Will There Be An Xbox VR Headset In 2023?

white xbox one console on white table

Ever since PlayStation released its VR headset in 2016, gamers have been wondering if we’ll ever be able to see Xbox-exclusive VR Headsets. However, until now, no concrete plans have been released for Microsoft’s plan to step into the gaming VR hardware category, as they are currently focusing on developing immersive games.

VR gaming is expected to reach $2.4 billion by 2024, indicating the tremendous growth in this industry. As demand for immersive VR games is increasing exponentially, many gamers are questioning why the latest Xbox series X does not support VR. 

Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming, also stated in 2021 that there are no plans for creating VR hardware for Xbox. Instead, the company believes that Microsoft’s cloud software is pivotal in establishing its gaming ecosystem and that VR software would be a better category to focus on.

Key Points

  • This article aims to provide insights on the probability of an Xbox VR headset launch, the company’s future plans, and how it contributes to the Metaverse and the future of Xbox gaming in the upcoming years.
  • VR Headsets allow users to step into customized virtual environments by wearing hardware that combines various sensors with stereoscopic displays. They can be utilized for gaming, learning and entertainment purposes.
  • These headsets play a significant role in the Metaverse by helping users step into “virtual worlds” to provide immersive experiences.
  • Microsoft has yet to indicate any plans to release an Xbox VR Headset soon, despite their competitors’ success with their VR hardware.
  • Instead, Microsoft is focusing on launching an Xbox Cloud Gaming Integration that would make the Game Pass Library available on the MetaQuest2.
  • Xbox’s unconventional approach to leverage their cloud gaming on other headsets may pay off in the long run as it allows them to focus on other important milestones.
  • Prior to their partnership with Meta, gamers were utilizing the Xbox Companion App on their PC to use a VR headset to play games, but this was causing significant lagging issues in the games.

What Is A VR Headset?

A VR Headset is simply a high-definition display that allows users to immerse themselves in virtual environments to connect, play, work, shop and much more from a first-person perspective. These headsets transform the user’s current surroundings with a customized virtual environment that contains 3D objects and much more. 

These experiences can be highly engaging and allow users to experience VR from any location. For example, you can sit in your house and ride a roller coaster by simply wearing a VR Headset or while playing games; you can fight off monsters using your VR Headset and controllers. 

Working Mechanism

VR headsets utilize a combination of sensors such as high-definition displays, accelerometers, magnetometers, cameras and more. Most VR headsets come with controllers that allow users to move around and interact with virtual environments; however, modern headsets also include hand-tracking features. This eliminates the need for controllers and provides more freedom to users. The headset also features 3D audio, thus enhancing immersion.

Evolution of VR Headsets

Virtual Reality has been around for years, but VR Headsets have always been expensive, bulky and uncomfortable. However, now those VR Headsets have transformed into smaller versions, lightweight headsets, smartphones and others. These are cheaper and provide much better features than earlier models. 

Popular VR Headsets

There are numerous popular virtual reality headsets, such as:

Oculus Rift

A computer-dependent device called the Oculus Rift helped revive awareness around Virtual Reality after the Oculus VR firm ran a victorious Kickstarter project. Using Touch devices and tracking technologies, the Rift allows users to navigate across three-dimensional spaces practically.

HTC Vive

The HTC Vive relies on a potent gaming personal computer to function. Users may freely roam around a 15′ by 15′ space thanks to dual ground units. Together with video game software developer Portal, the system was created.

PSVR

PlayStation VR uses a PlayStation 4 instead of a computer. The device reproduces the virtual reality headgear display on a television.

Samsung Gear VR

A mobile phone capsule that takes advantage of the device’s computing power is the Samsung Gear VR. The technology was created with Oculus VR and supports premium Samsung Galaxy devices.

MetaQuest 2

The MetaQuest 2 is one of the most popular VR headsets to date. This is due to wireless connectivity, compatibility with other devices, affordable price, stunning displays and other exciting features. There have been over 14.8 million units sold since its launch, making it one of the most successful headsets in existence. 

Will an Xbox VR Headset be Unveiled in 2023?

The Xbox makers have clearly stated that they focus more on the gaming software than on the hardware. So far, they have no plans of creating a separate headset for Xbox. However, that does not mean that the users cannot enjoy the Xbox on VR headsets. It is expected that in the coming years, the Xbox Cloud Gaming will soon be coming to the Quest 2 VR headset.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has announced that the Xbox Cloud Gaming Beta version will soon be coming to the market and will be able for the Meta Quest Platform. Even though Meta Quest will not be an Xbox VR Headset, it can stream Xbox games directly and connect with the Xbox controller so users can enjoy the games to the fullest that are compatible with being played over the cloud. These will include the games from the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate library, which the gamers can enjoy over high-definition VR screens.

This feature is expected to launch in 2023, but there has yet to be an exact date. It is anticipated that this transformation will make accessing the Xbox controller, the Quest headset, and games that are compatible with the cloud and available through Xbox Game Pass easy with only a single requirement of a steady internet connection which will connect all three.

How Does This Link to The Metaverse?

The Metaverse focuses on providing immersive experiences through predesigned 3D virtual environments. VR headsets are thus a significant building block for the Metaverse because they allow users to immerse themselves into the virtual realm and experience it from a first-person perspective.

Xbox’s approach to their VR strategy offers another unique key benefit to the Metaverse, i.e., making it accessible to a broader range of users through their cloud gaming service. This eliminates the need for powerful local hardware such as consoles, and users will be able to simply experience virtual environments within games through VR headsets. This will give users access to the massive library of Xbox games.

Furthermore, the company’s vision is clear, with Microsoft heavily investing in the Metaverse. They aim to “blend” virtual and augmented realities to create a shared, interconnected world. The cloud gaming aspect is a fundamental part of this vision, as it allows Microsoft to provide high-end VR experiences by leveraging hardware that is already developed.

Apart from the gaming aspect, Microsoft is also working dedicatedly on their version of “mixed reality” through their MR headset, i.e., the Hololens 2. The headset is much pricier than other simple VR headsets because it offers much more unique features, such as the ability to overlay 3D virtual objects in a user’s physical surroundings. These objects can also be interacted with, thus creating an impression of “mixed” reality.

What is the Future of Xbox Gaming?

The future of Xbox Gaming is very exciting, as VR enthusiasts will soon be able to access Microsoft’s extensive library of games through their collaboration with Meta. The Xbox gaming application will be brought to Microsoft Edge, Windows 11 and Samsung Smart Televisions. While we might not have much to look forward to in terms of Xbox VR headsets, their unique approach towards focusing solely on software indicates that we can expect a lot more in terms of accessibility and interactive gameplay.

Xbox Application to Samsung Smart Television

The Xbox App was released on Samsung Smart TVs in 2022, enabling gamers to play thousands of cloud-based games without needing a console. This entails free Fortnite and access to thousands of titles in their Game Pass Ultimate collection. The Xbox gaming experience on Samsung’s 2022 Smart televisions has received great reviews due to its smooth operation compared to other television broadcasting applications.

All you have to do is open the Xbox application from the Samsung Media Hub or Gaming Hub, sign in with your Microsoft account, and then connect your preferred Bluetooth controller. You can access many fantastic cloud-based games if you own a Game Pass Ultimate membership, or you can enjoy Fortnite without one.

Expanding Xbox Cloud Gaming

Currently, Xbox Cloud Gaming is made accessible to users in Argentina and New Zealand. To fulfil demand and expand the number of individuals who can access gaming.

Subscribers of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate in Argentina and New Zealand get access to thousands of games. This is done through the cloud. Which they can experience on Windows personal computers, Xbox Series X and S and Xbox One consoles, iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, and soon on Samsung smart televisions thanks to their launching partner.

Argentina and New Zealand gamers may enjoy Fortnite with Xbox Cloud Gaming without any costs and even a subscription, much like gamers in other nations.

New Gaming Experiences on Windows 11 and Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge is constantly being developed to satisfy gamers’ requirements and provide universal access to gaming. The PC version of Microsoft Edge will soon receive unique latest gaming capabilities, including certain Xbox Cloud Gaming functionalities, such as:

  • An innovative, customized gaming home page with updates, some gaming tips, different live broadcasts, video game highlights, competitions, forthcoming and newly published titles, and the Xbox Cloud Gaming library with quick access to currently played games and related information.
  • Playing via the Microsoft Edge browser on Windows enhances the visibility and sharpness of cloud-based games. Microsoft Edge’s latest Games menu makes it simple to experience free, well-known games like Microsoft Solitaire, Microsoft Jewel, Atari Asteroids, and the browser-exclusive Surf game while also introducing users to new ones.
  • Immediately reduce the number of resources the browser uses when playing PC games on Windows 10 and 11 to enhance the gaming experience and keep it operating quickly and smoothly by enabling efficiency mode

For an improved gaming experience, Windows 11 will soon receive new updates:

The Windows Insider program is presently testing enhancements for windows based games. These are intended to reduce latency significantly and open up more fun gameplay features like Auto HDR and VRR (Variable Refresh Rate).

Gamers can enhance the color precision and uniformity of existing HDR displays using forthcoming HDR calibration software. Gamers may explore and find games from Game Pass and return to previously played games using the Game Pass Widget.

The gamepad bar includes buttons for popular game launchers. Such as the Xbox application, and a list of the latest previous games. Gamers may return to their games or join Xbox Cloud Gaming. Via the control bar without using a mouse or keyboard. 

Xbox Game Pass Membership Advancements

The Xbox Game Pass offers subscribers access to a massive library of games to explore. This includes new titles and also is the first place where forthcoming titles are released. In 2023,  the initiative will spread out. First concentrating on giving independent creators from all over the globe more opportunities to increase interest in their games. Interested developers will be able to monitor the performance of their demos and get payment. Thus allowing them to express their creativity on Xbox and connect with new users through Game Pass.

The Xbox Design Lab

Rising interest in customization options makes Xbox Design Lab popular among gamers. It allows gamers to express their individuality and creates unlimited combinations of controller options. 

Users can personalize different parts of the controllers such as the thumbsticks, buttons and the backplates. Microsoft could expand the lab to include other hardware accessories such as carrying cases, charging stands etc. Another exciting feature that could be added is the ability to upload your own customer designs, images or artwork.

FAQs

  • How Do VR Headsets Work?

Virtual Reality headsets utilize a combination of in-built sensors, displays and cameras to allow users to enter simulated realities. Modern-day headsets such as the MetaQuest2 offer wireless connectivity, hand tracking, HD displays, 3D audio and many more exciting features.  

  • Will Microsoft release an Xbox VR headset in the coming years?

It is very difficult to tell if Microsoft will change their vision to incorporate VR hardware advancements in the near future. According to statements by the CEO of Microsoft gaming, the company is choosing to expand its Microsoft Cloud Gaming network.

  • Why is there no Xbox VR Headset so far?

The company is taking a unique approach towards making its place in the VR gaming industry. Instead of creating VR headsets, Microsoft is leveraging its existing massive library of games to make it compatible with MetaQuest2. This approach will maximize their accessibility, and they would be able to focus on developing core software for the gaming industry.

References

Xbox Cloud Gaming Is Coming To Quest 2 VR Headsets – VRScout

VR for Xbox – What VR Headset Works With Xbox One and Xbox 360?

Why Is There No Xbox VR? (makeuseof.com)

Xbox VR: everything you need to know (nybreaking.com)

Microsoft ignores VR at its Xbox One X launch event | TechCrunch

VR headsets to look out for in 2023 (mixed-news.com)

Xbox VR: everything you need to know | TechRadar

Virtual reality headset – Wikipedia

Definition of VR headset | PCMag

Xbox Game Pass is coming to Quest VR headsets – Protocol

How Do Virtual Reality Headsets Work? – XR Today

Xbox Cloud Gaming is coming to the Meta Quest – The Verge

What is VR headset (virtual reality headset)? | Definition from TechTarget

Xbox is Building the Gaming Platform for the Next 20 Years – Xbox Wire

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