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Xbox VR - everything we know so far

Microsoft could take on Sony's PSVR 2 with its own Xbox VR headset, so here is everything we know about the debut of Xbox VR so far.

Xbox VR: An image of a concept Xbox VR headset and Master Chief from Halo Infinite.

Like you, we’re eager to see if Microsoft’s take on Xbox VR. How it Xbox VR compete with other rivals on the market, and what kind of games could we get to play on it? With glossy consoles like the Xbox Series X|S to game on these days, Microsoft’s lack of VR gear is exceptionally strange in the grand scheme of things.

Microsoft’s main rival, Sony, offers a next-gen virtual reality experience, as we mentioned in our PSVR 2 review. But Xbox is still behind on making one of the best VR headsets for its legion of console gamers. Right now, while there aren’t any new Xbox games made for Xbox virtual reality just yet, could we see an Xbox VR headset in the future?

Is Xbox VR coming?

It’s unlikely that an Xbox VR headset will be coming anytime soon. Xbox Game Studios’ Matt Booty, said in a June 2023 interview with The Hollywood Reporter that Microsoft is waiting for a larger VR audience. As such, we’d expect a bespoke Xbox VR headset in the next generation of consoles, at the earliest.

The closest Microsoft and Xbox have got to releasing a VR headset is through the HoloLens. Unlike other headsets, the HoloLens is an augmented reality/mixed reality headset, and it’s definitely not designed with gamers in mind, even more so when you consider the HoloLens 2’s steep price of $3,500. It’s designed with businesses in mind, allowing for a new level of productivity. There was a Minecraft HoloLens demo at E3 2015 (yes, that far back), but it was never seen again.

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The VR market is undeniably niche, with the Meta Quest 2 leading the way with almost 20 million headset sales. But considering the productivity benefits of VR and mixed reality in other industries, not all of those headset owners will be gaming orientated. For a comparison to hardware that is strictly for gaming, the original PSVR sold around five million units in its lifetime.

Considering that the Meta Quest 2 (and its successors, the Quest Pro and Quest 3) are standalone devices, it’s in an easier spot to sell more units than something like the PSVR, which requires a specific console to use. The PSVR’s successor, the PSVR 2, is around $500 on its own, meaning you’d need to spend over $1,000 to get into VR through PlayStation.

However, the Xbox VR dream is drawing ever so slightly closer, as Xbox Game Pass games became playable on select Meta Quest headsets in December 2023. Unfortunately, it’s only the cloud-streaming version of the games served up on a flat screen in the mixed or virtual world, but it is at least something for now.

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If you have a Meta Quest already and want to get started, you’ll first need to subscribe to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. From there, download the Xbox Cloud Gaming app from the Meta Quest store before following the tutorial to pair it up with a supported controller – these include Xbox controllers as well as those with Bluetooth support (so most should work). Finally, log in to your Microsoft account and you’re good to go!

Will Xbox VR be on Xbox Series X|S?

It’s highly unlikely, considering the fact that we’re halfway through the current console generation, and there’s no sign of Xbox committing to an Xbox VR headset for Xbox Series X|S. In that case, if an Xbox VR headset ever arrives, we expect it on the next generation of consoles.

Limiting an Xbox VR headset to the current generation of consoles would be an awful move this far into the generation, with no sight of any VR games coming from Xbox’s set of studios. Unless they decided to do what PSVR didn’t and make them backward compatible à la Smart Delivery, Xbox’s program allows you to purchase a game once and play it on various platforms in the Xbox ecosystem. That would also go a long way to allowing you to play Xbox VR games on a PC, too.

For now, don’t expect Xbox VR to be coming on to the Series X|S anytime soon, if ever. You’ll most likely have to wait for the next-gen Xbox release date to finally arrive.

Does Xbox Series X|S support VR?

Unfortunately, the Xbox Series X|S does not support VR currently and is unlikely to happen anytime soon. Allowing connectivity with third-party VR headsets would be a painstaking development job, due to how it would need to be implemented, tested with numerous headsets, and more.

While it doesn’t support VR right now, there was some confusion back in 2021. According to IGN Italy, a notification popped up when the Italian Xbox users plugged in the Xbox Wireless Headset which read “An update is available for your VR headset”. However, this was later ruled as a localization error by Microsoft.

However, if Microsoft and Xbox ever implemented support for VR, there are plenty of titles that could use it with an update. Titles like Resident Evil Village, Resident Evil 4 remake, and No Man’s Sky all have VR support on PlayStation 5, and we’d love to see them have VR compatibility on Xbox.

That being said, if you want to experience the world of VR and not wait around for it to happen on Xbox, we’d seriously suggest buying one of the alternatives below. Virtual Reality, while niche, is absolutely amazing, and some of the best VR games right now feel like playing something from the future. We’d highly recommend the below options to get into VR gaming.

Best Xbox VR alternatives

For those hoping to jump into the world of VR, it may seem confusing to know which VR headsets are the best to experience the possible future of gaming. However, we recommend the Meta Quest 3 (or its predecessor, the Quest 2) for standalone experiences, as well as being able to connect it to a PC. In fact, if you own a PC, you can get some of the best VR games on the market right now.

What Xbox VR games are there?

Sadly, with no VR equipment to use right, there aren’t any games on Xbox that offer a true Xbox VR experience. However, there are some worthy contenders that we’d love to see get the VR treatment on Microsoft’s ever-popular console.

Games like Superhot, Hitman 3, and Resident Evil 4 remake currently have solid VR support available on PC and PSVR 2, and if an Xbox VR headset comes to fruition, we reckon these games would be at the top of the list when it comes to Xbox VR support. Hitman 3’s new Meta Quest 3 port looks leaps and bounds better than its PSVR 2 counterpart, but it is unfair that Xbox players are left on the sidelines. Hopefully this will change in the future.

That’s everything we know about the Xbox VR right now, and while there’s no confirmation yet, we’re hoping Xbox can finally rival PSVR 2. For now, if you’re hoping to expand your Xbox experience, you can pick up the best TV for Xbox Series X right now, or find out the best Xbox controllers if you’re hoping for a new gadget for your Xbox.