We're still a ways away from the official Project Scorpio unveil, but there are already plenty of reasons to be excited. One big feature that has mostly lacked definition was how the "high-fidelity VR experience" was going to play out. The general assumption was Windows Mixed Reality would play a significant role in this addition to the Xbox gaming experience, and that strategy became a lot more clear during Microsoft's day-two Build conference keynote.
With the addition of motion controllers for Mixed Reality, it's clear the Xbox VR strategy is not only going to be a complete solution right out of the gate but also an experience that blows away the competition.
It may not be cool to admit this on a Microsoft blog, but PlayStation VR is actually kind of amazing. The headset is well made and looks sharp, despite its apparent low resolution, and game developers have created some uniquely compelling experiences. That said, its flaws are numerous. The light-based tracking system can be clumsy if your lighting isn't just right, the cable system connected to the sync box is confusing, and PlayStation Move motion controllers are mediocre at best when compared to the HTC and Oculus offerings.
Windows Mixed Reality, Project Scorpio Xbox, and next-level VR
Windows Mixed Reality on Project Scorpio has the potential to sidestep all of these flaws in a single release. The Acer headset we've used so far is the lightest full-VR headset you would want to buy, and its single cable is very much a simple plug-and-play solution with no extra hardware. You don't need a Kinect sensor, and you don't need to worry about lighting or reflective surfaces. These Mixed Reality headsets are designed to be dead simple to set up and use.
But the real stars here are the new motion controllers. By design, the Windows Mixed Reality controllers will be more accurate and less fuss than PlayStation Move. The controllers are tracked using the same inside-out system as Hololens and the Mixed Reality headset itself, relying on the sensors on the front of the headset to help determine position. As long as your hands are in front of you, which they always will be for a game or app, this setup is likely to be vastly superior to the current PlayStation VR setup.
There's also price to consider. The complete PlayStation VR launch bundle with camera and controllers and a starter game kit was considered a bargain in the VR world at $499 when it launched. The Acer Mixed Reality bundle is coming in at $399 and is expected to be everything you need to connect to a PC and get going in VR.
Microsoft hasn't confirmed anything yet, but how great would it be if that bundle is just as plug-and-play for Project Scorpio? That would mean not only is Xbox VR a more compelling experience, but it would start at a $100 less than PlayStation VR. At this point, it's all speculation, but the groundwork now exists for the Xbox team to really blow everyone away with an impressive and comparatively inexpensive VR offering alongside Project Scorpio.
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