The XR industry sometimes feels like a paternoster, Vive XR Elite preview
Our weekly recap: HP and Microsoft seem to have fallen out of love with XR, while Samsung and Google are looking for a second liaison. After our initial hands-on, we think the Vive XR is an excellent XR headset.
The big come and go
From time to time, XR feels like a never-ending paternoster. Everyone gets on and off and on again, it seems, and it's always going up and down. Nearly a decade after the Facebook Oculus event, some XR hardware makers still seem uncertain about XR's future.
Rumor has it that HP plans to exit the VR market by 2026. A statement from HP does not decisively contradict the rumors.
After numerous negative reports about its XR strategy and layoffs, Microsoft this week offered only half-hearted comments about the future of Hololens. The company is willing to say that the current hardware will continue to be supported, but that's it. Where is the roadmap, the ambition? If anything, this statement makes me more worried about Microsoft's future in XR hardware.
Meanwhile, Samsung has announced that it is getting back into the XR game with Google and Qualcomm. Samsung was one of the pioneers of VR, serving the mobile market with Gear VR, the PC market with Odyssey, and even experimenting with the well-received 360-degree camera Gear 360.
Samsung has not made any concrete announcements about the planned product, but it is likely to be a mixed reality device similar to the Quest Pro, Quest 3, Vive XR Elite, or Apple's rumored magic XR headset. Google has reportedly been working on an XR device for some time with Project Iris, which involves the former head of optics for Hololens.
Sony reportedly expected more PSVR 2 pre-orders
Bloomberg reports that pre-orders for Playstation VR 2 are reportedly worse than expected, causing Sony to halve its shipment forecast for this quarter from two million to one million VR systems.
Sony is now reportedly planning to ship 1.5 million units between April 2023 and March 2024. Specifically, Sony is said to have informed a display supplier of an expected lower purchase volume.
Sony comments on the rumors: It hasn't cut production numbers, it said, but didn't mention a timeframe. This statement is open to interpretation, as Bloomberg is referring to forecasts and not necessarily actual production numbers.
Vive XR Elite & PSVR 2 - first impressions
The Vive brand has long been synonymous with excellent VR headsets for consumers and businesses. In recent years, however, the B2C offerings have faltered: They sometimes had quality issues and no real product-market fit. Will the Vive XR Elite change that? First impressions make us want more.
Meta is still far from building a "first-ever of its kind" AR headset
Kalinowski spent six years as a product designer at Apple before joining Oculus in 2013. Following the company's acquisition by Facebook, she led VR hardware development for nearly a decade. In that role, she was responsible for the product design of the Oculus Go and later the Oculus Quest. Now Kalinowski is trying to build what her boss calls "the holy grail" - and it won't be easy (obviously).
GPT-4 in Microsoft Bing
A new version of Microsoft's Bing search engine with a ChatGPT-like interface is said to have been online for a short time. The AI-based dialog search is said to be powered by GPT-4. Microsoft has not yet commented on the screenshots or the user reports. Meanwhile, Google is planning its big ChatGPT counterattack, presumably for the coming days.
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