The last train of Microsoft

John117-

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In my opinion there's a tech company could compete with Oculus, and that's company is Microsoft.
Microsoft has money for compete in the price, one the main obstacle for other companies are the money. The price is very important for the mass market and It's one the reason of successful of Quest.
The company of Redmond could makes two hdm: a standalone and a PCVR.
For the standalone could utilize azure technologie for the hand tracking and tracking of the room.
Standalone segment would be cool for Microsoft for one big reason: Mobile computing. I want explain this concept:
Microsoft has problems in the smartphone market, They had Windows Phone (Lumia), now They have Surface Duo (Android OS). VR/AR will be the next computer science platform, Microsoft could anticipate the time with a his store for the apps. Apple's coming, Facebook's hard working, Valve's Coming, Microsoft must be more speed.
Standalone headset could use WMR OS that It's developed on Windows OS, now MS's releasing Windows 11. And I think that It would be cool have workshop apps that comunicate with Windows Desktop. In the business market could be amazing this feature.
For the controllers I would like something similar a knuckles or Oculus Touch.
For the specs I imagine 6GB RAM or more, 8? SoC developing collaborating with Qualcomm. They works together, see Hololens 2, Microsoft SQ1.

My dream's for a HMD PCVR: FOV's close a PIMAX, refresh rate like Index and a resolution like Pimax. I would like also a NLP chip for have always avaiable an assistent like Cortana. I think that IA assistant will be very important in the headset VR/AR. Beyond of this, also feature could be: Azure Kinect for compete with Lighthouse base. MS could use Azure for Full Body Tracking and Room Scale.

I think that MS has one of the best killer app for the VR gaming: Halo.
You can imagine a Halo VR, where You can speak with Cortana for see the informations in the game.

Let me know
 

Skarth

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To compete with the Oculus Quest, you need really good tracking technology, an eco-system for it to run within (play store or marketplace equivalent), a custom OS, manufacturing connections, advertising, and support from other companies to make software/games for it.

Microsoft already competed in the VR arena, with the Windows Mixed Reality headsets. Microsoft is a software company first, they did the headsets the same way they did Windows, they make the software/specifications for it, others make the hardware. The WMR headsets didn't do well.

Apple is in the best position to make standalone VR headsets. The M1/M2 chips would fit in a VR headset and their mobile ecosystem pretty well, they also have the manufacturing, and the money, to throw at it, if they wanted to. However, apple seems to have avoided the "gaming" market, so that seems to be the main thing keeping them from making one.
 

MaZa

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HTC just released their standalone Focus 3 and IMHO they are sleeping on a goldmine. The hardware is finally really solid, tracking included, but unfortunately HTC aims this device for business first. Meaning it is VERY expensive. If they would make a simplified, cheaper consumer version I am sure it would sell even if it were more expensive than Quest 2. I am sure people are willing to pay extra just to get rid off Facebooks death grip.

It is actually quite frustrating, HTC finally manages to make something good and then they ruin it with the business focus. 🤦‍♂️

 
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Coldblackice

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I wouldn't hold your breath. I can't think of anything Microsoft has been successfully competitive with in the consumer market in the recent decade or so that didn't already have a monopolistic champ-by-default stranglehold on the market, e.g., Windows and Office. Not even Google can dent those grips.

Don't get me wrong, I wish this weren't the case. I'd love nothing more than Microsoft, and any company for that matter, to be a worthy competitor, putting the rest of the market's players on their toes, innovating their asses off as they push the line of creation. But once a business gets big enough to reach critical mass, it quietly starts flipping the "innovation" light switches off and the "Acquisition Steamroll" switches on, fanning mad stacks of cash to vacuum up any and all competition through buyouts and takeovers.

Facebook has been a shining example of this many times over, although they've pleasantly surprised with the actual development effort they've been putting into VR/Oculus. And though I view Oculus equivalent to the "gaming console" of VR, I think it's also been the much needed chest-compressions to the VR gaming market, keeping it from collapsing in on itself as it has time and time again in the past.

I think the best hopes for competition to Oculus really comes down to Sony and HP. Samsung definitely could, but they sure don't seem too hungry for it. HTC had a great start with the Vive, but they seem to have flatlined somewhat, perhaps because they were pioneers in the early frontier days of VR and just couldn't bring in enough money to keep them aggressive, especially when other big competitors entered the arena. They should be further along than they're at IMO, they just seem to have stagnated since the now-old Vives.

The best hope and fiercest contender against Oculus IMO would be Valve, hands down, ...were they not lethargic and uncaring asses at a critical-mass in lieu of the nonstop stacks of cash they print using the Steam-press :mad:
 

RazorWind

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I think Microsoft's best shot at becoming a dominant player in VR is to integrate it better into Windows, a la Cliff House or Big Screen.

Imagine if you could put on an HMD and have virtual monitors of unlimited size that integrate tightly with 3D virtual interaction. For instance, imagine if photoshop had a VR mode where you could grab the image out of the window, put it on an easel, and paint on it with brushes. Of the big players in the tech space, the only one perhaps better positioned to implement something like this is Apple, and Microsoft has a pretty big head start, given that Cliff House is pretty obviously an attempt at it, and they already have a standard for the headsets.

I actually really enjoyed Cliff House in my brief time with it, and I wish they'd add support for SteamVR and Oculus so that I could use it without the need to own a WMR headset specifically. Especially now that better headsets are available that address the resolution limitations of the early ones.
 
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SuperSubZero

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WMR could be a thing, but they *need* to get the tracking perfected. Right now in like VRChat it's easy to find the WMR users, as they are always holding their controllers in front of them to avoid the "arms akimbo" messed up look when they put their arms down. Even the Reverb G2, which added side cameras, can't seem to track arms straight down.

As well, Microsoft needs to really care about it. WMR to me feels like, say, the 2013 Mac Pro, or [insert failed Google product here]. It's like some intern came in, had the idea, their manager decided to run with it, a few months later the intern went back to college, and promptly changed majors to law or something. Now the company is sorta stuck with it and doesn't know what to do with it, and the budgets and staff start getting reallocated. Did they mention WMR in the Windows 11 presentation?
 

noko

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HTC just released their standalone Focus 3 and IMHO they are sleeping on a goldmine. The hardware is finally really solid, tracking included, but unfortunately HTC aims this device for business first. Meaning it is VERY expensive. If they would make a simplified, cheaper consumer version I am sure it would sell even if it were more expensive than Quest 2. I am sure people are willing to pay extra just to get rid off Facebooks death grip.

It is actually quite frustrating, HTC finally manages to make something good and then they ruin it with the business focus. 🤦‍♂️


Play area size? How long does the battery last? Very short on using Steam, largest content source for VR. He did say he will cover Steam usage in more detail. Looks nice, just need more info.
 

reaper12

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HTC just released their standalone Focus 3 and IMHO they are sleeping on a goldmine. The hardware is finally really solid, tracking included, but unfortunately HTC aims this device for business first. Meaning it is VERY expensive. If they would make a simplified, cheaper consumer version I am sure it would sell even if it were more expensive than Quest 2. I am sure people are willing to pay extra just to get rid off Facebooks death grip.

It is actually quite frustrating, HTC finally manages to make something good and then they ruin it with the business focus. 🤦‍♂️



It suffers some of the same problems as the Vive Pro 2, needs to fit you perfectly, small sweet spot, glare. Which isn't a surprise as they are using the same lenses and screens. Surprisingly it's supposed to have amazing audio. But, tracking not as good as the Quest 2 but way better than the Cosmos. Again, no surprise there. I never believe a word MRTV says when it comes to tracking.

Play area size? How long does the battery last? Very short on using Steam, largest content source for VR. He did say he will cover Steam usage in more detail. Looks nice, just need more info.

Just replying to both at once here. I take MRTV reviews with a massive pinch of salt. Here is a much better one.

https://skarredghost.com/2021/06/25/htc-vive-focus-3-business-review/

most of the questions you ask are answered in this review. It's pretty detailed.

There is one issue that he didn't mention, well to be fair, he does say don't buy it if you are a consumer. The issue is that there is no warranty with headset. Yes, it comes with 2 years business warranty, but, you have to register with HTC within 90 days to get it. And you have to register as a business. If it's for personal use and they find out, you lose your warranty. Sure, they will probably never check, so they would never know. It's just something to be aware of if you are thinking of buying one.
 

MaZa

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It suffers some of the same problems as the Vive Pro 2, needs to fit you perfectly, small sweet spot, glare. Which isn't a surprise as they are using the same lenses and screens. Surprisingly it's supposed to have amazing audio. But, tracking not as good as the Quest 2 but way better than the Cosmos. Again, no surprise there. I never believe a word MRTV says when it comes to tracking.


Oh yeah, it has the same crappy lenses with the same crappy issues... I forgot about it. But regarding tracking, this is now IR tracking just like Quest 2 so I am a bit more optimistic about how good it is.
 

StoleMyOwnCar

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I bought an HP WMR headset a good while ago, I think it was in one of the Hotdeals threads on this forum... Its tracking is awful lol. I can't really say much else, it's just god awful. I do still use it because it's mostly sufficient for my very limited purposes and I don't need anything too high tech but... yeah it's bad.

I've been looking to get something better to maybe try VR out in earnest, but looking over this thread gives me no large amount of hope... I sure as hell am not going to buy into Facebook's datamining ecosystem, and I don't want to feel like I wasted money on the HP headset so whatever I upgrade to needs to be perfect compared to it. But again looking over this thread I doubt there will be anything but Facebook's crap. I guess I'm just sticking with where I'm at, but I'm wondering if the platform is even moving through time or if Facebook just ran away with the gold medal and is starting to lap everyone, and I'm just waiting for a train that's never gonna come anyway.
 

reaper12

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I bought an HP WMR headset a good while ago, I think it was in one of the Hotdeals threads on this forum... Its tracking is awful lol. I can't really say much else, it's just god awful. I do still use it because it's mostly sufficient for my very limited purposes and I don't need anything too high tech but... yeah it's bad.

I've been looking to get something better to maybe try VR out in earnest, but looking over this thread gives me no large amount of hope... I sure as hell am not going to buy into Facebook's datamining ecosystem, and I don't want to feel like I wasted money on the HP headset so whatever I upgrade to needs to be perfect compared to it. But again looking over this thread I doubt there will be anything but Facebook's crap. I guess I'm just sticking with where I'm at, but I'm wondering if the platform is even moving through time or if Facebook just ran away with the gold medal and is starting to lap everyone, and I'm just waiting for a train that's never gonna come anyway.

It really depends on what you want to spend. If you want a headset for less than $500, then there is only one real choice. If you want to pay more than there are more options. Any of the later generation headsets will absolutely crush the old HP WMR headsets. There is no comparison. Those old headsets had 2 tracking cameras, terrible controllers and very bad software. The new HP Reverb G2 and The Vive Cosmos, have probably the worst tracking of the current generation of headsets. But, they would be light years ahead of those first gen WMR headsets. The technology has come on a lot in a very short space of time.

The Valve Index, Vive Cosmos/Elite, HP Reverb G2 and Vive Pro 2 are some of the current generation headsets out from various companies. They would blow you away if you compared any of them to your old WMR headset. It wouldn't even be close. But, for all these headsets you need a decent PC. (I listed the headsets in order of PC power required) And that's the main reason why the Quest 2 is selling so well. No PC requirement.

The first generation of WMR headsets were garbage. They weren't even close to been as good as the other headsets out at the time. My point is don't judge the current VR market based on your experience with that HP WMR headset. And don't read too much into people's opinion here on the later headsets. You see most people here all have good headsets already so they are been extra picky in what they want from their next headset.

TLDR: Try VR in a good headset. You will be amazed.
 

reaper12

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Oh yeah, it has the same crappy lenses with the same crappy issues... I forgot about it. But regarding tracking, this is now IR tracking just like Quest 2 so I am a bit more optimistic about how good it is.

Vive Pro 2 would be better if you really wanted to go the HTC route though.
 

StoleMyOwnCar

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It really depends on what you want to spend. If you want a headset for less than $500, then there is only one real choice. If you want to pay more than there are more options. Any of the later generation headsets will absolutely crush the old HP WMR headsets. There is no comparison. Those old headsets had 2 tracking cameras, terrible controllers and very bad software. The new HP Reverb G2 and The Vive Cosmos, have probably the worst tracking of the current generation of headsets. But, they would be light years ahead of those first gen WMR headsets. The technology has come on a lot in a very short space of time.

I can basically build a decent (contemporary GPU shortage aside) computer for a bit over $500, and definitely less than $1000. I'm pretty sure I spent quite a bit less than that on my HP headset. Which is kind of my point. I'm sure that a lot of them will be a lot better than what I have right now, but I'm not going to give up over half a grand for "a lot better" or even "light years ahead" (which, it doesn't take much to earn that sort of praise considering how bad this thing is, trust me). I want basically perfect if I'm shelling out that kind of cash on a VR trinket. It feels like the market is just going stale, if the only reasonably priced (vs what you get) option is basically ad-funded and then the rest cost (well) over $500, with many going into the $1k range. Considering how many years we've been talking about VR tech already (probably over a decade), it's kind of absurd that the only solutions we've hit mass scale production with are basically either ad funded or costing about $1000... and still don't even have some bugs ironed out.

Or maybe it's just inflation, who knows. I get that it's kind of a double standard from me considering we still have PC monitors and other display devices which cost near or over $1k at times, and don't have nearly the amount of advanced tech (cameras, motion controllers, etc), but still... I'd kind of be willing to pay out the money if I thought it was reasonable, but it still doesn't feel like it's anywhere near being a mature technology yet, I guess unless you feel like selling out to Facebook.

Maybe someone will make a devices that's cheaper and changes the operating paradigm of VR tech as we know it, or maybe Facebook will just run away with the gold and everyone else will give up. Who knows... one option will leave me finally getting a VR headset, the other option will leave me giving up on VR entirely, I guess.
 

sethk

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Microsoft has a good hardware division that designs the xbox consoles,surface laptops and tablets and their non consumer HMD for mixed reality. Someone (probably astutely) judged that VR was a distraction for the xbox brand and didn’t want a repeat of the kinect debacle and decided not to pursue VR at this time as part of the xbox launch.
Maybe windows 11 and a new Microsoft designed and branded HMD would breathe new life into the VR space as their new open store policy and minimum 8th gen requirements could create a new baseline for high end VR.
 

housecat

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Interesting take. I think MS should just partner with any vendor that wants to enable their headset on their platforms (Win11 / Xbox). It's true MS could compete but I don't see the point. Depending on well it takes off for Facebook, for the heavy hitters we'll probably see FB / Samsung / Apple compete in this space.

I'm for any and all of them that support PC and offer a headset that's not like wearing a medieval torture device after 30+ minutes. First vendor, even Facebook, that offers an ultralight headset (likely running a wire down to compute/battery puck to your waistband or pocket) is the one I'm going for. I had a Quest1 and loved it but gambling on the mods necessary to prevent the face pressure that quickly ensues wasn't worth it for me so I got rid of it. I thought the tracking and overall usability was absolute perfection on that model.

I can say for anyone that hasn't had one, it's a game changer and the future. No doubt in my mind. It's up there with the moment I got my 3dfx Voodoo 4MB card in the mid-90s. I'll never forget it, and eagerly await one that doesn't give me headache from the pressure.

It's powerful. The feeling of taking the headset off, looking around, and realizing that this is where you live, and putting you into a sense of depression.. it was profound. The market needs an ultralight Quest2 pronto, I'd pay just about anything for it. If Apple does it first, I'll pay them.
 

N4CR

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With what they did with windows defender, I'm going to say gtfo microsoft. They just joined the WhatsApp and facebook shitlist.
They'd force it win 10/11/xbox only and at this rate I'll mitigate to Linux before that joke.

I see Chinese microled headsets ruling the roost in a decade. They won't have a toxic ecosystem to protect and ccp shekels will subsidise them to undercut the rest. Occulus will slowly bleed out due to faceberg integration. Only boomers and gen x/y still care about fb.
 

bobzdar

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Microsoft has a good hardware division that designs the xbox consoles,surface laptops and tablets and their non consumer HMD for mixed reality. Someone (probably astutely) judged that VR was a distraction for the xbox brand and didn’t want a repeat of the kinect debacle and decided not to pursue VR at this time as part of the xbox launch.
Maybe windows 11 and a new Microsoft designed and branded HMD would breathe new life into the VR space as their new open store policy and minimum 8th gen requirements could create a new baseline for high end VR.

I mean - they already have the hardware AND software. Xbox integration would be a port of WMR portal to xbox and done - as of right now there are 71 VR games available natively via WMR portal and that's without any xbox might behind it. It's a kind of no brainer miss that only a big company like Microsoft could make. PSVR has outsold all of the WMR headsets combined and was/is nowhere near as good as something like the Samsung Odyssey+, let alone a Reverb G2.
 

modi123

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I am not sure if I would want MS to try and compete in the VR space. I would rather them batten down the AR space and get me a hololens for a decent price!
 

MavericK

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We don't really have a lack of good HMDs these days, we have a severe lack of AA/AAA titles for VR. We need more developers on-board making stuff like HL: Alyx.
 

noko

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I mean - they already have the hardware AND software. Xbox integration would be a port of WMR portal to xbox and done - as of right now there are 71 VR games available natively via WMR portal and that's without any xbox might behind it. It's a kind of no brainer miss that only a big company like Microsoft could make. PSVR has outsold all of the WMR headsets combined and was/is nowhere near as good as something like the Samsung Odyssey+, let alone a Reverb G2.
Well, the VR titles are virtually all on Steam for the PC space, will XBox support steam like WMR does? I think Maverick hit the nail on the head, need worth while games for XBox and Microsoft makes money off their game store, if they then support Steam store I just don't see how Microsoft would then charge such a low relative cost for their XBox hardware. Flight Simulator works in VR but would it be fast enough with the XBox? I don't know, 71 maybe a start but some heavy hitters, at least a few new ones for the XBox I think would be needed. As for the headsets, Microsoft has many options but XBox Series X does not have WiFi 6 nor a USB C port. A wireless headset would be ideal but then a wired one using separate USB C port would probably be OK, except the hardware lacks some key ingredients. Will Microsoft have a VR edition in the future? Just does not look like Microsoft was targeting VR this cycle initially.

https://www.windowscentral.com/will-xbox-series-x-support-steam
 

bobzdar

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Well, the VR titles are virtually all on Steam for the PC space, will XBox support steam like WMR does? I think Maverick hit the nail on the head, need worth while games for XBox and Microsoft makes money off their game store, if they then support Steam store I just don't see how Microsoft would then charge such a low relative cost for their XBox hardware. Flight Simulator works in VR but would it be fast enough with the XBox? I don't know, 71 maybe a start but some heavy hitters, at least a few new ones for the XBox I think would be needed. As for the headsets, Microsoft has many options but XBox Series X does not have WiFi 6 nor a USB C port. A wireless headset would be ideal but then a wired one using separate USB C port would probably be OK, except the hardware lacks some key ingredients. Will Microsoft have a VR edition in the future? Just does not look like Microsoft was targeting VR this cycle initially.

https://www.windowscentral.com/will-xbox-series-x-support-steam

No - but if WMR were on xbox, you can bet that any steam VR games that have a 2d version on xbox would get a WMR VR version asap. There would be some work to optimize on xbox - but the point is the hardware and software (and a bunch of titles) are already there.
 
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