Both the PC and PlayStation platforms have virtual reality (VR) headsets that have been announced, and functioning prototypes have been trialled by consumers at various industry trade shows. While Sony has Project Morpheus, the PC has a multitude of headsets in various stages of development.
The question is, where is Microsoft’s VR headset for the Xbox consoles?
The current state of the market
Consumers may only need to look at the current state of the market to see why Microsoft hasn’t committed to the space (at least publicly). While consumer VR is on the way, and should be available by the end of this year or early next year, no products have firm release dates.
It may be that Microsoft is waiting until the first sales are announced before moving ahead with development. As the Rift and Morpheus aren’t compatible with the Xbox consoles, Microsoft likely won’t lose users to other platforms, with VR still an emerging technology.
Could a headset be in active development?
The other scenario is that Microsoft is indeed developing a VR headset for reveal later this year or even at E3 next year. According to industry news site Tech Crunch, Microsoft bought VR intellectual property from design firm Osterhout Design Group for “between US$100 million and $150 million”.
This acquisition is certainly promising news for the development of Microsoft VR, but again could be for other purposes within the company.
For now, it’s simply a waiting game as the other tech giants move ahead with headsets of their own. Whether or not a Microsoft VR headset will be announced in the near future is only known by those working within the massive technology company.
The announcement of a VR headset from Microsoft would no doubt cement that VR is here to stay.