This is Microsoft's ambitious plan to own virtual reality

  • Ben Gilbert

Microsoft wants Windows 10 to be the destination for next-generation computing experiences. It wants to be the company that facilitates your first experiences with virtual reality, augmented reality, and "mixed" reality (a blend of actual reality and computer-assisted reality, like Google Glass) – what many see as the next step in how humans interact with computers.

Microsoft's head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, told Business Insider a few basic ways the company is unifying disparate headsets under the banner of Windows 10:

Headsets will be supported "natively," meaning that they're recognized and accounted for by Windows 10. Currently, these headsets show up as monitors and must be calibrated to work with your computer. It's a big hassle! Thankfully, this should help circumvent the hassle.
Since all these headsets require some form of body/head tracking, and they all solve that issue in different ways, Windows 10 will unify tracking. It's not clear exactly how this will work, but it doesn't sound like Oculus VR's tracking solution (cameras) will stand in for HTC/Valve's (lasers). Instead, it seems to be a solution for developers – one pipeline of tracking information across various headsets.

Unlike Sony, which is focusing on supporting one headset (Project Morpheus) on its PlayStation 4 game console, Microsoft isn't taking a console-focused approach to VR and AR headsets. Instead, the company is focusing on Windows 10 – the next version of its popular operating system, which launches for free on July 29th. This approach encompasses a variety of devices, from standard home desktop PCs to the Xbox One itself.

That means, however minimally, that even the Xbox One game console is going to support a variety of next-generation computing headsets, from the Oculus Rift to Microsoft's own HoloLens headset. (source)

  • Created on .