Microsoft believes Oculus Rift and HoloLens are 'very complementary technologies'

Today's reveal of Microsoft partnering with Oculus to ship an Xbox One controller in every Oculus Rift virtual reality headset was a big surprise for many people. Some had though Microsoft's work on its own HoloLens device meant that it wasn't interested in the standard VR technology. In a new video, Microsoft's VP of Next Gen Experiences, Kudo Tsunoda, said that HoloLens and the Oculus Rift are in fact ''very complementary technologies' and that both try to offer different experiences.

Speaking with Microsoft's Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb, Tsunoda stated:

"With Microsoft HoloLens it's really a mixed reality device; it about taking digital assets, the Holograms, and putting them into your real world and it's how we blend the Holograms and your real-world environment that really gives you a lot of great use cases for Microsoft HoloLens."

Tsunoda then said that the experience like the one that is offered with the Oculus Rift is different:

*Virtual reality (is) a super immersive experience. So (it is) not trying to include your real world but putting you into this entirely virtual environment that's obviously great for games and entertainment as well."

It will be interesting to see how Microsoft tries to support the Oculus Rift for playing Windows 10 games and streaming Xbox One games while at the same time continuing to work on its HoloLens efforts.

Source: Xbox (YouTube)

47 Comments
  • Makes sense I guess... I would pick hololens as it seems to be more versatile of a device
  • Cool
  • Me too
  • For game screen / cinematic projection I agree HoloLens is more than adequate for that.  But if you want an immersive experience or something that consumes your entire field of view, I can see Oculus Rift having its place as well.  Hopefully Oculus Rift and Microsoft build on their current partnership.  I could see Oculus developing a hardware accessory that transforms HoloLens into a full blown VR unit.
  • Did you see the Mars demo for the HoloLens?
  • Hololens will see a primary use in non-gaming aspects of computing I think.  The AR Minecraft looks awesome and I think we'll see some really cool AR games, but you won't play Adr1ft on the Hololens.  And if you do, you'd be playing it on a screen that's attached to your wall like a traditional TV/monitor.  In fact, work is where I'm most excited about Hololens.  Being able to turn my entire office into screens I can use and control for various tasks would be awesome. Oculus is for gaming.  At least in my opinion.  There will be some commercial uses for sure but gaming is where it will shine.  And I'm okay with that.  I have dreamed of these things being available since I was a kid.  I will own both and I CANNOT wait. Edit - So I agree that they are complimentary technologies.
  • It would be awesome if they were complimentary, but we'll have to settle for them being complementary instead. :-)
  • I agree! HoloLens is mainly for more practical and productive use-cases with some entertainent use-case,  while Oculus and any other VR Headset will be more on entertainment and gaming but also some practical and productive specific use-cases that requires full immersion (Virtual Driving, Virtual Tourism, Immersive Communication, Scientific Research, etc.). They are indeed complimentary since they are different virtual technology with different approaches, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. I can see that HoloLens can be used in the public in the future if they able to miniturize it and doesn't really look so gadgetery. VR is only for indoors.
  • The Oculus made me feel ill when I tried it yesterday. The full immersive experience takes a lot of getting used to.
  • That's because it's a glorified virtual boy. Haha!
  • I can totally see how they are complementary. I can imagine Halo in a VR environment, play a ODST next to Master Chief or in multiplayer mode. I have a hard time imagining Halo on the Hololens, the Halo environment just doesn't complement my actual physical environment.
  • Elements of the game, like the HuD could be holograms. And just think about it: Playing in a place with snow and making holograms similar to snow falling in front of you.
  • The way HoloLens should be used with Xbox One games is to add Illumiroom-style effects and HUDs outside of the television for all of your Xbox games and movies. The concept that Microsoft demostrated with Illumiroom was brilliant with the exception that nobody could afford or wanted a kinect/projector setup in their living room facing their TV. HoloLens is a way to bring Illumiroom gaming to life in a package that is affordable and makes sense. HoloLens literally has the Kinect, projectors, and surround sound built-into a portable head mounted display. HoloLens is a wireless/affordable/portable Illumiroom for your Xbox One.   Imagine playing Halo and you see the sticky grenade glowing on you or the floor in front of your TV or being able to see to the left and right of your TV the nav points where team mates are getting killed or moving. Imagine being able to hear Cortana talk all around you in the HoloLens like she's actually in your head.
  • That won't happen as HoloLens has a narrow field of view. It won't be the illumiroom surrounding you hope for, it will be the virtual TV on the wall.
  • The virtual TV experience won't be nearly as good a a real TV. It will be fine for the video popup showing you how to fix your sink (like in the old demo), but given the choice you would never use it for gaming or movies if you had access to a real TV.
  • Exactly right. HoloLens is awesome (personally tried it) but it is Augmented Reality with a field of view that integrates into your existing world and does not immerse you. I agree that Oculus is different. Perhaps even better suited for gaming. They both have their place and it'll be awesome! Maybe AR will B more focused on commercial application initially... Although, I think I could find a use at home.
  • I don't see how they are complimentary at all. I see how Microsoft doesn't have a VR product to compete with Sony's and how MS is building an expensive AR product with significant problems. I see how Microsoft continues to fail to develop a motion controller for Kinect/HoloLens/Oculus and continues to fall back on their old fashioned non-motion controller and refuses to accept the limitations of using hands/speech as inputs for gaming.
  • Really not fair to so heavily criticize a product that didn't even have a lot of released details yet, let alone has been released itself
  • The partnership announced today is just a start. Previously, the Oculus Rift was going to convert into a very small niche product just for pro-gamers with a US $2,500 gaming desktop, now the ability to stream Xbox One games to Oculus Rift connected to Windows 10 device is a good start. If they are now working with the Xbox One Controller is because there is currenlty no other company like Microsoft which can invest time on integrating the experience between Oculus and the Xbox One. I think the clue relies in the wireless adapter that was announced yesterday which gives universal wireless driver support for your Xbox One controller. Also, don't forget about Kinect, I think Kinect can come later into the equation, once Oculus and Xbox One integration has more maturity, maybe by next year we will be talking about a Kinect game integrated with Oculus Rift and Xbox One Just my 2 cents.
  • Not quite. Statements from Oculus said that you could buy a Rift AND a capable PC for $1500. Plus, you still need that expensive gaming PC to run Oculus Rift before you can play any games. Agree on the rest though.
  • You say it's a start, but a start of what? Microsoft/Xbox becoming dependent upon Facebook/Oculus for gaming hardware? Microsoft spending more time and money supporting another companies hardware than their own gaming hardware/platform? Lord knows we've been through enough of this recently with Microsoft giving poor support to their own Windows platforms in favor of alternative platforms. Do we now need to see the start of Xbox hardware playing second fiddle to hardware from Facebook? I don't want to start to go down this path with Microsoft, it never ends well for us Microsoft hardware guys.
  • You said a whole lot that had absolutely nothing to do with your initial statement. The two are complimentry because they both are different devices that fit in the same genre (electronic wearable gadgets for media content). They don't really compete with each other at all, and if you ahve both, you can do everything both has to offer. That's what complimentry means in the product world.
  • Being different doesn't make things complimentary. A lion is not complimentary to a poodle just because they're both different animals. Supporting both usually just leads to one getting eaten alive. It's hard enough to sell someone on the concept of buying one HMD, but to sell them on buying two different HMDs is bordering on insanity. What Microsoft should have done is focused on building one HMD that could competently accomplish both goals of AR and VR. The PC gamer crowd buying an Oculus does not care about playing low resolution Xbox games in a virtual theater streamed through their expensive PCs. What they're doing here is trying to cheaply partner their way into an answer for Sony's Project Morpheus. It will not work. This is what companies do when they're desperate and running from behind. They attempt to make big announcements of partnerships to cover up the fact that they failed to create an actual competitive product that they have control over. Furtermore (Oculus) their new partner has failed to produce a competent motion controller, and just debuted one which looks grossly inferior to products from Valve and Sony. So instead of Microsoft producing an answer to the motion controllers from Nintendo, Valve, and Sony they have partnered with an unproven Oculus company that doesn't know the first thing about designing game hardware like controllers. This strategy is a failure. They are putting their fate in VR gaming completely in the hands of Facebook/Oculus. Facebook and Oculus have done nothing to deserve this confidence as they've failed to ever produce a single successful hardware product gaming or otherwise.   I hope for Microsoft's sake they have a strong PLAN B for generation 2 of VR after Rift/Vive/Morpheus. In my case the only VR gaming I think I'll be able to afford is Morpheus, which is a shame as I've never owned a Playstation before.
  • One is augmented reality. One is virtual reality. They are entirely different things.
  • That does not make them complimentary, just different. Microsoft pigeonholes HoloLens as a productivity tool to not interfere with their Windows VR patnerships. That makes HoloLens vertical market, not for consumers, a niche failure like Surface Hub. In my book "complimentary" means most people see the need to own both. I don't see it playing out that way anymore than I see the average person having the need to buy both an iPad and a Surface because one's better for consumption and one's better for productivity. Sorry that's not the real world; that's a fantasy. Most people buy the iPad or soon the iPad Pro because why not use the iPad for both. iPad Pro has the best suite of Microsoft productivity apps including Office and MS garage apps, a modern Skype app, it multi-tasks better than a Win10 tablet, and you can add thousands of keyboards to an iPad. Every division at Microsoft today is undermining their own internal hardware/consumer divisions. This is the Nadella strategy, all that matters is the servers, MS hardware is irrelevant.
  • How can you label something a failure that hasn't yet released? The hub just started taking pre-orders. You don't know it's success yet.
  • iPad multitasks better than Windows tablet? You can't even put two apps side by side on an iPad, let alone use two at the same time! Microsoft just offers it's software suite because they are MicroSOFT after all, and iOS is nearly half of all mobile OS marketshare.The Surface is marketed as a productivity app, yes, and it is definitely better than the iPad for it. The reason it isn't as a good consumption tablet is because of the lack of Windows Store games and worse app support. App support comes with popularity. Once Surface is in enough households, developers will see that the Windows store is a viable option to produce for, and therefore they will. It's the same exact problem with Windows phone except it's a much more extreme issue. On top of that, Surface can play full desktop games, so to say that it's consumption is not as good as iPad is a lie, and you can torrent things on Surface, too. Let's not forget that Surfaces are full fledged PCs while iPads run a basic mobile OS.
  • Seems like you could slide down a visor and then turn AR into VR. There's more to it than just that, but seems like in theory you could have one device do both.
  • Of course you could, but then you're adding cost and features that people won't use. An architecture firm might love a hololense, but wouldn't use rift features.
  • You're distorting my example to force your own fallacy. The hololense is not all about gaming, its a wearable device that you can use, in conjunction with other services/devices to get things done or engage in some casual activities such as Netflix or social media. The rift is there for gaming. They are both wearables that one person could justify owning to suit all their needs. Just as one could own a poodle to have a dog that looks fancy, and rottie to protect the house. Two complimentary things in the same "species"
  • Facebook does not see Rift/VR as being all about gaming either. You're just backing up my point about iPad v. Surface. You're proving my point about living in the fantasy where consumers buy both. Apple never saw iPad as just a consumption device and is pushing hard to to get iOS accepted at businesses, they added multi-tasking, got MS Office, and will introduce a pro tablet model. Facebook/Oculus is targetting the bleeding edge consumer just for right now, but they have bigger more mainstream plans for VR. You are saying that Oculus is there for gaming only, but that is no different than someone thinking companies and schools would not start handing out iPads instead of PCs. I don't want HoloLens to become another vertical market niche failure like Surface tables, tablet PCs, and soon Surface Hubs (nobody is going to spend that much on a giant computer).   P.S. How many people have a rotty and a poodle? It's possible but it's not a normal everyday thing. The breeds aren't complimentary in the REAL world.
  • You must be a fun to hang out with!!
  • And maybe used in streaming xbox videos( movies) , that would be so dope
  • And maybe used in streaming xbox videos( movies) , that would be so dope.
  • Honestly I'm glad the hololens is different to many virtual reality devices are coming out and I have a feeling they aren't up to par
  • Hololens. Personalize your reality. Oculus Rift. Escape that reality.
  • yes! pretty much covered. rift, inside the box; holo, outside the box.
  • I did not see that coming. Bravo, Microsoft.
  • I'm not sure how I want my porn.
  • Hahaha
  • Well.. Atleast with hololens you would be able to see if somebody else was in the room ;) ;)  Awkward!! :P
  • Hololens is a computer, oculus rift will be a PC and very surely an xbox one accessory. So they are indeed very complimentary devices :)
  • now I'm completely certain I will get one
  • Halo 5: Guardians is coming with Occulus support. You will be in the visor of Master Chief
  • Halo 5 for PC to come with Occulus Rift Support.
  • AR and VR
  • Rixt Rftbox Xculus Choice of names