Microsoft Details Its Mixed Reality Roadmap

Posted on March 1, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Xbox One, Hardware, Windows 10 with 16 Comments

Microsoft Details Its Mixed Reality Roadmap

Microsoft today revealed how it plans to deliver the first mixed reality hardware to developers. And in 2018, it is bringing mixed reality to Xbox “Project Scorpio” as well.

Yes, you read that right: Project Scorpio is shipping in 2017, so this means the console will not include MR capabilities at launch.

“The Acer Windows Mixed Reality Developer Edition headset will begin shipping this month, empowering developers to create on the Windows Mixed Reality platform,” a Microsoft representative told me. “Additionally, Microsoft will take Windows Mixed Reality beyond the desktop and HoloLens and bring it to the Xbox One family of devices, including Project Scorpio, in 2018.”

Microsoft revealed in December that it is working with several hardware maker partners to bring Windows Holographic mixed reality headsets to market by late 2017. It later promised to provide developers with prototype hardware in March, at the Game Developers Conference. Which is happening right now.

So this announcement means they’re a bit behind on that promise.

“To empower even more developers to create in mixed reality, we gave a ‘golden ticket’ to game developers who attended our Windows Mixed Reality session at GDC, and those developers will receive the Acer developer edition headset in the coming months,” Microsoft’s Alex Kipman says.

Microsoft has detailed the Acer hardware, but I have to admit I’m a lot more interested in the Scorpio information. Here, things are quite vague.

“We’re also excited to share that Windows Mixed Reality experiences will light up on other devices over time, beyond desktop and Microsoft HoloLens,” a Microsoft statement reads. “Our plan is to bring mixed reality content to the Xbox One family of devices, including Project Scorpio, in 2018.”

And that’s it. Microsoft promises more information at its Build conference in May.


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Comments (16)

16 responses to “Microsoft Details Its Mixed Reality Roadmap”

  1. Mark from CO


    Promises.  Delays... More promises...  More delays??

    Not having the best platform position (400 million vs over a Billion) of its competitors, one would think that Microsoft needs to sprint, not walk on this.  And this just puts PS4 even farther ahead of Xbox.

    Let's hope the Build announcement show more urgency.

    Mark from CO 

  2. Tony Barrett

    MS are going to be *very* late to the party on this one. Infact, the boat could already have sailed, as competitors would have had at least 12-18 months lead. Another missed opportunity, and another reason the PS4/Pro will continue to dominate.

    • mjw149

      In reply to Tony Barrett:

      This looks like another time when the Windows team has held back xbox. Not having a AR/VR accessory for two years is kind of stunning, esp if $300 VR glasses come out for PCs in the meantime.

    • Demileto

      In reply to Tony Barrett:

      Microsoft, Palm and Blackberry had several YEARS lead from Apple in the smartphone market, yet they all ended up swallowed by the iPhone revolution. Early arrival to the market helps, but by no means is decisive to ensure a robust market share in the long term.

    • jamiet

      In reply to Tony Barrett:

      lol. PSVR is not the reason PS4 is dominant. Xbox can afford to wait while PSVR tries to establish the market for home console VR. By the time Xbox VR comes it will benefit from the early work that PSVR has done.

  3. daveevad

    I want to play Halo Wars "3" on my coffee table using MR glasses, similar to the Hololens/Minecraft demo!

  4. Chris_Kez

    Given how things have gone for Xbox, I can imagine Sony slightly revving PS4 Pro and PS VR in 2018, just enough to put them back in front from a power/performance standpoint.

    • SRLRacing

      In reply to Chris_Kez:

      I don't think they'll be able to. PS4 Pro is the PS4 chips overclocked to the max. They'd have to order a new semi-custom APU from AMD on the new chip design like Microsoft is doing with Scorpio which comes at a massive expense.

  5. irfaanwahid

    “Our plan is to bring mixed reality content to the Xbox One family of devices, including Project Scorpio, in 2018.”

    Did I read this correctly? I thought Scorpio was a Fall 2017 release?

  6. StevenLayton

    VR not coming with Scorpio. Probably a cost thing? Ship the console for £600 then the headset stuff later for £400. Easier to swallow than £1000 up front? Gives time to polish it as well. (Costs a guess)

  7. rameshthanikodi

    A less cool but more descriptive name. Give and take!

  8. yaddamaster

    Vaporware promises worked in the 90's and 2000's when MS could still stifle competition simply by hinting of an upcoming product.

    Today I don't make ANY plans around ANY Microsoft product until it's released. And even then my confidence is dubious since 1) if it's in the consumer space they won't make any real effort to promote or grow and 2) unless it immediately grows to a 1 billion dollar business they'll just cancel it

    I tried Hololens. It's awesome. They have a hit. And they can't get it released in anything less than a stupid dev kit that costs waaaaay too much money. Typical Microsoft. Squander the early lead.