VR “Not Where Our Focus Is” - Spencer

GordoSan

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True. They did that with Kinect....and learned.
I know that made them a bit head-shy, but Kinect=/=VR. Kinect was only ever input-only, and that input just never translated to a 2D screen. With VR, there's constant feedback from your virtual position in the world, with an infinite loop between tracking and the visuals. Where Kinect had very little gameplay value, VR has nearly endless gameplay possibilities, with literally the opposite of "press X to do everything" gameplay. It's clearly not for everyone, and it will never replace regular games... but it's only going to get bigger and better. (Meaning more popular, and more transparent to the user)
 

karmakid

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I know that made them a bit head-shy, but Kinect=/=VR. Kinect was only ever input-only, and that input just never translated to a 2D screen. With VR, there's constant feedback from your virtual position in the world, with an infinite loop between tracking and the visuals. Where Kinect had very little gameplay value, VR has nearly endless gameplay possibilities, with literally the opposite of "press X to do everything" gameplay. It's clearly not for everyone, and it will never replace regular games... but it's only going to get bigger and better. (Meaning more popular, and more transparent to the user)
Could they. It integrate the Kinect tech with ve for better tracking around the the headset? I believe one of the vr units out there are using IR sensors...
 

Kerosene31

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I know that made them a bit head-shy, but Kinect=/=VR. Kinect was only ever input-only, and that input just never translated to a 2D screen. With VR, there's constant feedback from your virtual position in the world, with an infinite loop between tracking and the visuals. Where Kinect had very little gameplay value, VR has nearly endless gameplay possibilities, with literally the opposite of "press X to do everything" gameplay. It's clearly not for everyone, and it will never replace regular games... but it's only going to get bigger and better. (Meaning more popular, and more transparent to the user)
MS isn't Apple. They can't just push something and have people line up for it. People will crap on anything MS does. Everything they do has to go uphill against the anti-MS bias, which is why they are playing it safe. The most success they had was when they made the cheaper, faster box that played regular games.

If they jump into VR now they'd be late to the party and everyone would dump on whatever they came up with. Supporting existing hardware wouldn't really do anything for them.
 
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GordoSan

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MS isn't Apple. They can't just push something and have people line up for it. People will crap on anything MS does. Everything they do has to go uphill against the anti-MS bias, which is why they are playing it safe. The most success they had was when they made the cheaper, faster box that played regular games.
Very true. I cannot argue with that.

If they jump into VR now they'd be late to the party and everyone would dump on whatever they came up with. Supporting existing hardware wouldn't really do anything for them.
...except I believe that it will only get worse over time, as VR will not go away. I guess that's where a lot of us differ. Some people think of VR as a fad, just as videogames were thought to be a fad in the 80s. I don't. I see them avoiding VR playing out baldy for Microsoft in the future, since they are purposefully being absent for something that will be even bigger than current games are now. In fact, you'll still be able to play flat games inside of VR and MR, so no loss. I personally have a 100" projector screen, but nobody else I know does. With MR, everyone will, since it's virtual. You can resist this change into mixed reality, but I really think it will be in the same way that some people of older generations still won't text or even use a smart phone at all. Of course, maybe I'm wrong? I just don't see it going any other way. AR games are gaining in popularity on phones right now. It's only a couple years at most when that becomes much simpler and better to just wear eyeglasses to do that. People are now very much expecting this. It's also not far away that these eyeglasses or goggles do both AR/VR properly, with natural focus. MSFT had better be there for the next phase or they will risk being very far behind, at least when it comes to the Xbox brand.

Of course, Microsoft is literally at the forefront of mixed reality, with Hololens/WMR coming out of a huge R&D facility that is Microsoft Research. I would think that Spencer still visits some of these projects that haven't even made it to the tech sites yet. If he's still not thinking "if not now, then definitely when the time is right", then he is already risking missing phase 2 with the Xbox name attached. When I try to think ahead and what it might be like looking back to now, I see VR support being very critical in the early phases. Kinect was not a failure because it didn't sell units. In fact, it sold ALOT of them! It failed because it was not the right product at the right time. It didn't make games immersive enough to give up more accurate controls. VR is becoming so immersive that the control is becoming vastly more accurate than either a controller or a mouse could ever dream of being without aim assist. VR interface speaks a language that we all learned as infants. This is why our learning retention is much higher through VR than any other method. See reports of 80% VR vs 20% traditional training retention. Mixed reality is quickly entering our museums, schools, and workplaces. Games are gonna be played on all those new units in the wild. It's inevitable.
 
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Kerosene31

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VR is definitely here to stay and not just a fad, but I think they can skip a gen and not fall behind. MS has the deep pockets to get into anything they feel necessary, and like you said they are already doing a ton of R&D.

The direction VR needs to go is pretty obvious - make the hardware lighter and less bulky and increase the graphics quality. MS can always change their minds and simply go purchase companies that do VR. I think the risk of falling behind for a company with deep pockets is pretty low.
 
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mb1025

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I’ll say the same thing here that I said on Twitter about this topic. No one in life whether it be talking with friends or on social media talk about VR gaming unless an article/video comes out about VR gaming like this one.

It’s not even close to where it needs to be.
 

pravus

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I'm sure they'll be there when they can produce something like Oculus Quest but with a much higher bar of quality/features. Just because they are confirming that they aren't launching with it doesn't mean they aren't working on it, keep in mind, Xbox was ready to launch their VR initiative with Scorpio, something scared them off for the time being.
 

Frozpot

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Very true. I cannot argue with that.


...except I believe that it will only get worse over time, as VR will not go away. I guess that's where a lot of us differ. Some people think of VR as a fad, just as videogames were thought to be a fad in the 80s. I don't. I see them avoiding VR playing out baldy for Microsoft in the future, since they are purposefully being absent for something that will be even bigger than current games are now. In fact, you'll still be able to play flat games inside of VR and MR, so no loss. I personally have a 100" projector screen, but nobody else I know does. With MR, everyone will, since it's virtual. You can resist this change into mixed reality, but I really think it will be in the same way that some people of older generations still won't text or even use a smart phone at all. Of course, maybe I'm wrong? I just don't see it going any other way. AR games are gaining in popularity on phones right now. It's only a couple years at most when that becomes much simpler and better to just wear eyeglasses to do that. People are now very much expecting this. It's also not far away that these eyeglasses or goggles do both AR/VR properly, with natural focus. MSFT had better be there for the next phase or they will risk being very far behind, at least when it comes to the Xbox brand.

Of course, Microsoft is literally at the forefront of mixed reality, with Hololens/WMR coming out of a huge R&D facility that is Microsoft Research. I would think that Spencer still visits some of these projects that haven't even made it to the tech sites yet. If he's still not thinking "if not now, then definitely when the time is right", then he is already risking missing phase 2 with the Xbox name attached. When I try to think ahead and what it might be like looking back to now, I see VR support being very critical in the early phases. Kinect was not a failure because it didn't sell units. In fact, it sold ALOT of them! It failed because it was not the right product at the right time. It didn't make games immersive enough to give up more accurate controls. VR is becoming so immersive that the control is becoming vastly more accurate than either a controller or a mouse could ever dream of being without aim assist. VR interface speaks a language that we all learned as infants. This is why our learning retention is much higher through VR than any other method. See reports of 80% VR vs 20% traditional training retention. Mixed reality is quickly entering our museums, schools, and workplaces. Games are gonna be played on all those new units in the wild. It's inevitable.
VR needs easier accessiblity like what the Quest offers in cordless mode. I will say, after futzing around with my Quest in link mode- calibrating with my PC and having to walk back and forth taking the headset on and off- it's kinda a pain and takes away that desire to just jump in... BoneWorks is pretty darn cool, btw...

They've got to get to a point where they can beam the rendered image to the cordless headset reliably. A bit more iteration on hand controllers (like the valve index) would be nice too. I bought some hand straps for my Oculus Touch controllers (to secure it like the Index does), but it's hard to get a natural ergonomic position for them. Having the strap is pretty essential though. As being able to let go of the controller and keep it there makes a big difference...
 
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GordoSan

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VR needs easier accessiblity like what the Quest offers in cordless mode. I will say, after futzing around with my Quest in link mode- calibrating with my PC and having to walk back and forth taking the headset on and off- it's kinda a pain and takes away that desire to just jump in... BoneWorks is pretty darn cool, btw...

They've got to get to a point where they can beam the rendered image to the cordless headset reliably. A bit more iteration on hand controllers (like the valve index) would be nice too. I bought some hand straps for my Oculus Touch controllers (to secure it like the Index does), but it's hard to get a natural ergonomic position for them. Having the strap is pretty essential though. As being able to let go of the controller and keep it there makes a big difference...
Quest is exactly what they should be looking at. In fact, it's too bad that Quest is Wifi5 (ac), and not the new Wifi6 (ax). I would bet that Wifi6 and Xbox Game Streaming would be low-latency enough to actually work for Xbox VR to Quest. This would be a partnership made in VR heaven. (Not that I like the Facebook side of Oculus)

Let's say that Oculus releases an updated Quest next year, with a more recent processor. I just got a Galaxy S10+ that has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor with Wifi6 built-in. (I'm really liking it so far) Now, the Quest has an older Snapdragon 835 processor. That processor is going to get phased out, as always happens to phone processors. What if they decided for the next model to with the Snapdragon 855 or similar? Having Wifi6, it could be wirelessly compatible with Xbox (only if you have a Wifi6 router), while the current Quest model will be able to also connect with a QuestLink cable (which already works for PC)? That's a win/win in my book! It doesn't really seem that far out there to me, given their past relationship, and how Microsoft provided the Xbox One controller in the box with Rift when the Touch controller wasn't ready yet. This partnership would mean that Microsoft launches VR with millions of headsets already in place, and they don't even have to bother pushing hardware peripherals, which I know they don't want to do. Anyway, that would be a really smart move by both companies, if only they could agree on a collaborative ecosystem.
 
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Frozpot

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Quest is exactly what they should be looking at. In fact, it's too bad that Quest is Wifi5 (ac), and not the new Wifi6 (ax). I would bet that Wifi6 and Xbox Game Streaming would be low-latency enough to actually work for Xbox VR to Quest. This would be a partnership made in VR heaven. (Not that I like the Facebook side of Oculus)

Let's say that Oculus releases an updated Quest next year, with a more recent processor. I just got a Galaxy S10+ that has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor with Wifi6 built-in. (I'm really liking it so far) Now, the Quest has an older Snapdragon 835 processor. That processor is going to get phased out, as always happens to phone processors. What if they decided for the next model to with the Snapdragon 855 or similar? Having Wifi6, it could be wirelessly compatible with Xbox (only if you have a Wifi6 router), while the current Quest model will be able to also connect with a QuestLink cable (which already works for PC)? That's a win/win in my book! It doesn't really seem that far out there to me, given their past relationship, and how Microsoft provided the Xbox One controller in the box with Rift when the Touch controller wasn't ready yet. This partnership would mean that Microsoft launches VR with millions of headsets already in place, and they don't even have to bother pushing hardware peripherals, which I know they don't want to do. Anyway, that would be a really smart move by both companies, if only they could agree on a collaborative ecosystem.
Sure, but I certainly won't be getting a new headset any time soon. I'm going to wait for a larger leap gicen how versatile the quest is now.

I have have no qualms supporting the Oculus side of Facebook. They've been doing everything right. I heard they already even released finger tracking for limited use. Might check it out later...
 

GordoSan

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Sure, but I certainly won't be getting a new headset any time soon. I'm going to wait for a larger leap gicen how versatile the quest is now.
Totally. I'm not trying to say that it's necessarily ready for the next model, either. They will probably try to stretch the first generation out a bit. I don't think they can get a full "console" generation out of it, though... Especially considering the phone-scale APU nature. They could wait a bit for the XR2, and go bigger than a step up. Who knows when they are ready, but I'll bet it depends on when the chip becomes obsolete to make, as it's already two phone generations old.

I have have no qualms supporting the Oculus side of Facebook. They've been doing everything right. I heard they already even released finger tracking for limited use. Might check it out later...
I would agree with that. Oculus took quite a bit if criticism for Rift S at first, but now I think that most people agree that it was the right move. I admit that I haven't bought a Quest yet, but it's got a lot of momentum right now. I was sad for no Black Friday deals, and I also couldn't resist a new Galaxy S10+ phone for just a little bit more, when I really needed that more at the time. Ironically, it's replacing my S8+ with the same chipset as the Quest. There's a theme here, since the phone with the much newer chipset was half price, and no deal on Quest (except for a software bundle). I'm not saying it's not worth $400 for the 64GB model. It's still selling huge, but I'm kinda surprised it's not at $350 by now. For what all does, it definitely seems worth $400. Either way, I'll pick one up before too long... and yeah, that hand tracking capability seems amazing considering that they figured it out for this particular hardware, and unexpected.
 
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GordoSan

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Quest support would be amazing if possible.
Especially after hearing about Series X. It would be a crime to not use its power to Jump In(side) VR! If XBSX can do 8K, RT, 120fps, and HDR (even if not all at once), just imagine how realistic it would be in wireless 6DOF with a headset on! The CPU alone would make the 2 screen display a non-issue.

Then you have this from Carmack at Oculus Connect 6, a few months back:
"Today at Oculus Connect 6, CTO John Carmack dove into the work the company has done on Oculus Link, the Quest feature which will soon allow the headset to tether to PC to play Rift games. Today this requires a USB3 cable, but the natural next step, Carmack said, is that this will eventually be wireless

Although Oculus Link requires a tether, it’s effectively a ‘remote’ rendering solution, Carmack explained
today during his keynote presentation, which means the type of link between the headset and the PC doesn’t really matter so long as it has the necessary bandwidth, latency, and consistency.

While Oculus chose to go with a tether for Oculus Link as a “first step” (thanks to consistent bandwidth and latency), Carmack was up front that the work is headed toward a wireless solution.

“Clearly we’d like this to work on Wi-Fi eventually,” he said, as he went on to speak about some of the tweaks they’d likely undertake to make the Oculus Link rendering solution work best over a wirelessly...


These 2 agendas just seem to just line up a little too perfectly, imo. If Phil Spencer hadn't made these comments recently, I'd swear that this was probably happening behind the scenes. Maybe that's just me projecting what I want to happen... I just hope that Spencer is more playing coy with his words than actually dismissive, while something a) wireless and b) social is actually being cooked up. I always prefer honesty over marketing, but if there is a partnership that isn't ready to be announced yet because they are either waiting on proper wireless hardware or aren't ready to tip their hat, I could kind of understand that. If Phil comes out on stage at E3 2021 and says: "I have had some issues with how VR was wired and closed off in the past, but we've figured it out" that would be fine with me! I do think that it's clear that it won't happen at this E3.

Of course, there is also the possibility that he is playing the same distraction game for a future version of Hololens, which is fully immersive. We'll see. If Sony announces a wireless PSVR at this E3, that may definitely speed Microsoft up on making a decision either way.
 
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GordoSan

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... I mean, maybe it'll support both, at some point. It's kind of interesting that both Hololens 2 and Quest now have hand tracking. Also interesting, is just how "Xbox" the Quest controllers are:


A,B,X,Y,RT,RB,LT,LB,Select,Menu

Even Microsoft's own WMR controllers were nowhere near as Xbox-freindly.

...Just food for thought.