VR is very much a “REAL THING”!

We are getting a clearer picture about how it will change the very way in which we perceive the world around us. We have seen attempts at pushing out a range of hard that can take advantage of these technologies. HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, HoloLens, Gear VR, PlayStation VR.

Now, let’s see how Project Scorpio and Windows Mixed Reality will change things around for VR gaming.

What is Project Scorpio?

Project Scorpio is the upcoming successor to Xbox One and will support True 4K gaming. Going by the guys at Digital Foundry (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RE2hNrq1Zxs) who got to see it in action, IT IS A BEAST. Even novice gamer’s know that titles like Forza series require some serious firepower to run at full throttle. Scorpio ran Forza Motorsport 6 at full 4-K without any optimizations and still had around 35 % power to spare. Which in simple terms means it is insanely powerful.

Project Scorpio Circuit Board
Project Scorpio Circuit Board
Scorpio running Forza motorsport 6 at full 4K
Scorpio running Forza motorsport 6 at full 4K

What is Windows Mixed Reality?

Windows Mixed Reality, on the other hand, is the evolution of windows holographic.

Windows Holographic is the platform that uses holograms for a more immersive experience. It augments our world by combining virtual and physical objects  to co-exist in the same space and are spatially aware. With the recent creator’s update windows 10 supports mixed reality capabilities natively. This lets developers make the most out of the hardware without having to install different software and other modifications that they have to do on a non-mixed reality enabled PC.

Minecraft on Hololens
Minecraft on HoloLens

Why all this matters?

Microsoft’s vision for VR and other immersive technologies is not confined to these two things. But they will be pivotal in that being a success and taking the industry forward.

MS have revealed that Scorpio will support VR out of the box. A slew of headsets are getting ready to be shipped along with the console.

So how relevant is Scorpio and Mixed Reality to the expansion of VR into a mainstream technology?

Acer's upcoming Mixed Reality Headset.
Acer’s upcoming Mixed Reality Headset.

Consider this:

You are an avid gamer who is going to buy an Xbox Scorpio once it’s out. Also you also have a mixed reality capable PC with you at home along with a VR headset and accessories. All your Xbox one games will run better on Scorpio and with Xbox Play. Anywhere support you can easily play many of these games without having to purchase them separately.

Project Scorpio being an insanely powerful console can easily support high quality VR experiences. A majority of VR headsets that are in the market today is based on windows like HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. That also means that people who already have those can expect much better experiences than what they currently have. If we add in the platform specific optimizations for Scorpio and Mixed Reality in Windows 10 and you have a winner.

One might argue that Sony has PlayStation VR and it is doing rather nicely and I agree.

But think of it this way, Windows 10 and Project Scorpio have the added advantage of having on a plethora of device form factors. It also has a huge array of games tied to the PC platform with the added bonus of exclusive console games. Microsoft has promised us that all Xbox One games will be playable on Scorpio.  If Microsoft get’s developers to target Scorpio and VR with these games then we are in for a treat.

Windows Mixed Reality Application in Creator's Update.
Windows Mixed Reality Application in Creator’s Update.

What all this means is that you can play these games virtually anywhere (Provided you have the headset and accessories with you). With mixed reality baked in to the OS developers can take advantage and can create beautiful UWP gaming experiences that will work alike irrespective of the device.

Moreover Windows 10 is running on more than 400 million PC’s and most of these will support the features mentioned above. This will provide a very large platform for developers to make it big by developing once and then deploying everywhere. If Microsoft gets the required hardware and software out in time and at the right price then I think it will have a tangible effect on VR gaming.

Microsoft’s vision for VR seems more future-focused than everyone else’s. While Microsoft has the bad reputation of backtracking on promises quite frequently. Here, they have all the cards in hand to play it right.

Let’s hope they do and I can’t wait to see they do it right. 

 

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