Microsoft is already pushing the Gaming story pretty hard with the Xbox One family and the more traditional PC Gaming, but they also have to conquer newer markets like VR and mobile gaming.
Windows Mixed Reality is coming this fall, and the first wave of headsets will be available in the next few months. After some early-access reviews it seems these new headsets will outperform the currently available Oculus and HTC Vive headsets, but some reviewers mentioned that it’s somehow not as stable/comfortable so it’s (the Acer headset) not quite suitable for high intensity gaming scenarios.
Basically what would tell a lot for me personally about the dedication of OEM partners, is if these current wave of OEMs would release an other batch of headsets under their Gaming brands, and if someone from the Gaming world would join the train, for example if Razer would release an MR headset.
Please note that at this point I’m just purely talking about the very current state of Windows Mixed Reality, I’m talking about simple, cheap, tethered VR headsets, even though we know the platform itself does support wireless and AR scenarios as well.
Basically if we think about the “dimensions” of Mixed Reality like opaque (VR) – see-through (AR), wired-wireless, and potentially talking about being standalone (untethered) or requires a connection to a device (tethered)… The current wave of headsets are the simplest ones, while HoloLens sits in the exact opposite corner.
I do believe that before everyone would be wearing HoloLens-like untethered headsets, we will have a next wave of wireless AR headsets, but lets not rush that far ahead. Right now, and in the very near future, I’d just like to see more dedication from the Gaming industry (hardware and software makers) to VR.
There are plenty of casual gamers people who just want to spend a good 5 minutes with their Candy Crush or Angry Birds. I think for the sake of bringing everyone together, Console, PC and Mobile gamers, Microsoft should somehow try to push this category a little harder. We need dedication from gamer developers (and publishers), and we need dedication from hardware partners… again, I’d really like to see 2-in-1 devices showing up under Gaming brands from HP (Omen), DELL (Alienware), Acer (Predator), ASUS (ROG) and even under brands like Razer. Now that Intel’s monopoly comes to and end in this category, with AMD releasing their Ryzen APUs and also some interesting new SoCs coming from Qualcomm, there’s a good chance we will see even more activity, innovations and growth in this market segment.
Long story short, Microsoft has to emphasize the wide range of possibilities in Gaming on Windows and win (over) all types of gamers whether they are playing on a console, seek hard-core competitive gaming on a powerful PC, want an immersive VR experience or just want to spend a couple of minutes on the toilet or on the train.
Of course, last but not least, we have to mention the PC as well, where there are things Microsoft could potentially do/push to make Windows 10 (and the Windows Store especially) more appealing for users.
I won’t go into the details of this thought though, because I already wrote an article about it recently.