Microsoft backpedals on VR promise

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In 2016, Microsoft said its next console - then nicknamed Project Scorpio - would enable high-performance virtual reality experiences. Virtual reality was strangely absent with the company focussing on 4K performance of the Xbox One X and other enhancements.

Speaking to Gameindustry.biz, Microsoft's chief marketing officer of gaming, Mike Nichols, revealed that "we don't have any plans specific to Xbox consoles in virtual reality or mixed reality".

The release of the Xbox One X came and went without any news of VR integration, but in the interim, Microsoft did make strides toward VR and mixed reality tech for PC gaming with the release of the Windows Mixed Reality headsets for for Windows 10. "Our perspective on it has been and continues to be that the PC is probably the best platform for more immersive VR and MR". And, that partnership between Oculus and Microsoft was always a strong indication that the Rift might be a VR platform that could be adapted to run on an Xbox. "We have nothing to share about MR for console at this time".

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It was decided that VR technology was to be exclusive to the high-end console to provide an experience most akin to PC, however there was no mention of virtual reality when the Xbox One X launched in November 2017. As an open platform, it just allows faster, more rapid iteration.

Of course the same could be said about the demand for the Xbox One - over the same period Sony has sold more than double the number of PS4 consoles, and also successfully shipped more than 2 million PlayStation VR headsets. Obviously on phones, augmented reality is a good scenario as well that's going to grow.

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