Over the next few months gamers are likely to hear a lot more about virtual reality's place in the future of video games. Thus far, the Oculus Rift has already staked its claim as a viable VR option, and very soon a wide variety of companies are expected to throw their hats into the ring.
One such company that has yet to say anything about VR, however, is Microsoft. That might soon change, though, as the company is reportedly working on their own VR headset option, or at the very least exploring VR technology.
News of Microsoft's foray into the world of VR headsets comes courtesy of a WSJ report that claims the company is exploring VR in an effort to expand the experiences available on the Xbox. It's important to mention, though, that Microsoft is simply exploring VR headsets as an option; they don't seem as close to unveiling a device as Sony, who is expected to unveil their device at GDC 2014.
That being said, this isn't the first time that Microsoft's name has been used in connection with a headset of some sort. In October of 2013, the company filed a patent for a "head-mounted display device," which many figured was the first step towards developing an Oculus Rift competitor. Since that time, however, Microsoft has clearly been focused on the Xbox One.
While the idea of a Microsoft-developed VR headset certainly has potential, especially given what the company has done with motion control and voice commands, if they unveiled a device now they would be jumping into a market that seems pretty crowded as it is. The Oculus Rift is currently the big name in the VR game, but it might soon be overshadowed by Sony's device if, like the rumors claim, their VR headset is a superior option.
As a result it might be better for Microsoft to let these companies test the market first and weigh the potential for VR. As we have already detailed, VR could be an essential part of gaming moving forward or it could be a luxury add-on that only the most dedicated go after. Still, if Microsoft makes a move on VR we'll be sure to keep you posted.
Do you think that Microsoft should unveil a VR headset competitor? Is the market already feeling oversaturated even before these devices hit the market?
Source: The Wall Street Journal