Sony is in full swing to roll out the PlayStation VR before the end of this year. HTC and Oculus are also planning to release their VR tech. But at this point, Microsoft is actually testing the water in VR market. They have collaborated with Oculus to package an Xbox controller with purchase, but their own VR gear – the Augmented Reality-based HoloLens won’t be available in the market anytime soon (though it is ready for end consumers). This is because of the bad experience they had with the Kinect in the last decade.
Microsoft’s Alex Kipman shed light on high price tag of the HoloLens while actually rolling it out to the market, but that doesn’t seem like the right decision. Here is what he said in the TED event held in Vancouver:
“If a consumer bought it today, they would have 12 things to do with it. And they would say ‘Cool, I bought a $3,000 product that I can do 12 things with and now it is collecting dust.’”
This was the primary problem with Kinect which lasted for a long time giving Microsoft a tough time to gain market share.
The Kinect seemed specular in the tech demos, but in actual conditions of home, consumers swiftly found out the real usage of the the device was limited, and it didn’t give value for money apart from few fancy features like voice commands (when they functioned properly) and infrequent dance or sports titles.
Also note that Xbox One will never be able to match the total sales of the PS4. Considering all these there is no point in putting a price tag of $3,000 on the HoloLens when the Vive headset can be purchased with $800 and the Oculus Rift with $600.