Earlier this week we wrote about Microsoft’s plans to release two new Xbox One consoles: a slimmer, low-cost model and a larger more powerful version. These plans led to rumors that the later more advanced Xbox would also be able to run a high-end VR headset. According to the tech website Ars Technica, those rumors have now been confirmed.
Ars Technica is reporting today that an undisclosed developer confirmed, during a pre-E3 meeting, that they are indeed working on a virtual reality title specifically for the Xbox One. At this time Ars Technica is not revealing the identity of the studio in question.
The title of the game allegedly contains the word “VR” – indicating it is an intentional VR game and not a standard game with VR capabilities – and is also planned for a release on PC-based VR and PSVR systems as well.
There really is no telling who this mysterious studio could be, since all we have to go off of at the moment is “well-known European studio.” Based on that logic, it could be an established VR player like CCP or Ubisoft looking to add the new Xbox VR platform to an existing title like EVE: Valkyrie or Eagle Flight. It could also be a complete newcomer to the scene that is looking to make a splash on as many systems as it can, like Remedy or Creative Assembly.
More significant than the game itself is what this means for the VR industry in general. This report is fairly solid proof that Xbox, and by extension Microsoft, will be officially entering the VR fray in just a few weeks. This would be a massive new opponent for Oculus (Facebook), HTC, Valve, Google, and Sony to do battle with – especially considering that Xbox One controllers are bundled with every single Rift order. It’s also interesting considering that their AR platform, HoloLens, just started shipping to developers.
An Xbox VR platform would also mean that almost all of the “silicon valley giants” have entered the ring. The only one still slumbering on that front would be Apple, but they may be stirring sooner rather than later.
Either way keep your eyes and ears peeled in June when E3 rolls around. It looks like things are about to get a lot more interesting since they have reportedly confirmed their plans to show the game during E3.
We have reached out to Microsoft for comment on this and will update the story as it progresses. Microsoft’s press conference will be held on Monday, June 13 at 9AM PST.