At Oculus’ special event in San Francisco today, Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox at Microsoft – announced a close partnership with Oculus to offer VR streaming of Xbox One games and native Windows 10 support for the Oculus Rift.

Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox at Microsoft, has just announced as part of an Oculus special event that the two companies are working closely to provide tight integration for virtual reality.

Spencer announced that their forthcoming operating system release, Windows 10, will feature native support for the Oculus Rift consumer edition, shown for the first time physically at the event. Spencer said that DirectX 12, shipping with Windows 10, will form a key part of the virtual reality landscape too.

But the surprise came when Spencer revealed a short video clip, demonstrating a gamer, Xbox One controller in hand, wearing an Oculus Rift playing an Xbox One game within a virtual theater. This video it transpires was to demonstrate Windows 10 VR streaming to the Oculus Rift. Leveraging technology announced recently by Microsoft, it allows you to play your favourite Xbox One games within virtual reality.

It’s an intriguing move by Oculus and Microsoft and one that may well offer a bridge for average gamers, giving them the ability to play their games on a large virtual screen, potentially adding immersion along the way. It will be interesting to see how the system tackles obvious concerns over latency inherent in video streaming of this kind.

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Based in the UK, Paul has been immersed in interactive entertainment for the best part of 27 years and has followed advances in gaming with a passionate fervour. His obsession with graphical fidelity over the years has had him branded a ‘graphics whore’ (which he views as the highest compliment) more than once and he holds a particular candle for the dream of the ultimate immersive gaming experience. Having followed and been disappointed by the original VR explosion of the 90s, he then founded RiftVR.com to follow the new and exciting prospect of the rebirth of VR in products like the Oculus Rift. Paul joined forces with Ben to help build the new Road to VR in preparation for what he sees as VR’s coming of age over the next few years.
  • augure

    Maybe the only good thing about Windows 10 with DX12.

    Also a great argument for the Xbox One since they’ve not been developing their own HMD like Sony Morpheus.

    But VR streaming not only means that there are lots of tethering cables on PC, and the fact that you won’t be able to plug it directly into the XBO is not great.

    • brandon9271

      MS needs to support VR natively on the XB1 just as Sony is doing with Morpheus.. VR streaming sounds like a half-assed attempt to capitalize on the buzz surrounding VR without actually committing to doing it properly. Maybe they don’t want to overshadow their own ‘Hololens’ ?

      • The I3ra1n

        The XB1 is just not powerful enough to support graphics needed for the Rift. You need a >$1000 dollar PC configuration, so I don’t see a Rift enabled XB1 coming soon. No this alliance between Oculus and MS has more to do with the expected competition from Valve’s Vive and the market share that Steam has in PC gaming. Oculus want’s to counter the Vive and MS want a bigger slice from the PC gaming pie.

        • brandon9271

          Sony is doing it with the PS4 so MS could do the same with the XB1. I realize CV1 has much higher resolution panels than Morpheus but they could upscale the image.

  • Don Gateley

    Does utilization of the Windows 10 integration require the purchase of an XBox?

    • The I3ra1n

      No, only the streaming of XB1 games to the VR theater requires an XB1.

  • Dunnlang

    I’ll never understand people’s desire to emulate “large screen” experiences at impossibly low resolutions. A 4 year old cell phone has higher resolution than the screen that will be emulated. Even my PS Vita has a higher resolution screen than this would be.

    Is this Microsoft’s trick to get people to accept low, and bizarre, resolutions like 900p on the Xbox One?

    • kalqlate

      At 2K, VR headsets will come close to removing the screen door effect. Further, just like when in a movie theater, the amount of detail you actually see depends on how close to the screen you are. Virtual Reality is called that because it is NOT the same as looking at a 2D screen. You’ll have to actually experience VR cinema to see that your eye will perceive the “large screen” experience as exactly that, and at 2K, the view from INSIDE the headset will give you the illusion of a large screen without pixelation. Again, you’ll have to experience it to get away from equating it to looking at a screen in normal 2D.