In two weeks time Microsoft will finally be ready to talk about virtual reality on the Xbox One. At least, all signs are pointed that way when it comes to their Xbox press conference at E3 2016.
After reports indicated that Microsoft would be showcasing a newer, cheaper, “slim” model of the Xbox One at the event while also working away on a newer and more powerful console for 2017, the latest news seemingly confirms that the VR plans for the Xbox brand will be revealed alongside new console hardware as well.
The first evidence of specific companies already working on Xbox VR was spotted by NeoGAF users on the ESA (Entertainment Software Association) website for E3 2016 which features an extra subcategory for Xbox One listed under the Virtual Reality main category. It’s not visible from the main category list but it’s there (Virtual Reality > Xbox One), and at least four companies have listed their projects under it:
- Maximum Games
- Suzhou Readily Play Network Technology Co., Ltd.
That by itself isn’t a confirmation but with the reports of Microsoft being talks with Oculus VR (who they already partnered with to include Xbox One controllers bundled in with the Oculus Rift consumer headset), it points to the obvious. Of course Microsoft will need to have a VR solution for the Xbox One and they need it soon. They can skip it if VR is a growth area on PC and especially if rival company Sony has the PlayStation VR unit coming out this fall. The Xbox One is already behind on sales so to let their rival run away with an exclusive type of gaming would be console suicide.
With that in mind, Ars Technica confirmed from one developer conducting pre-E3 press that they’re developing an Xbox One VR game as well so there it is. Consider it confirmed that at E3 2016 Microsoft will provide the first official announcement of Xbox VR gaming. We don’t know what developer it is but it’s a European company developing a game with “VR” in the title “set in the universe of an established, long-running franchise.” This title will come to PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
Expect the new Xbox One slim model to release later this year with a potentially VR-capable Xbox system coming 2017. What do you want to see announced by Microsoft at E3 2016? Share your thoughts and theories in the comments!