Microsoft’s slow XR withdrawal & Playstation VR 2 launch games
Our weekly recap: As Sony prepares for PSVR launch, Microsoft cuts XR capacity.
Microsoft kills AltspaceVR, an XR interface team, and reduces work on military Hololens
Microsoft plans to cut 10,000 jobs by the end of March. VR and AR projects will also be affected: The once-hyped social VR platform AltspaceVR is shutting down in March, and the entire team behind the XR Interface Mixed Reality Toolkit, popular with developer studios, is being let go. In addition, the Hololens team will be further decimated and work on the military Hololens will be scaled back.
After years of no significant news on commercial Hololens hardware, rumors that there won’t be any in the near future, and Microsoft offering its Office software on Meta headsets without a second thought, it seems Microsoft is bowing out of the Metaverse race before it’s even really started.
Sony gears up for PSVR 2 launch
Meanwhile, Sony is gearing up for February 22, when the Playstation VR 2 hits store shelves. And the first buyers will want the right software for their new VR headset. In addition to the already announced VR games for the Playstation VR 2, Sony presented ten more titles this week. None of them are new, but Sony says they will look and run better on the PSVR 2 than ever before.
Nreal Air seems like a great Steam Deck accessory
Chinese manufacturer Nreal has been selling compact AR and display headsets with smartphone connectivity more or less successfully for years. So far, there has not been a really convincing application scenario for the tech headsets.
With the Steam Deck, the pure display Nreal Air headset might have found something like a perfect gaming partner: You can beam the Steam Deck image to a 130-inch TV four meters away, anytime, anywhere. Now that’s something.
OpenAI CEO dampens GPT-4 expectations
In the coming months, OpenAI’s highly touted text AI GPT-4 will be released. If the expectations on Twitter and Co. are anything to go by, it will outshine everything and even show the first signs of becoming a general AI. OpenAI CEO Sam Altman calls the current rumors about GPT-4 “bullshit” and tampers down expectations: “People are begging to be disappointed – and they will be.”
Meanwhile, Google is reportedly preparing for a massive AI year: As many as 20 AI products are said to be in the pipeline, including a new Google chatbot search. For more AI news, check out our sister publication THE DECODER.