The Electronic Entertainment Expo or E3 is a popular conference where new games and consoles are announced.
There was no expectation of new consoles being announced, but I had even heard murmurs that this would be the last generation of consoles. I didn’t think that would be the case, but you never know.
Fortunately, Phil Spencer, head of Xbox at Microsoft, announced that the hardware team is in fact working on the next generation of consoles. There was no timeframe given and I’d expect it wouldn’t come any sooner than 2020 or 2021, but it was encouraging to see that they are working on the next generation.
There are some great looking games coming as well. It reminded me of my pile of shame… the long list of games I have that I’ve never played. Some were from the Xbox Games with Gold that are free with the Xbox Live Gold membership and some are from where I bought them on sale.
You can watch a small part of the E3 conference where Microsoft commits to gaming in the video this week as well as some changes coming to my YouTube channel.
This week, since Windows 10 Fall Creators Update came out, I was able to upgrade my main development machine. I have been waiting on that for a while as my main dev machine has the NVIDIA 1080Ti GTX.
Now a few weeks back Microsoft announced that SteamVR would be supported on the Mixed Reality devices. But there was little information as to what that looked like exactly. In fact, I had a fellow MVP tell me that “’SteamVR’ was a marketing promise, not a real one”.
Fortunately, that turned out not to be the case. After I installed the Fall Creators Update, I opened a couple of native Windows Store apps first. The first one being vTime. It is a VR social area like a few others out there. I setup my avatar and tried out a couple of the cool locations they had. But I didn’t actually try to connect with anyone… I had more things to try out!
I did a couple of other things but then I brought up SteamVR and played the “War Robots VR: The Skirmish” game I downloaded when I first got the headsets to see if it would work. It didn’t work then, but I was able to launch a beta version of SteamVR that actually launched inside of the Mixed Reality Portal.
I transferred from my Cliff House room and I was brought into the SteamVR room. From there, I was able to browse the SteamVR store and my library and then I was able to play that War Robots game. It was a great experience. I really liked how I could move my head and it used that to turn the big mech I was in around.
I then grabbed a few more free titles from SteamVR like Google Earth VR, The Lab, Rec Room, Anyland, Bigscreen, and some more. I actually only tried out Google Earth VR and the Lab. I spent a lot of time playing and enjoy the Lab. I wanted Google Earth VR to work, but it was pretty buggy and I couldn’t get it to actually get past step 5 of 7 in the tour to get started. Assuming I can figure it out, I liked what I saw and would love to be able to see different places in VR.
The Lab was really a great experience. I think some of it is because of my love for Portal and Portal 2, but the actual Slingshot gameplay was really a lot of fun. You can see me playing that part of the game in this week’s video:
Around August of last year, I ran a contest to give away an Xbox Controller that was themed like the HoloLens. I even had“HoloLens Edition” engraved on the controller – unfortunately, it doesn’t show up in this picture, but it does on the website where you can order your own!