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Xbox Boss Ponders HoloLens Potential on Console and PC

"Phil Spencer, the director of Microsoft's Xbox division, says his team is thinking hard about the creative and commercial possibilities of supporting HoloLens on Xbox One."

Unlike most rich virtual reality products, HoloLens does not need to be tethered to a PC or console in order to function. The head-mounted display packs in a GPU and CPU, along with a separate HPU [Holographic Processing Unit]. Spencer praised Microsoft's engineering team for achieving such a feat, and believes the freedom will broaden its commercial potential.

"We think it's important that HoloLens succeeds as a standalone device," he said.

"The experiences [we have demonstrated] are already running in the device itself, which I think is a great accomplishment; it's not tethered to something else. We wanted to land that first."

But, he added, Microsoft is aware of the possibility of enhancing the device's capabilities when connected to local devices such as an Xbox One or PC.

"We're thinking hard about specific scenarios with the Xbox, with things like content streaming, and using it as a display for Xbox," he said.

Spencer also appeared to suggest that HoloLens would be the sole direction the Xbox team would take in terms of display peripherals. When asked whether HoloLens was Microsoft's take on the emergence of virtual reality devices, he said "for us, I think this is the area."

Nevertheless, Spencer remains interested in the future of virtual reality, at least as a fan.

"I love the virtual reality stuff that's out there, Morpheus and Oculus, I love it when our industry pushes things forward, and I've always applauded Oculus and Sony for that," he said.

"VR is a completely immersive, block-out-the-rest-of-the-world, experience. I think this is something different."

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Posted on Jan 24, 2015


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