Microsoft says VR is "something we've been playing with for a while"

While Microsoft didn't have any new tech to show at GDC 2014, Phil Spencer says that Sony did a good job with the Morpheus.

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Speaking at aGDC panel earlier today, Microsoft's Phil Spencer talked about his company's plans for virtual reality saying, "I think the technology's really interesting, and it's definitely something we've been playing with for quite a while."

While Spencer didn't provide any solid details on the rumored system reportedly under development, he did discuss how Microsoft's research division has helped the Xbox (and Microsoft as a whole) remain competitive. "We have this huge Microsoft research organization that is pretty important to us as a platform holder in helping us think about what might be next. It's where Kinect came from, it's where [Cortana's] voice system came from, it's where Drivatars came from. There's a bunch of stuff in our games that have been berthed out of Microsoft research; thousands of people working there in that team. Looking at things like Oculus, Morpheus--they haven't sent me one yet--but when I think about VR and its uses in gaming I think there's a real something there."

But does the VR we've seen so far from Oculus and Sony have a chance at success outside of the hardcore, tech-savvy, and early adopters? Spencer says, "I don't think it's going to be that every game requires me to put goggles on my face in order to go play it, but ... there are real, immersive games where actually being able to completely immerse the user in the experience, both in audio and visuals, can be really compelling.

"Will it ever become mainstream? You see these bifurcations; some people are playing simple touch games where you feel like you're controlling the Death Star, and then other people are putting goggles on their face where they can feel like they're living in that world 24/7. But the big area in the middle is closer to the casual side in terms of usage."

But while Microsoft didn't have any experimental, far-off tech to show at the conference, he thinks that Sony made the right choice in revealing Morpheus this week. "Sony did a good job with Morpheus and showing it here, and talking to the developer community. Bringing out things that you're talking about, whether it's Direct X12 or it's Morpheus, is why GDC exists. People can bring out technologies that they see a future for and get feedback from the development community. This is absolutely the right kind of forum for that."

Here at the GameSpot office, the tech has generated a lot heated discussion, and we'll be exploring VR technology's current implications, as well as other developers' reactions to it, in the coming weeks.

Discussion

228 comments
youngarson
youngarson

Microcopy just get inspired by everything Sony accomplished.

youngarson
youngarson

The VR headset looks so good. Makes Microsoft wanna copy. oh wait? surprisingly not surprised they want one now  lol

mikz_nyc
mikz_nyc

So I guess we were correct about the name of MS's VR : Agent Smith

lulababy
lulababy

Microsoft is pathethic .

That company despeartly wants to be cool and in with the cool crowd .

It's like you have two friends and one of them(Sony) just showed you his new toy and you really love it and you guys are playing with it and that 3rd friend is jealous (microsoft ) and sour because of it so he tells you that he played with it as well and he seen it before or had Iong time before ....lol it's like primary school all over again .

They just underline their irrelevance in todays tech and "it " scene .

Just like their ex boss said that they played with touch phones in the 90s , and search engines in the 90s as well. It's what you do with those ideas and visions that count not that you played with it .

Microsoft doesn't have any online presence . It doesn't havw any smartphone presence. its videogame business never , ever made any profit and it's solely surving on business applications and bogus patent claims .

It's stopped innovating long time ago and it's like this dinosaur that refuses to die . Sadly when the whole world will be totally connected in say 15 years time as Google is banking om than they simply will cease to exist as there will be no need for them .

We should be glad that this company in particular is not world leader in anything anymore. It's a parasiticcand sinister nature was perfectly revealed when they revealed this x1 and we should never ever forget it .

pip3dream
pip3dream

OH Yeah Microsoft?  Something you've been playing with for a while?  Is that right?  Does anyone else think that this reads like total bullshit?  


Obviously they don't have anything to show on this, because they've been to busy working on forcing this travesty on to gaming that is known as Kinect.  The only really good thing it does, is turns the volume of my TV up and down.  Yeah.  Game Changer.

triton1977
triton1977

Im excited to see if they show off the Kinect glasses on E3.
The patent is for 2014 so they have to show it at some point this year I guess.

battlefront1943
battlefront1943

At every turn this gen MS seems asleep at the wheel.  I'm really starting to wonder if there are massive internal issues at MS that created the mixture of horror show and clown college that is XBOX ONE release?  What is going on at MS!?!?!

RedXuchilbara
RedXuchilbara

Yet Microsoft has 100% nothing to show off, I call BULL.

deadpen
deadpen

Nintendo says "been there, done that."

snakelegendary
snakelegendary

Ha! Virtual boy version 2012(3) = Oculus rift (Ultra Crap ). 2014 more crap oculus morpheos/Rift/Headache next gen. clap clap sony. 

LordCrash88
LordCrash88

Somebody should tell MS that you need 1080p and constant 60FPS as THE BARE MINIMUM for a proper VR experience. I don't see how the Xbox One will be able to deliver that for any game that looks a bit better than minecraft (which means a "next-gen-game")...

By the way, same is true for the PS4 although that systems seems to be able to deliver a slightly better performance... ;)

samregan83
samregan83

Hilarious!

Then after feeding his BS, Phil gets on the blower to R&D...

'Get me a f'in VR headset like yesterday, what do you mean it can't be done? Tony Stark built this in a cave with a box of scraps... Get him in.

That's right I want Stark.'

R&D... hangs up.

emerin76
emerin76

Just develop the holodeck already.  That's where all this is heading. For hardcore role-players...and the sex deprived (fine line between the two. heheeh) : )

DarkSaber2k
DarkSaber2k

And another copycat eyes the Occulus.

Fursnake
Fursnake

MS, playing with VR like an old pervert plays with himself.

deviant74
deviant74

The Zune.  They are telling you we are fighting Google and Apple not Sony.  It seems all you do is react to other company's  plans for the future.  The only plan for the future that you have showed us, is the Kinect and those 1000's of people need to get that fucking thing working perfect like yesterday.

vicsrealms
vicsrealms

I would have two words for this bit of news, but one of them isn't appropriate so I will beep it out.


Oh beep!  /facepalm

kingtrax
kingtrax

Ya!  Kinect VR!  Mandatory on all 2015 XBone consoles.  Only bad news is that XBones will be $699 - the $50 Titanfall discount at Walmart.

TheOmegaForce70
TheOmegaForce70

M$ is just playing catch-up to the market competition.

Vinnvn
Vinnvn

Ok let me guess, The microsoft VR:

720p with AA batteries or with a power brick.

Wow what a bad design.


kane6911
kane6911

we will talk after sony goes bankrupt and all that's left is the Xbox and Nintendo. 

jimmy_russell
jimmy_russell

Microsoft is all over the news here because they are doing damage control. They were caught red handed spying on Hotmail accounts without a warrant. The internet is going nuts, everyone is grabbing pitchforks and heading to MS headquarters as we speak. Things are not looking good for MS right now.

brad12d3
brad12d3

@lulababy  I think you have things somewhat backwards. Listen I think both MS and Sony have great consoles but acting like Sony is the great Innovator and MS is not ... well it doesn't really add up. MS was the trailblazer for online play and features, many of which Sony would emulate later. When motion gaming became a thing with the Wii, Sony pretty much copied it exactly and MS.. well they actually innovated and created something different. Still motion gaming but put together a piece of tech that was rather impressive. If you gauge the quality of the Kinect based on the games that have come out for it then you have a very narrow perspective. The applications of this device have been expanding rapidly in other fields and it has been used in some pretty amazing ways. I have not been blown away by any games that have been released for it, but that doesn't mean it can't/won't be done. 


Also, just look a the games coming out for these systems. Sony has some great looking stuff, but nothing that I would call incredible innovative. However, MS has Titanfall which pushes the first person online shooter forward making it fresh again. I stopped playing shooters online years ago because I got sick of them. However, I love playing Titanfall, and I have read plenty of other articles written by people who had the same sentiment. http://www.twinfinite.net/blog/2014/02/19/reignited-titanfall-made-love-multiplayer/


Quantum Break will attempt to combine games and a TV drama together in one package. Plus looks to have to very interesting gameplay mechanics based around some of the wilder aspects of the physics world. 


Then you have Spark which lets you actually create your own games. I have played the beta and it's impressive how much depth there is to it. I figured it would be much more limited and shallow. So MS has software that literally lets you create game worlds and share them with friends on their Xbox or PC. 


I have no doubt that MS has been looking into VR, why wouldn't they. They are always trying to push forward gaming. Even some of the things they had planned originally where pretty cool but since people are dumb animals and didn't understand that some of the stuff they had planned was actually pretty cool it got scrapped. 


It's not that surprising that Sony is showing off a VR headset, most of the work was already done. They have already had a line of video glasses for a few years. http://store.sony.com/WFS/SNYUS/en_US/-/USD/-zid27-HMZT3W/cat-27-catid-3D-Personal-Viewer?k_id=365de0dd-2200-8968-23e8-000026f399d0&kpid=HMZT3W&adparam=sem73pla&XID=O:HMZT3W:dg_gglsrch:pla&cagpspn=pla&gclid=CPnzouXzqL0CFWEV7AodS2EATQ


MS on the other hand has had to start from scratch, so it should be a surprise to absolutely no one that they would have a working prototype to show. 

extrasideofbeef
extrasideofbeef

@deviant74 Lol @ this. History lessons are probably in order for you. Like Sony's Wiimote, or Sony's Camera, which until this gen never looked JUST like a kinect..... Sony had a patent for DRM for the PS4, but when they saw people hating on MS for it they quickly ditched it and acted like MS was stupid for ever considering it. 

Sorry, I just feel like if Sony was really as innovative as you say, they wouldn't be worth 1/20th of what MS is worth.

MrMilkmann
MrMilkmann

@Vinnvn It will just be a headband with a power brick where the goggle part is supposed to be.

blackace
blackace

@jimmy_russellHotmail users need to learn to read TOS'. lol!! Things are looking great for M$ right now. $6.5 billion in profits last quarter and they will probably have another billion in profits the next quarter. Titanfall has been a huge success, pushing more XB1's out the door. Then retailers do M$ a favor and drop the price of the TF bundle $50 to help sell even more XB1's. lol!! It couldn't get any better for M$ right now except if they showed their online service for Xbox 360 games on XB1 and the GWG on the XB1.

lilflipp
lilflipp

@LordCrash88 @snakelegendary He's actually right. This is not virtual reality. This is merely have a screen shoved in your face and covering your peripheral vision. And headaches, lots of fucking headache, how could it not cause them lol

Bottom line, virtual reality doesn't exist yet, it's a sensationalized term. Until we get some Matrix type shit. This is all just gimmicks.

HowlPendragon
HowlPendragon

@shinjuki Your attempt at using his own previous comment against him has failed miserably.

Idiot, lol

lilflipp
lilflipp

@maximo @LordCrash88 Lol wat? You're crazy. I'm running 2x770gtx on SLI and when I put shit to that resolution, it brings my rig to it's knees. Sure my display can't process it but the GPU still does all the job.

There is no fucking way that xbone is capable of displaying  4k resolution at 60 fps.

LordCrash88
LordCrash88

@maximo @LordCrash88  
1) I flagged your comment for insulting me.

2) You should perhaps look up what "capability" really means here. Or do you really want to tell me that Xbox One is capable of displaying games with next-gen graphics with 4k and constant 60 FPS???

HowlPendragon
HowlPendragon

@shinjuki Who's saying they invented anything?

Putting words into people's comments much?

Karlinel
Karlinel

@extrasideofbeef @deviant74  Sony's camera is virtually the same as the Eye Toy one (for PS2, before Kinect/Wii) and does not mimic the Kinect. Having a patent is fine, if you are smart enough to choose when to use it. Imitating others shows poor impetus, but doing what you want when it's been made patently clear that your potential customers won't buy it, it's retarded.

That's why PS4 has no DRM, but XBone has a kinect.

GiantAssPanda
GiantAssPanda

@Vinnvn @kane6911  Playstation has always been my favorite console brand,  but out of those three companies Sony is the most financially insecure. Nintendo isn't doing that great either though.

If I had to bet which of those three companies would still be making consoles 10 years from now, I'd definitely choose MS, without a question of a doubt.



LordCrash88
LordCrash88

@shinjuki @LordCrash88  True, but the games won't look good compared to modern games. People expect a VR experience with next-gen graphics and not a fluid VR experience with graphics from 2008.. ;)

LordCrash88
LordCrash88

@maximo @LordCrash88  People with backbone don't have to insult others to state their own views. Guys like you shouldn't be allowed to talk with others here since you're obviously not capable of a normal, reasonable chat. You should ask yourself why you have to insult others in the first place without any reason instead of giving a sorry ass excuse like "hey, everyone else does it as well and"...

maximo
maximo

@LordCrash88 @maximo  you flagged my comment for insulting you? Are you a child? Grow a backbone. If this type of comment 'insults' you, you are going to have a tough time in life my friend. 

HowlPendragon
HowlPendragon

@maximo

Meanwhile Xbone has only one game running at 1080p

Are you under the impression that all they have to do is simply flip a switch to be able to run games at FOUR TIMES the resolution?

Lol, your idiocy is so entertaining.

HowlPendragon
HowlPendragon

@shinjuki Pointing it out to....who? Who wanted to know?

Your comment is awfully meaningless :)

deviant74
deviant74

@Karlinel @extrasideofbeef@deviant74   Karlinel said, But doing what you want when it's been made patently clear that your potential customers won't buy it, it's retarded.  That's why I'm giving the camera with a console to MS.  That is there everyone has no vision we are going to show everyone the way thing.

MrMilkmann
MrMilkmann

@GiantAssPanda Ok, so MS makes more money off of Xbones, but Sony also makes computers, TV's Bluray players, phones, etc.