Rumours this week suggest that Microsoft may be planning a surprise or two for their Xbox One successor.
The new Xbox Scarlett console is being launched next year and it could come with extra Virtual Reality support.
Various reports have sprung up this month that support the idea that Microsoft is weighing up their future with VR tech.
Mixed-Reality support isn’t coming to the Xbox One and is something that the tech giant is working on for PC.
But the feature has proven popular on the PS4, and the PS5 is expected to get an upgraded PSVR headset beyond 2020.
So what supports the idea that Microsoft may be looking to VR for the Xbox Scarlett?
One piece of evidence surfaced this week that includes patents filed by the company.
One features a kind of VR mat that allows for multiple people to use it at the same time.
This would work alongside a Kinect object and a headset and would no doubt provide added input for the VR experience.
Another object found this week is a VR Stylus item, which would reportedly allow the user to manipulate objects found on the screen.
The “six degree of freedom input device” certainly sounds cool and would fit in nicely with a new VR-friendly Xbox Scarlett.
The thing is, Microsoft has been pretty cold on the whole Virtual Reality games front for some time.
They even went as far as to deny a report that they are working on a new camera for the gaming machine coming out in 2020.
Following the initial Gizmodo report, an update was made to the story, which reads: “A Microsoft spokesman denied any camera technology is in development and that none has been delivered to developers in any form.”
It should be noted that the camera reported by the next-gen tipster is more in line to work for streamers and include 4K support.
However, Microsoft commenting on such a rumour suggests that they are not keen to be connected with anything that sniffs of the Kinect controversy from the Xbox One.
And while the patents provide some interesting reading for fans, they don’t offer much in the way of evidence.
Patents are filed all the time by companies that are never used and end up gathering dust.
Microsoft has been linked with a lot of different projects over the past few years, many of them never seeing the light of day.
So even if there is a chance that they built a VR mat and stylus at some point, that doesn’t mean it will be hitting shelves anytime soon.
Last year, Microsoft distanced themselves further from supporting VR on Xbox One consoles.
This included a preference for Virtual Reality support on PCs, while the Xbox One brand would focus on experiences that are played on TVs.
Interestingly enough, with Project xCloud expanding the Xbox brand’s reach to mobile, it would be interesting to see how things could change further in the future.
Meanwhile, Sony will be making their PSVR headset compatible with the PS5, with rumours suggesting an upgrade will launch in the following years after 2020.
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