With rival Sony increasingly carving out its own space in the virtual reality realm, could Microsoft be developing a case of envy and pursuing a renewed effort in the VR space as a result?
That’s what the folks over at CNet are speculating with the surprise reveal of Samsung’s upcoming Odyssey virtual reality headset, a veritable behemoth if specs are to be believed.
A filing for a Samsung Odyssey+ headset that utilizes the Windows Mixed Reality technology caught the eyes of journalists over at CNet who have interpreted the move as a sign that Samsung is doubling down on its bet on the Windows tech and this could be a smoke signal that the folks over at Redmond are doing the same.
CNet suspects that the device is more of a unit update than a new piece of kit made out of whole cloth and that’s fine by most standards. In addition to some image output improvements the device will also have updates to make it easier and more comfortable to wear. Another cool feature that is rumored to be part of the device is compatibility with Valve’s Lightroom technology baked-in to the device whereas the previous model had to run the Valve apps through the Windows software.
Of course, all of this has generated speculating that Microsoft could be looking at virtual reality headsets for its next generation Xbox console.
As CNet points out, the company has already promised this in the past and reneged on that so you can’t blame people for being skeptical. That said, anything that is in development now would definitely be slated for next generation technology. There was probably a small window in between the release of the XBox One X console upgrade but that has seemingly closed since that time. It hasn’t killed speculation entirely that the company is looking into it but a lot of people are looking forward to the future and not to the current console. And that’s kind of a bummer because, as said before, Sony has really carved out a space as the only home console manufacturer to experiment with VR.
Whether or not Microsoft has truly missed the ship remains to be seen but we expect that whatever comes with the next generation will not only be worth the wait but so much more refined than we could possibly imagine. Details about Microsoft’s plans for the next generation of hardware remain vague at this point but you can bet your bottom dollar that if VR is part of Sony’s plans then Microsoft is likely exploring it as well.
Recent reports about Sony’s sales of VR gaming devices topping 3 million units and attached games selling over 20 million should bode well for those making an argument from within Microsoft internally that the company needs a VR gaming device. Hopefully Samsung is showing us what that could look like in the next generation.