Microsoft had announced previously that they were collaborating with Oculus for the Rift, the VR company's newest VR headset. Well, now we're starting to see how that connection is coming to fruition with a brand new update that will allow Oculus Rift gamers to stream Xbox games to the headset.
Over on the official Xbox Newswire, Microsoft announced that Windows 10 users can use the Xbox app to stream Xbox One and Xbox 360 backwards compatible games to their desktop computer. Not only that, but if you have an Oculus Rift the app will setup a viewing hub so that you can view the Xbox One games and Xbox 360 backwards compatible titles in VR.
If you have your Xbox One connected to your Windows 10 desktop computer through the home network setup along with using the free Xbox app for Windows 10, you'll be able to easily stream the games to your Oculus Rift.
This is part of the continued relationship shared between Microsoft and Oculus, which was announced earlier this year when Microsoft included free Xbox controllers into the bundle with the Oculus Rift before the Oculus Touch motion controllers were released. This allowed users to make use of the VR headset while the Touch controllers were still being ironed out and prepped for release.
This partnership between Microsoft and Oculus has a lot of people suspecting that there may be a further announcement next year where the Oculus Rift will be usable on the Xbox Scorpio, the codename for the mid-generation refresh from Microsoft. The Xbox Scorpio will still be able to play Xbox One games but will have a beefier GPU on the APU and more processing power and RAM to spare for dedicated gaming purposes.
The article detailing the feature isn't very long, but they do provide a few images of what the play experience will be like. Essentially Oculus Rift users will be taken to a virtual theater hub where they can play their games, interact with their buddies on the friends list and essentially utilize all of the features present on the Xbox One through the virtual hub.
Given that you aren't actually seeing the game in full screen mode like other VR titles, I do wonder if this will limit the amount of nausea that some people suffer from when playing VR titles or if it will dampen the effects of frame-rate stutter and frame drops?
We don't have a lot of information on benchmarks when playing games through these virtual hubs. They also exist on Steam as well, where gamers can download apps like the Retro Arcade and play games using the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift as if the games were being played right there on the arcade machines. Again, the games aren't played in full screen and that could help limit the effects of VR sickness.
Either way, gamers who own a Windows 10 desktop and have an Oculus Rift can make use of the Xbox app right now and start playing their games through the new VR theater.