Microsoft supposedly shelved Xbox VR due to inadequate technology

A few years ago, Microsoft said that virtual reality devices would come to Xbox One in 2018. However, CNET says that it seems like the company has abandoned those plans due to current limitations with technology. When the technology is mature, an Xbox headset will probably come along, but right now the project has been shelved.

It's no surprise that in order to provide a truly groundbreaking experience, you need powerful hardware and advanced displays. However, there are also complaints like nausea and muddy picture quality. Additionally, competitors aren't really setting the market ablaze. Despite the fact that there are tens of millions of PlayStation 4 consoles out there, Sony has only managed to sell roughly three million PlayStation VR units.

Microsoft should bring virtual reality to a future Xbox, but it won't be the Xbox One, that's for sure. Current games are still experimental and there isn't a "killer app" at the moment. A lot of the experiences are gimmicky or end up being promotional spin-offs. Hopefully the virtual reality market will continue to grow so that Microsoft decides to bring it to consoles.

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Asher Madan

Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.

  • Sensing great things for Xbox and PC gaming. Of course VR as a whole isn't very mature right now, the current technology will probably drag some more years until something new comes up.
  • If Microsoft keeps moving forward with Xbox and PC convergence I imagine the next generation of Windows mixed reality will play a big part.
  • Definitely, also I recall Phil Spencer saying they want a untethered experience. The xbox one x is more than capable of providing VR but any headset will have to be tethered and will take up the hdmi-out port. As I'm not sure if the USB side of One X is capable of pushing hi-fi images at fast and synced framerates (someone correct me if i'm wrong).
  • They probably didn't find a way to cram a bunch of ads into the visor. That's why.
  • You underestimate their ad cramming capabilities.
  • @DJCBS nah, they probably axed it to just to annoy you 😶.
  • MS isn't Google.
  • Sounds like you haven't used Windows 10 yet.
  • Sounds like you haven't...?
  • and you didn't use android yet.
  • I think VR is headed in the right direction though. Spencer said on Twitter a while ago that they won't bring VR to Xbox until they have wireless VR headsets. I love playing games in VR, but the price seems to hold back the majority of the public.
  • 150 dollars? You could get some WMR headsets for that recently.
  • Most people don't own a PC capable of using Windows MR, rift, or Vive. The cost for those people is too high when it includes the need to buy a new PC.
  • To be honest, most people will just to need to buy decent graphics cards. The screens in the headsets aren't that big so it doesn't to push that many pixels compared to a pure 4K screen. But due to crypto mining graphics card aren't exactly cheap anymore.
  • That's not how it works. VR headsets have dual high resolution displays, each of which are being fed separate data and 90fps required for fluid graphics (without nausea). For instance the Samsung HMD Odyssey with its dual AMOLED displays at 1440x1600 each is pushing 4.6 million pixels per frame. By comparison 4k screens are pushing 8.2 million pixels per frame, but they don't necessarily have to push 90fps to stay locked in, 60fps or even lower with gSync or FreeSync. As a result while its fewer pixels in VR, the actual hardware requirements are about the same. The physical size of the screens is not relevant to the discussion, it's about the number of pixels being pushed and how many need to be pushed per second for a fluid experience.
  • @David Fleetwood. Hmm I see, good point about the fps. Haven't used VR myself and therefore my knowledge on that front is fairly limited.
  • I'm pretty 'meh' on VR to be honest. I've played with it a few times at a friend's house but it just isn't compelling in its current state.
  • I see, what would you say would make VR compelling for you?
  • I disagree, but that's their money alright. Better play it cautiously.
  • I think they're just paranoid because of Kinect 2.0's failure.
  • The kinect 2.0's implementation was flawed. That annoying big port was unnecessary, the soc was pretty much on the low end (Which makes backwards emulation of 360 games extremely impressive). Therefore combined with the resources permanently tied to the kinect meant developers had less system resources to play with - as a result the developers had to choose between kinect features / integration or graphical fidelity and capabilities. If they had used a better SOC and used USB instead of the proprietary port the Kinect 2.0 would have seen alot more use. Whilst they built out Cortana integration, foresight is really not Microsoft's thing lol.
  • VR is still not where gaming is going imo psvr show that. How much support is it getting again? 4k is where they should be looking at taking gaming imo not vr.
  • Yeah, let's not evolve gaming to a completely new level, let's just keep it the same and make it slightly prettier.
  • If you were around when Virtuaboy came out, then no... VR hasn't evolved much. To me its like 3D films, meaning right now you have gimmicks specifically incorporated to "wow" the user like dodge that object. For VR to gain anything it will need to be an immersive experience that isn't based on those moments. Granted for horror games, it is great, VR is a good step for the likes of those. For other games, someone would need to invest the resources in an immersive RPG, shooter, or sports title to really push the audiences. As of now, i think that maybe 95% of gamers would not have a compelling reason to get the hardware with no library of experiences.
  • I don't think VR will go mainstream until you can get 2-4K per eye in a wireless device that is no heavier + bulkier than ski Goggles... and that device is probably >10 years away. How many of the 3.5M high end HMDs are collecting dust right now? There is a serious lack of AAA content, and no major publisher is going to make VR exclusive content until the active user base is >10M.
  • You can't grow the userbase without content, and you can't get the content without the userbase. Chicken and egg problem indeed. Luckily for VR, the market is growing steadily (though slower than we would like, I'm sure) in the right direction for both features, comfort, and price.
  • I bet you opticians are rubbing their hands with glee as when VR hits mainstream - maaaaany people will need glasses. Which may also cause an increase in awareness of optical astigmatism.
  • Good move on their part. I checked out both the Vive and the Rift on a souped-up $3k gaming PC and was not impressed, and that's as good as VR gets right now. It's not even close to being good enough yet.
  • It was relatively impressive when I tried it on a PS4. Yes, I did feel a bit sick at times and it wasn't amazing quality, but it was pretty interesting and better than I expected. I do think that somewhere in our future VR or AR will be big, but it's probably wise to skip it at this point on the existing Xbox.
  • Well, if WMR worked on XBOne, we might get one. For playing we have enough options already 😉
  • VR is a fad like 3d movies and the Kinect. Unless killer apps for the tech come out I'll pass anyway. So far nothing has impressed me on vr and I don't want to sit playing games in a helmet!
  • Same issue as 3D TV still no breakthrough....
  • once VR is not a headset and wires it will work.
    just have some light, sleek wrap around glasses and ear pieces that are not tethered in any way.