Phil Spencer has made it clear, time after time, after time, that Microsoft’s intent is to get games out onto all platforms, not just the Xbox family of consoles. Now Xbox is making the jump to VR, although it’s not quite in the way that we have all been hoping that they might.
The news comes from Meta who, at Meta Connect 2022, their event dedicated to the future of their headsets, an event that was headlined by the reveal of the new Meta Quest Pro headset. Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO was on hand for the revelation, outlining the key details for gamers, “You will be able to play 2D games with your Xbox controller projected on a massive screen on Quest. It’s early days, but we’re excited for what’s to come. Who knows, the next time we talk, maybe we’ll be playing flight simulator together in VR,” he said. Sony’s PlayStation VR already possesses the ability for players to enjoy their traditional, flat-screen experiences through their headset, with the functionality also primed for the upcoming PS VR2; Microsoft while not possessing their own public-facing VR tech is now getting Meta’s help to do their dirty work for them while simply making the option available.
There were several other functions announced to soon be available for the family of headsets, Microsoft Teams will be available on Meta Quest devices, which will allow users to use the Meta VR headsets to access virtual Teams meetings. Teams functionality will also be crossing over with Meta’s Horizon Workrooms VR technology, allowing for users to join Teams meetings from Workrooms. Meta avatars in Teams can be used for whiteboarding, brainstorming, and meetups, while Microsoft Office software, such as SharePoint, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook will all soon be accessible for your Meta headsets.
Speaking about this functionality on the Microsoft blog, Jeff Teper, President – Microsoft Collaborative Apps and Platforms said, “we are bringing Mesh for Microsoft Teams to Meta Quest devices. Mesh for Teams builds on years of research and Microsoft Cloud innovation, from Azure Digital Twins to Dynamics 365 Remote Assist and Teams video meetings. It is designed to help people gather virtually in the place where work happens on any device, including smartphones, laptops and mixed-reality headsets. Mesh for Teams with Meta Quest Pro and Meta Quest 2 devices will enable people to connect and collaborate as though they are together in person.”
Teper also outlined that the companies were, “exploring ways to bring Xbox Cloud Gaming to Meta Quest Store” which will obviously present players with cleaner, easier, and quicker ways to access their Xbox gaming libraries. Teper said, “Finally, Microsoft and Meta are exploring ways to bring Xbox Cloud Gaming to Meta Quest Store, allowing gamers to stream hundreds of high-quality Xbox games to phones, tablets, PCs, select smart TVs, and the Meta Quest platform.
Meta also used the event to annouce several studio acquistions that they’d made including Marvel’s Iron Man VR developer Camouflaj