Microsoft looking to add eye-tracking on Xbox One VR headset
Microsoft has been noted as the absent gaming company when it comes to virtual reality. Valve and PS4 both have plans, alongside the new startup Oculus, but the creators of the Xbox seem hesitant to step into the world of VR.
Plenty of reasons could be brought up, but one might be Microsoft is not ready to release anything on their virtual reality headset, because the project is far behind Oculus VR and Project Morpheus, two working prototypes.
Microsoft has shown hints of interest, their Venture group in London recently accepted FOVE, creator of an eye-tracking headset display. The intent has not been officially announced, but sources close to Microsoft say it is all to do with the Xbox One.
The virtual reality system will work around the new console. Microsoft will be working to integrate different features and functionality, basically making the VR headset another accessory to the Xbox One – similar to the Kinect.
This could allow video game developers to easily port their work onto the headset, if it runs the same code as the Xbox One. In fact, Microsoft might open up APIs to make the port to virtual reality incredibly easy, even for games that might not have supported it otherwise.
Eye-tracking opens up new possibilities in video games. Valve talked about different biometric scanners on controllers, allowing video games to become more scary, depending on how much the user sweats from their palm.
The eye-tracking technology in FOVE might work in a similar way, tracking the eye to see signs of fear, enjoyment and even tiredness, and adjusting the gaming experience to compliment the emotion.
Eye-tracking can also be used to better inform the device where the user is looking, allowing the video game to get a better sense of the object or area-of-view, something developers might need in games where looking at items picks them up.
Microsoft’s VR headset
This would not be the first time Microsoft has been late to the party. The Xbox Division has, for the most part, been up to date with the new types of gaming experience, but Microsoft has lost races in mp3, mobile, and tablet.
If the Xbox VR headset is unable to launch around the same time Project Morpheus and Oculus Rift are available for commercial use, then it may be too late and another failure on Microsoft.
It seems like Microsoft always wants to get a feel for the market before diving in, whereas Valve and Oculus want to be the heroes creating new experiences, without looking at past successes and failures.