Xbox One VR Headset Rumors and News

Microsoft recently took the covers off of its incredible HoloLens prototype – a futuristic headset that blurs the lines between the real and the virtual world and one that, of course, has huge implications for gaming.

But it’s not the Xbox One VR headset that we’ve been waiting for. Xbox boss Phil Spencer stated: "I love the virtual reality stuff that's out there, Morpheus, Oculus, I think they're doing great work and I've said it over and over, I just love that our industry continues to push innovation forward.

“I've always applauded Sony and Oculus and what they've created. I think this is something different."

However, while the Redmond giant has remained fairly tight-lipped regarding an Xbox One VR specific headset, there’s been a flurry of activity to show that Microsoft could well be working on their own gaming headgear and a recent report even suggested a 2015 launch at E3 could be on the cards.

Back in March 2014 the Wall Street Journal’s Ian Sherr wrote that, “Microsoft has developed 3D virtual-reality devices, and it has filed at least one patent for it so far".

“The software company has been developing the technology concurrently with a project known as ‘Fortaleza,’ or ‘fortress’ in Portuguese," he said. "The effort has been discussed as an attempt at creating a suite of experiences unique to Microsoft’s Xbox products, people who have been privy to discussions say.”

The company also filed a patent titled: “Multiplayer gaming with head-mounted display,” in early 2012.

However, these patents point more towards an augmented reality experience – which mixes the real world with virtual elements – rather than a full VR experience, and it's likely much of Fortaleza has ended up as HoloLens and Microsoft's, Windows 10 based, Holographic platform.

Sherr also wrote that: “At least one iteration of Microsoft’s technology was based on a concept known as ‘augmented reality,’ which often superimposes animation on a display along with images of the real world.”

Back in March 2014, Microsoft put its money where its mouth is with a $150m acquisition of smart glasses specialist Osterhout Design Group. Unlike most big mergers, ODG will remain a separate company from Microsoft, and it seems that the company was after patents and IP for the augmented reality tech.

When you compare this acquisition with the patents filed in 2012, the signs again point to augmented reality headsets rather than a full attempt at VR. This could mean that you could wear specs for extra information when playing games, from HUD in driving games, expanding the action beyond the four corners of your TV set. Just as with the HoloLens Minecraft example.

This is something that Microsoft experimented with before HoloLens, of course, with its Illumiroom project. This morphed into the now-titled Microsoft RoomAlive, which the company showed off using a proof of concept demo video in October 2014.

Following the big HoloLens reveal, Xbox boss Phil Spencer was keen to point out that the new headset was a standalone device, and not one utilising the power of a console or PC. However, he hinted that there was room for an entirely different Xbox-driven experience.

"To me, there's not a successful consumer electronics device on the planet where gaming is not a primary form of kind of app category on the thing", he told Polygon. "I think HoloLens will work out the same way. I think gaming will be important.

"I think you'll see that it's kind of different than VR," he added. "VR is, in my mind, kind of a completely immersive block out the rest of the world."

Xbox One VR headset to launch in 2015?

In December 2014, it was rumored that Xbox One headset development kits were already doing the rounds. The report predicted that an Xbox VR headset could get an official launch at E3 2015 in June.

Exciting stuff, we’re sure you’ll agree. Be sure to check back on Wareable for all the latest updates on any possible Xbox One VR devices.

Xbox One VR Headset Rumors and News" data-width="50" data-layout="button_count" data-action="like" data-show-faces="true" data-share="true">

blog comments powered by Disqus