stomach to throw up.
            In a nutshell when you're sitting in a chair for example and your inner ear movement sense tells your brain you're sitting still while your eyes tell your brain you're moving if the game/app allows to move the camera independently of your head/body movement.
            (and that then happens in VR but not when playing that game on regular screen because in VR the game spans way more of your field of view and so then the eyes tell the brain my whole view is moving, so eyes movement info = moving whereas when played on a regular tv one has the surroundings of the tv in the field of view so then the eyes always have that non moving part in the picture and hence can tell your brain we're not moving)
            While one can get used to that over time and then not get seasick/motion sick anymore (just like many people only got motion sick in cars when small and then got used to driving), until that happens, you can just use games/apps which have teleport movement or full body physical movement or games which do things like reducing the FOV slightly while moving with an analogue stick so that your brain then gets the info that hey, all good, both my senses there tell me the same infor regarding whether i'm moving or not.

            Easy, and most good VR apps and games meanwhile do have multiple controls and comfort options exactly because of this.


            So yeah.


            Anyone who says all VR games/apps, or even "just" most would make all or even "just" most people sick, get headaches etc is talking nonsense.

            I let lots of people try VR content and for good tailored VR content only a very small portion gets motion sickness.


            Then, again, VR and AR have different strengths and weaknesses so they have and will always have different main use cases where they make most sense.

            It is uninformed nonsense to talk of one replacing the other, because they will always be useful for different use cases.


            One wants the most immersive experience where one feels like inside a movie or game world, can interact with full movement in it, feel closest to really being there? VR will always achieve that way more convincingly than AR.

            One wants information overlayed on the real world and not have that immersivive content in a virtual environment but rather something added on top of the real environment or something combining virtual and real world content? Then AR delivers that better than VR can of course.

            So yeah, quite different use cases automatically due to that when you think about great use cases for both for 5 minutes.


            Also any developer halfway interested in the field actually uses engines and dev tools which support both, like Unity and Unreal. So as developer interested in exciting new tech, a bunch create both AR and VR content. Many things learned when creating content for one are also beneficial when creating content for the other.


            You can't really say AR or VR is much more affordable than the other right now either.

            For both there is the option to get a regular phone and then with AR in most basic form you don't need any additional hardware (though for best AR on phones you do need an expensive recent phone) and for lowest end VR on phones you can have that with a google cardboard for 5 bucks, so yeah, no big difference in pricing there for the lowest end option.



            Once you go for AR which is nicer than phone based stuff, so something where you don't have to constantly hold your phone or tablet in front of you (and essentially get an AR headset way too far away from your eyes hence with tiny field of view and no nice controls since you constantly have to hold it like that), you're looking at something like the Meta 2, hololens or then magic leap etc. And yeah, then the prices are not that different (in some cases higher) than for comparable performance/quality level VR headsets.



            Overall, i just don't like this nonsense talking down of one over the other or of all progressive early days tech in general, like what is your guys gain from comparing something to 3DTV, do you think it makes you appear clever? That's just the most nonsense cheapo comparison to do by people who have no clue about things and most likely have not tried any of these technologies properly, else they'd know how way different they are.

            And besides AR and VR being way different than 3D Tv in setup, they are also useful for way different and way more use cases.

            With 3D tv, well, one got a bit more volumetric visuals, that was it.

            With AR one gets a combination of virtual and real life content, which will allow so many potential use cases in so many fields, iit would take me a while to list just the short hot list.

            With VR one doesn't just get graphics on a level making it feel like one is inside the content/other world, one also gets controls with rift touch and knuckles controllers and over time to come better and better refined face, upper body and then full body tracking which will allow us completely different and so much more direct, believable and intuitive interactions with computers, games, any content and application really.

            This goes far beyond you can do the hand motion of grabbing and throwing something and your physical hand/arm movement etc is represented 1:1 in the game.

            Think further about scenarios where the software can detect your body motion to a level where it could call 911 when you fall down and can't breath, just as one example for the huge array of possibilities in so many fields all this reearch and progress brings.

            It is not just a simpleton thing of "it makes things look volumetric".

            XR hardware and software developers are essentially working on the next level of understanding and interaction and combining strengths between humans and computers.

            But hey, sure, it's just like 3DTV..

            Hmz..


            Btw, despite i create both AR and VR content, no, i'm not that unusual that i spend all day inside an AR or VR headset. I'm not delusional so i don't think that will happen ever, that regular joes/janes do that all day while the hardware is still in bulky headset factor.

            But it won't be. there will be many form factors including various glasses, contact lenses etc type things, but also full room and area projected/real hologram and many other form factor things.

            Sure one can say i sit this out until it is at that level. Just like some bought the first cars and the others sat on their horse wagons way longer.


            I work long in front of a computer but besides that also push for as much quality family, outdoors etc life time as possible (which is not easy nowadays for lots of working people no matter if also playing on consoles/vr headsets or whatever). So yeah, i have a good idea that with both VR and AR headsets, it is actually not that easy right now to include them lengthy in a daily routine for someone who is not living shut in all day alone.

            So i don't use these things all day each day.

            But once in a while i'm in the mood and feel for it, and then try something unique one can only experience that way, and it is awesome.

            Things progress and evolve, and anyone who thinks VR/AR/XR stuff will not become a bigger and bigger part in our work and sparetime lives is just misguided or misinformed.

            It is very clear that these technologies have too many benefits for them to go away completely forever just because they didn't sell gangbusters in the first few years in the first few modern iterations.


            Think about the many possibilities for the future instead of getting stuck on a particular headset form factor or whatever real or imagined prejudice based limitation of current early days hardware, and yes, you'd see there will be huge use cases for all this research in new interaction and conmbination ways between hardware/software/AI and us humans.


            And yeah, while anyone talks down VR as told you so, just like 3DTV, i play Lone Echo or one of the many other awesome apps and games and am happy i can try this amazing tech and be a part of the push since the early days =)


  2. Avatar

    Angusmatheson

    I’m not surprised. We just moved and the PS4 got unpacked but the VR didn’t. It doesn’t seem like VR sales are lighting the world on fire. (Sorry couldn’t get link to work, but lots of places on the web that say it)


    I still think this is a mistake. I think VR is going to be important. As I look as how my son games, if his friends were playing a VR game he would be there with them - it is the social group that determines the game. VR will be important for gaming and Sony is learning now about how it is used and how to do it better. Micorosoft isn’t. They have missed mobile. It looks like they are abandoning Cortana - the ambient, natural language interface (which I think will be the next great platform - and currently Amazon is winning). I think VR is also going to be important for gaming and entertainment even if for nothing else - and Microsoft is letting others (Oculus and Valve/HTC) do it on Windows and abandoning it on XBox.

  3. Avatar

    kingbuzzo

    As one of the few huge fans of Kinect this is disappointing and yet another reason to pass on this generation of consoles.


    Working in IT all day the last thing I want to muck with is a complex PC - VR on the X would have been magical - of course there is that content thing...

  4. Avatar

    EraseYourself

    Sony has sold 80 million consoles and of that only 2 million bought PSVR. Not really difficult to see it’s probably not worth the investment.

  5. Avatar

    scoob101

    This is the right decision. The attach rate is terrible.


    VR still isnt ready for primetime. need better resolution and better framerates.

  6. Avatar

    nbplopes

    As a first stage of MR for general consumers makes more sense tethered to an handheld, like an iPhone or Nintendo Switch device than a stationary device like a console or desktop.


    The desktop is always a possibility for everything and anything. As long as MR and VR does not move out of there it will always be a thing for the future.


    An Xbox mobile maybe, now that Nintendo showed MS how they may be able to do it :)

  7. Avatar

    Hoomgar

    It appears that Microsoft's plan to slowly faze themselves out of every market is well under way.  LOL!  A modified quote from "Liar Liar".  :)


    Seriously though, I know VR has not taken off as expected but is still an innovation with massive potential.  Why do they always let others beat them to the punch?  I have spent and IT lifetime using MS products and I dumbfounded by some of their recent moves?  I just hope they really do know what they are doing.  It's not the 90's anymore.

    • Avatar

      jprestig

      In reply to Hoomgar:


      I feel like Microsoft is waiting for the time to be right, for once. Sure, VR is a thing and it will continue to be a thing. But it's not a mature market by any means and they probably want to get it right, instead of rushing a mediocre version. Maybe I am giving too much credit to them though.



  8. Avatar

    the_real_entheos

    Another HR for Satya, save money, increase short-term stock price, increase his stock and stock option values, retire super rich, screw long-term thinking, screw Microsoft ten years from now.

  9. Avatar

    falonyn

    I think it is a shame as this was something that I was holding out for on decision on what next to invest my money in for gaming. Should I wait for XBox and upgrade to the latest one? Or, should I invest my money in a graphics card, CPU, and a VR headset for the PC. I figured XBox would be the better financial decision because I could get everything in one, but it looks like AMD will be getting my money and I will hold on to my original XBox One a while longer.

  10. Avatar

    Bill Russell

    It depends on the expectations of companies. If everyone is simply expecting to find the next watershed product like the automobile, the television, telephone, smartphone with sales of 100s of millions per year, there may be some disappointment. It may be whoever can get a pair of regular looking glasses that do AR and replaces your phone with all day battery life, is it. Until then, its not likely to be that huge. But does it have to be - to be a worthwhile product for a company?




  11. Avatar

    MikeGalos

    It's a bit disingenuous to say "Microsoft no longer plans..." when they never said they planned it in the first place.


    Perhaps a more honest headline would be "Microsoft announces that industry analysts got it completely wrong" or "Despite incorrect industry analyst speculation Microsoft continues on announced plans".


    This is yet another example of what I've come to call "The Courier Effect" where Microsoft Research did a prototype handheld device, announced that it was never intended for production and we saw a year's worth of headlines about Microsoft cancelling plans to produce that device. Or, to a lesser but more common degree, every post about Microsoft missing a deadline that only had existed in the speculation of industry analysts.


    It's great when analysts speculate but it'd be nice if they stopped believing their speculation was the same thing as announcements and just admitted that they guessed wrong rather than condemning companies for not basing their plans on that speculation.

    • Avatar

      Cosmocronos

      In reply to MikeGalos:

      "The next step-change for gamers and developers must deliver true 4K gaming and high-fidelity VR experiences to the console. To that end, we were happy to announce the next addition to the Xbox One family: Project Scorpio.

      When it ships next year, Project Scorpio will be our most powerful console ever built, specifically to lead the industry into a future in which true 4K gaming and high-fidelity VR are the standard, not an exception."


      by Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox Posted on June 13 2016




    • Avatar

      PsychoSuperman

      In reply to MikeGalos:

      Around the 2 minute mark of the Project Scorpio announce trailer, they mention bringing Fallout 4 VR to Xbox


      https://youtu.be/F1dRgWpGePs


      It was in the plans and they decided against it.

  12. Avatar

    sportflier

    Given the blow-out sales on WMR headsets just months after they hit the store shelves, this doesn't seem hugely surprising.

  13. Avatar

    HellcatM

    At least they could have opened the Xbox One X to be able to run third party VR hardware. From what I hear VR on the PC sucks at the moment. A friend of mine has a VR headset and he says gaming is horrible and his headset just sits there because he doesn't really know what to do with hit. VR is interesting but only if you open for all possible uses.

    • Avatar

      sportflier

      In reply to HellcatM:

      My experience with it (WMR with Samsung Odyssey & Steam VR): The headset is fairly uncomfortable and hard to get into (and keep in) the right spot. The audio is so-so, the graphics are very good. A lot of the software I'm not interested in. Google Earth VR is fantastic and so far is one of the killer apps. I hang glide and am using X-Plane 11 to explore flying sites in VR. There are a few games I've fiddled with but not spent much time in. Minecraft in VR is a trip. There's a lot of crappy content, some good content, and a few things I really like to spend time in. Would I say it "sucks"? Not by a long shot. There is a way to go, yes, with both hardware and software... but where it works, there is just nothing like it, and if you find things you like to spend time in (as I have), it can be very good.

      • Avatar

        Robert Wade

        In reply to sportflier: I've got the Acer rig and I have had zero issues with fitting. Now, generally, they are ALL uncomfortable to some point simply because their big and bulky. The Acer isn't too hateful, but I've said from the beginning they need to get these down to being like oversized sunglasses.


    • Avatar

      Robert Wade

      In reply to HellcatM: I don't know what your "friend" is doing, but he's clearly doing something wrong. VR on the PC is absolutely excellent. And NOT expensive. It's a fantastic experience on my computer. Clearly, your friend is clueless.


  14. Avatar

    zybch

    This is a shame. The sheer power of the X make it a prefect vehicle for VR, especially compared to the low end PSVR and naive hardware requirements for Windows MR to run acceptably.

    It's insane that they are ceding this market to Sony.

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