At the start of March 2017, Microsoft insisted that their foray into virtual reality, Windows Mixed Reality, was an important part of the plan for their upcoming Xbox One X console. The VR headset launched for Windows 10 just six months later, bringing along an initial burst of third-party headsets, controllers and games. Since then, support has dwindled and Phil Spencer has repeatedly stated that VR gaming is not a priority for the Xbox consoles right now. The result is the headset has been removed from their affiliate programme, as noticed by Windows United, and this isn't a good sign for its future.
The affiliate programme incentivises third-party partners to encourage sales of Microsoft products. By removing products from the programme, it's either because they're doing incredibly well and Microsoft wants to focus purely on first-party sales, or because they're not doing well at all. While Minecraft and Xbox Game Pass have also been removed, nobody can argue about the success of either of those products. Windows Phones and Windows Mixed Reality, however, are on the other side of the coin.
The problem is Windows Mixed Reality has found more of a home in industrial applications rather than in gaming, especially within the military sector. The contract with the US Army to produce headsets for training purposes was reportedly worth $480m to Microsoft and caused a significant increase in sale of headsets. However, its lack of traction in the gaming sector would explain why it was removed from the affiliate programme and signals that Microsoft won't be focusing efforts in that direction anytime soon. It seems like players will have to get their VR fix elsewhere for now.
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