Microsoft abandons VR plans for Xbox One

Microsoft abandons VR plans for Xbox One

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Fans of virtual or mixed reality who have been clinging to the hope of a headset for Xbox One will need to keep holding out — Microsoft has confirmed it isn’t focusing on either technology for the console — for the time being, anyway.

Microsoft abandons VR plans for Xbox One

Speaking with Gamesindustry.biz, Microsoft’s chief marketing officer for gaming Mike Nichols revealed the company doesn’t have “any plans specific to Xbox One consoles”. This is, of course, a complete 180 from Xbox chief Phil Spencer’s promise to integrate VR within the Xbox One X. Instead, Microsoft seems preoccupied with bringing the immersive qualities of VR and MR to PC. Translation: if Halo makes the leap into VR as a flagship title, Xbox players will be left out in the cold. Nichols’ justification is that PC is “probably the best platform” because it’s open, and already has multiple companies supporting it.

Still, despite the console U-turn, Microsoft’s mixed reality dream is very much intact. A new HoloLens is reportedly on the way, and affordable MR motion controllers that don’t require sensor setup will be available alongside the headset.

Sony previously admitted its PlayStation VR sales didn’t quite reach expected levels, which suggests the company is struggling to tap into the early VR market. This might be why Microsoft is perfectly happy to allow Oculus and HTC to do the heavy lifting for them — at least on PC.