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Microsoft snaffles virtual reality IP, readying for Xbox One specs to rival Project Morpheus?

Microsoft has its own VR goggles project on the boil, or at least it's busy acquiring the necessary elements which could "make it so" (ahem).

In terms of recent virtual reality juggernauts, first off we had the Oculus Rift – which had a dark social networking shadow cast over it last week – and then Sony's Project Morpheus for the PS4 (which we took for a hands-on spin).

However, according to Stuff, Redmond is planning to go more along an augmented reality route (overlaying objects onto the real world) as opposed to full virtual reality as such, enhancing for example multiplayer gaming (maybe recognising a player's voice and highlighting them). The specs will doubtless hook up with and complement Kinect, but at this stage, this is all very much guesswork – they may not ever exist.

TechCrunch picked up on the latest development for Redmond's potential specs, namely that it has been confirmed that Microsoft has splashed some $100 to $150 million (£60 to £90 million) on snaffling IP relating to AR headgear from Osterhout Design Group. Though there was talk about Redmond acquiring the company outright at one point, that obviously didn't happen – and ODG will remain a completely separate company, its founder confirmed to TechCrunch.

While some kind of Xbox VR/AR goggles could be on the cards, it's also possible that Microsoft has just bought this stash of 80 odd patents as a purely strategic move. Time will, as ever, tell the full tale...