It looks like that at least at one point, Microsoft had plans to release an Xbox virtual reality headset, though the project has been shelved, according to a new report from CNET.
The publication says that the project has been delayed indefinitely until better virtual reality tech is available. Those familiar with the project that spoke with CNET say that Microsoft has been seeking partners to develop games for the headset for the last few years. That said, the headset’s display quality didn’t match the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, causing the Microsoft to make the decision to shelve the project for the time being.
The Oculus Rift features two 1,080 x 1,200 resolution displays, while the HTC Vive also includes a pair of 1,080 x 1,200 pixel screens. HTC’s recently released Vive Pro, on the other hand, features a 1,880 x 1,600 pixel resolution display. The PlayStation VR, arguably Microsoft’s potential main competitor in the console VR space, includes a display that comes in at a resolution of 1,080 x 960 pixels, a number slightly under its two PC-powered competitors.
This move makes sense for Microsoft given that VR hasn’t exploded in popularity among average consumers like some hoped it would. VR headsets are often difficult to set up, require a plethora of wires to operate and in most cases are bulky and awkward to wear for long periods of time.
Microsoft reportedly aims to wait until wireless VR technology is more affordable and easier to use, simplifying high-end VR significant in the process. Given the variety of virtual reality platforms already available, it’s also possible that Microsoft didn’t receive as much interest as the tech giant expected when it comes to developer support for the headset.
Despite not pursuing a dedicated Xbox One virtual reality headset for the time being, Microsoft has partnered with a number of manufacturers like Asus, Samsung and Acer, on the release of Windows Mixed Reality headsets, along with the company’s own take on mixed reality with HoloLens.