Microsoft Virtual Reality Development for Xbox One Confirmed
The virtual reality battleground is fast approaching according to the ever-growing technology and gaming groundswell. According to some news outlets, Microsoft is announcing the call of Sony Playstation’s Project Morpheus head-mounted display (HMD) and Oculus VR’s Oculus Rift PC HMD as early as June 2015.
Rumors first reported by DigiTimes said that Microsoft is planning to mass-produce an HMD announced at next year’s E3 gaming show. They cited their sources as those from the “upstream supply chain.”
According to those same sources, it’s also believed that head-worn products will become a new focus of gaming companies for the Xbox One and PS4, or anything in the “next-gen” category.
As it turns out, those vaguely sourced individuals were correct, as VRFocus reached out to several studios and developers that remain off-the-record but confirmed the rumors. They do have their hands on Microsoft virtual reality HMD test kits.
Virtual Reality Competition Unlocks Astounding Potential
Between Project Morpheus, Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard and now the unnamed Microsoft kit, virtual reality will change the way gamers experience the game. Prior to this, noise-cancelling headphones coupled with a TV and controller were the closest anyone could become immersed in a world. Virtual reality unlocks so much potential for experiencing gaming as never before seen.
But virtual reality has the potential to take everything one step further. If a gamer has the money, they could purchase a virtual reality HMD along with a Virtuix Omni and change their play-style forever.
The Virtuix Omni is a treadmill that the player straps themselves into while wearing an Oculus Rift. Upon immersing themselves into the world, they can walk around the game on their own two feet while standing in one place.
The combination of virtual reality systems unlocks the potential for amazing possibilities. For instance, almost one year ago a full-scale, fully explorable Middle-Earth modeled in the Outerra game engine emerged; Middle-Earth, of course, being the Lord of the Rings universe. Outerra has Oculus Rift support and can be used in conjunction with the Virtuix Omni. If someone had both systems, they could walk on their own feet and explore Middle-Earth in entirety.
It cannot be stressed enough the amazing implications of virtual reality technology. If utilized properly, one could travel from the Shire to Mordor along the same route as Frodo and Sam, receiving all the health benefits that follow. Anyone struggling with weight loss can immerse themselves in a fantasy realm to enjoy working out.
Minecraft is also a game about exploration that would be perfect for virtual reality technology. Coincidentally, Microsoft bought Minecraft earlier this year, making the announcement of an Xbox One virtual reality HMD all the sweeter.
If the reports that a Microsoft Xbox One virtual reality HMD are true, then the future of gaming is about to receive a huge wave of innovation. Gaming will never be the same, and the competition between multiple virtual reality companies is something that, hopefully, all gaming consumers will benefit off of in the long run.
Images from Microsoft and Wikimedia Commons.