A supply chain rumor site in Taiwan is claiming today that Microsoft is planning to mass produce a head-worn virtual gaming device in 2015 and is expected to showcase the product as early as the E3 gaming show in June next year. The rumor supports a number of game centric patent pending inventions that Microsoft has on record. Our report provides you with more details on this new rumor and Microsoft's gaming patents.
Microsoft has filed a number of patents about gaming over the years. One covered a new technology that would have a gaming environment take over an entire room to immerse the gamer. Though allowing a gamer to be deeper immersed in a game could be better served, at least for individual play, by using an Oculus styled headset. On that count, Microsoft's most detailed patent was filed back in Q1 2012 covering an Xbox projector eyewear that could also be integrated into a combat helmet as noted below. Of course the crude patent figure is presenting a concept and not the actual look of the device. So expect something cooler to emerge in final form.
You could find another of Microsoft's extremely detailed virtual reality patents here. In that particular patent report we cover a lot of territory such as multiplayer mode, eye-tracking, a retinal scanner, facial recognition, depth cameras, advanced optical sensors and much, much more. Some industry observers have related this patent to Microsoft's one-time Fortaleza project.
In addition, you could review other 3D and virtual gaming wearable device patents here and here. In the bigger picture we can see that Microsoft wasn't waited around for the Oculus to arrive to start development on these types of projects. But it's certainly the threat of the Oculus Rift debuting in 2015 that has escalated Microsoft's various project teams into action.
Sources for the supply chain report further revealed that the gaming device's development is handled by Microsoft's hardware team, which is also the one in charge of Surface tablet development.
Sony in March unveiled its head-worn gaming device Project Morpheus, which is able to connect with the company's PlayStation 4, but so far the device is still not yet available in the market.
Facebook with its acquired Oculus VR is also planning to launch a head-worn product, the Oculus Rift in 2015. Since Microsoft is a latecomer in the head-worn product market, the company may face serious competition if it is unable to deliver unique features for its products, the sources noted.
The sources also believe head-worn products will become a new focus of the gaming hardware developers for the next-generation gaming devices.
The race is on and both Microsoft and Sony understand full well that their gaming empires are going to be severely challenged by the debut of the Oculus Rift in 2015. This could very likely ignite another gaming platform war if the Oculus Rift can deliver a powerful punch right out of the gate. That may be great news if it shakes up the industry and produces more games, and more importantly, quality games.
In the end, the rumor of Microsoft aiming to debut a new VR gaming headset accessory next year sounds just about right. Whether they actually pull it off is an entirely different matter. But as the saying goes in business: If you snooze, you lose. And a lot will be riding on Microsoft getting an Oculus Rift challenger right and out on time. Consumer loyalty is fickle and it could turn on a dime. So if the Microsoft's new CEO Satya Nadella cares about his Xbox division, he better be pushing and supporting his team to make sure this happens for next year's E3 gaming show.