From the rumor mill: Microsoft said to be developing VR Headset; to reveal at E3 next June

Kip Kniskern

From the rumor mill: Microsoft said to be developing VR Headset; to reveal at E3 next June

Microsoft and Virtual Reality headset rumors go all the way back to 2012, when a slide deck leaked describing, among other things, Microsoft’s “Fortaleza” project, a system including VR glasses and a Kinect connection.  Now, the rumor mills are firing up again with news that DigiTimes, the wildly dubious source of tech hardware news, is reporting that Microsoft is preparing a VR headset to be revealed at E3 in Los Angeles in June.

Project Fortaleza

What makes this more reliable than when DigiTimes reported a few months back that Microsoft was killing the Surface?  Well a couple of things.  For one, the pressure is on with Facebook’s acquisition earlier this year of Oculus VR, soon to be makers of the Oculus Rift, and Facebook’s continued push into VR with more acquisitions last week to bolster their VR holdings.  Then there’s more reports, from TechRadar and VR Focus, that “Xbox One headset prototypes are already in the hands of some developers”. From VR Focus:

Now VRFocus has been informed that VR developers are indeed working with an Xbox One VR HMD already. The developer kit is currently ‘circulating’ a group of developers working on the console.

Several studios have confirmed to VRFocus that they are working with the device, while Techradar has also received similar information that suggests teams have already begun work on software for the kit. No specific information about the device itself or exactly which videogames are in development for it has been revealed just yet.

(“HMD” is head-mounted-display, for those of us with our head in the sands)

If Microsoft is indeed a faster, more nimble company, one way to prove that would be to get on top of virtual reality technology before Facebook corners the market with Oculus.  So while we’re always extra careful with any “news” coming out of DigiTimes, this rumor may just bear watching.