Xbox Series X does not currently support VR. Unlike PlayStation 5, which supports the old PSVR headset and is getting PSVR 2 in the future, Microsoft’s plans for VR are a bit more mysterious. Nothing official has been announced, but the company’s dabbled with VR technology in the past — so there’s the possibility something could arrive at a later date.
Here’s what you need to know about VR on Xbox Series X, along with some alternatives to consider.
Head of Xbox Phil Spencer made it pretty clear in October 2021 that his team isn’t focused on VR. Instead, the core focus of Xbox remains software — more specifically, Game Pass.
“I think that when we think about immersion, we think about mixed reality, virtual reality, I’ll even take it to ‘metaverse,’ which seems to be the buzzword of the day now,” Spencer said during a Wall Street Journal interview. “We’re big believers in that software platform and the devices that will enable that, absolutely, [but] we’re focused a lot more on the software side of that right now. When I think about immersive worlds and I think about the connection of a player and community, that’s something that’s very high on our investment list.”
Spencer would go on to say that he applauds Sony and Oculus for their VR efforts, but that Xbox will stay “focused on software” for the foreseeable future. In other words, building up a stable of impressive games is more valuable than exploring VR. Seeing as the market already has some stiff competition, that’s a move that makes sense. And it’s one that’s already paying off — with Game Pass hitting 25 million subscribers in early 2022.
Xbox Series X is certainly powerful enough to support VR, so the decision not to develop a headset must be a business move.
While the VR outlook for Xbox Series X is bleak, there are plenty of alternatives to consider if you don’t mind stepping away from the Xbox ecosystem. Our best VR headsets roundup takes an in-depth look at all your options, but here’s a quick overview:
- Meta Quest 2: Not only is it relatively affordable (starting at $300) but this standalone headset doesn’t require any cables or external hardware. Just toss the device on your head, grab the two Touch Controllers, and you’re ready to play.
- Valve Index: Arguably the best all-around VR headset on the market, the Valve Index is an absolute powerhouse. You’ll need a high-end PC to run it and be willing to drop around $1,000, but few VR headsets can match the abilities of the Index.
- PSVR: If you’re looking for a good console-based VR solution, your only option right now is PSVR. Its successor, PSVR 2, is expected to arrive in the next year or so, but there are no firm details about its launch date from Sony.
It’s hard to say if VR will arrive on Xbox Series X in the future. Microsoft certainly hasn’t announced any plans, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. The company has previously worked on the HoloLens (a mixed reality system for business use), so it could have a strong foundation for making a gaming-based VR headset.
Spencer did state in 2020 that adding VR would be a “no-brainer” if the technology continued to gain popularity. VR seems to be more mainstream than ever, so there is the possibility that Microsoft will throw its hat into the ring.
For now, however, Xbox Series X fans will have to seek out an alternative source to get their VR fix.
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