Rumours of VR support for Microsoft’s Xbox One console have continued to mount over the past few days, and now the official E3 site has added fuel to the fire.
As spotted by VRDB, the page for the upcoming event, which takes place in two weeks’ time from June 14th – 16th, had added an ‘Xbox One Virtual Reality games’ category for those browsing its list of exhibitors, though it now appears to have been removed. Tellingly, UK-based studio Rebellion was reportedly listed under this category. Rebellion is currently working on Battlezone, a reboot of the tank battling classic that’s set to launch on PlayStation 4 with support for PlayStation VR when it arrives in October.
Last week news broke that a well-known European studio would be bringing a “new VR game” that was set in an established franchise to E3, and it would be coming to the Xbox One. It certainly seems as if Battlezone would fit that bill, though there are admittedly many other candidates. Also reportedly listed under the category was Maximum Games, which is publishing Untold Games’ VR adventure, Loading Human, also on PlayStation VR. Both of these games have a big push for console-based VR, then, but they’re also showing up on PC-based kits too.
It’s not thought that Microsoft is making its own VR HMD for Xbox One. Instead, reports have surfaced that the company is working on a more powerful version of its console, similar to the all-but-confirmed PlayStation 4.5, that might support the Oculus Rift. Oculus and Microsoft have enjoyed a close relationship thus far; the Rift is able to stream Xbox One games into a virtual theatre of sorts through the Windows 10 game streaming feature on PC, and the device itself comes with an Xbox One controller.
The stars are certainly starting to align on this story, but can we really expect to see an announcement at E3? The same rumours are also suggesting a smaller, cheaper Xbox One is due this year, and it would seem strange for Microsoft to market two consoles in one go. Perhaps something might be showcased behind closed doors, or perhaps it really is planning a big VR blowout for its press conference on June 13th. Or perhaps these rumours are just that.