Xbox VR

Mixed reality headsets (VR or AR) will be a thing on Xbox One one day according to Microsoft. But don’t expect to hear about it at E3. That’s the word from Microsoft’s Alex Kipman in a recent interview with Polygon. According to Kipman, Microsoft is focused on bringing mixed reality to Windows 10 PCs right now.

“We believe that right now a Windows PC is the best platform for mixed reality as its open ecosystem and enormous installed base offer the best opportunity for developers, and Windows offers the most choices for consumers,” says Kipman. “Windows has been the birthplace of a variety of technologies, and we believe this will hold for mixed reality too. Given the efforts we have underway on Windows for mixed reality, and our belief that console VR should be wireless, right now we are focused on developing mixed reality experiences for the PC, not on the console.”

Take your time. The VR market is still finding its legs. No reason rushing a product to a market that hasn’t quite taken off. Games that show VR’s true potential, like Star Trek: Bridge Crew, are just starting to land.

Plus, E3 isn’t exactly a great place to show VR. Hell, no conference is. VR/AR is something you have to experience yourself. You don’t watch someone wearing a bulky set of goggles and feel compelled to buy it. Whatever Microsoft’s plans are they need to get the headset in stores and let people try before they buy.

I’m glad Microsoft isn’t showing off VR at E3. Project Scorpio is enough on their plate. In many ways, it’s a relaunch of the Xbox brand. It’s the first console hardware since the disastrous Xbox One reveal. Where do Phil Spencer and the folks at Xbox see the platform in 2018 and beyond? More importantly, how will they communicate their vision to those lucky enough to go to E3 this year and the millions of Xbox fans around the world.

Xbox execs always preach it’s all about games. This E3 is more important than ever. What new franchises will we speak in the same breath as Halo and Gears of War? How will the extra horsepower in Project Scorpio be used in all the heavy hitters coming this fall? And how much does Scorpio cost?

The console market is healthier than ever, but PlayStation is the clear leader. The Xbox team is tasked with introducing the world to Scorpio and explaining why gamers should choose it over PlayStation. Specs will help, but games in 2017 and beyond will be the deciding factor. Microsoft needs to diversify their first-party lineup in a big way.

Games like Sea of Thieves are a great step in the right direction. Expanding their Xbox Preview lineup wouldn’t hurt either. I’m still hoping for a PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds announcement at E3.

This weekend’s press conference is all about Project Scorpio. What’s your dream Xbox announcement?


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