Games

And So The Great VR Wars Begin: Oculus Rift Has Partnered With Microsoft

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Project Morpheus v. Oculus Rift/Hololens.

Like every other industry in the world, video games invest heavily on the technological trends of the time.  After all, we all remember when the Wii was the biggest console on the planet, and both Sony and Microsoft entered the motion control fray with Kinect and Playstation Move (ha!)  Nintendo bet big and assumed the next trend in gaming would be tablet based and, well they were correct in a sense, it certainly didn’t fit right with CONSOLE gaming.  No, that particular tech war seems to be in the realm of virtual reality, if Sony and Microsoft have their say in it.  Both companies are investing heavily in the technology for the use of games, with Sony’s Project Morpheus and Microsoft’s Hololens duking it out.  But now Microsoft has gained a little bit of back-up, with arguably the biggest name in virtual reality, Oculus Rift, pairing up with the tech giant.

The union was announced today during a big Oculus Rift event, which was likely placed here so that the announcements can come ahead of E3.  It’s likely we’ll hear more about this deal at the time, but for now we know this: every Oculus Rift headset will be shipped with an Xbox One gamepad, and Windows 10 will be fully functional with the device.  Phil “Turning It Around” Spencer was present on stage at the event to confirm the following features, and provided the following explanation of just what this union will provide:

“The opportunity for us to bring our wireless controller, the one that we’ve spent so many years refining, to every Oculus user at launch is incredibly exciting for us.  The Rift will natively work with Windows 10. And we all know that VR experiences require the highest performance, and with Direct X 12, we believe we’ll be able to create state of the art virtual reality experiences on top of Windows.”

Grandma still loves her Oculus Rift.

Grandma still loves her Oculus Rift.

Spencer also claimed that Oculus Rift users would be able to stream Xbox One games like Sunset Overdrive, Forza, and Halo 5: Guardians to their device, allowing for virtual reality play of these games…kinda.  In actuality, the games will just be projected in front of you in a virtual living room of sorts, and you would just play it as you normally would through the headset.  So yeah, not nearly as cool as it could be.  Still though, Microsoft’s continued quest to gain some head room over Sony continues, and this is a strong partnership to make at this time.  We’ll see if it pans out for the company in the long run.

Oculus Rift will be released in Q1 2016.  Do you think Microsoft pairing with the company is a smart one, or should they only stick to their VR-esque Hololens device instead?  Let us know your verdict in the comments!

-Matthew