The Windows Mixed Reality platform on Windows 10 PCs offers a combination of virtual reality with a “sense of presence.” Beyond selling affordable VR headsets, Microsoft is partnering up with several companies in order to create new VR games and experiences.
Today, Microsoft announced the “first wave” of this content plan, confirming that it will include Halo developer 343 Industries. The developer will “bring future Halo experiences into mixed reality,” said Microsoft technical fellow Alex Kipman. Although Kipman declined to share specifics of the Halo VR project, “it is going to be a lot of fun to work with them.”
At this point it’s unclear this the Halo VR experience may be an entirely new release or whether the next game in the Halo series will just include some VR-only features. 343 Industries says that fans shouldn’t expect Halo 6 to be announced soon but the developer is clearly hard at work on the next entry.
A standalone Halo release designed from the ground up for virtual reality may be preferable but given the mixed reception to Halo 5: Guardians, some fans may fear that the VR title could take resources away from the main series release.
It should be noted that Halo isn’t the only major Microsoft game that will be part of the Windows Mixed Reality program, either. After already bringing Minecraft VR support to the Oculus Rift and Gear VR, Minecraft will also be playable in VR with the Windows Mixed Reality headsets for Windows 10. While that may seem a little confusing as the game already worked in virtual reality, for others it will be positive to know that Minecraft VR will work correctly across a variety of headsets.
Games like Obduction and Superhot VR will also be supported on Windows Mixed Reality headsets, along with content from partners such as Hulu and Sky VR. It was also mentioned that Steam content will work on the Windows headsets as “Steam is a great place to enjoy cutting edge immersive experiences.” It is currently unknown how much Steam content will be available on the forthcoming headsets but given that the majority of PC gamers and would-be VR headset buyers are Steam users, Steam support is surely a deal breaker.
The latest update on Microsoft’s plans is apparently just a “sneak peek” about what’s coming this holiday meaning that more details could be right around the corner. Hopefully this involves an actual look at Halo VR and the other content from the partnerships and not just the headsets and computers that it will be running on.