The recently announced partnership deal between Microsoft and Facebook for Oculus Rift could prove to be a game-changer in the virtual reality space. This blockbuster deal between the two titans of the technology sector is bound to send ripples of shock waves across the world. During its mega event “Step Into The Rift” held by the Facebook owned company Oculus VR, it announced the mammoth of a deal with Microsoft Corporation as per which, the Xbox adapter and Xbox One controller will be pre-installed in all the products of Oculus VR.
Oculus VR is preparing to launch its first version of Oculus Rift possibly in the first quarter of next year. This virtual reality headset is Oculus’ first product which will be made available to consumers. Phil Spencer, the head of Microsoft’s Xbox division and Microsoft Studios, confirmed that the Oculus Rift will support Windows 10 right out of the box. Windows 10 is Microsoft’s last operating system from the Windows range and is scheduled to be launched on July 29, 2015. Spencer also said that users of Oculus Rift will be able to play their Xbox One games through the virtual reality (VR) headset as it will come with an adapter and a controller for Xbox One.
The partnership between Microsoft and Facebook relating to Oculus Rift is immensely important for both the companies, and is bound to be a game changer in the virtual reality space. It will be a huge deal for the gamers and consumers alike. The deal is also very important as other major players in the technology sector like Apple Inc, have already declared that they are all set to enter the virtual reality race. Google already has its product Google Glass, though it has not created any buzz in the market yet. Reportedly, Google is not moving ahead with Project Jump and Cardboard.
The benefit for Facebook from this partnership is that it will provide Oculus an already successful gaming platform like Xbox One. Considering the gaming audience on Xbox, building for Oculus will certainly excite developers. The other benefit that developers at Oculus will get from this partnership is that they would now be able to target the Xbox controller to build their games on, as Oculus Rift will have in-built support. Xbox has been a very popular gaming layout all over the world for the last 10 years.
Palmer Luckey, Founder of Oculus VR, said that the analog sticks and buttons are an easy and great way to interact with complex games. He said that it was very critical for many different types of genres in gaming. The partnership deal is equally important for Microsoft as working with Oculus will enable Xbox One to give tough competition to Sony’s new virtual reality platform for PlayStation 4, named Project Morpheus, which is scheduled for next year. These reports in a way confirm that both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 will support virtual reality by next year.
The biggest beneficiary of this partnership is Windows 10. The computer requirements announced by Oculus for the first consumer version of Rift completely excludes Apple users. The very first model of Rift will be compatible with Windows 7 SP1 or higher. However, as mentioned earlier, it will work natively with Windows 10. This is expected to encourage users to migrate to Microsoft’s operating system, buy a new Windows 10 computer or upgrade to Windows 10. In every way possible, this looks like a win-win-win situation for Microsoft, Oculus and Facebook.
Apart from Oculus Rift, the company is also planning to introduce Oculus Touch hand controllers, which would enable users to manipulate virtual objects with precision. These fast-paced developments have created a huge amount of hype about virtual reality and the expectations are sky-high. The partnership between Microsoft and Facebook for Oculus Rift has all the potential to be a game-changer in the virtual reality space.
By Ankur Sinha
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