Recently, Nintendo announced that they will introduce VR on the Nintendo Switch, integrating virtual reality hardware into an upcoming Nintendo Labo set. Of course, PlayStation has experienced great success with its console VR platform, reaching more than 1.3 million sales of the PSVR just last year, which demonstrates the demand for virtual reality on consoles. Yet, the lack of Xbox VR hardware suggests that Microsoft is falling behind in this area; is Xbox One VR coming in the near future? Is there an Xbox VR release date? Read on to find out more about the future of VR on Xbox.
Is there Xbox VR? | Xbox VR release date
While there seems to be demand for VR hardware on the Xbox One, it was reported back in June 2018 that Microsoft was no longer working on Xbox VR. This decision was made based on a belief that console gaming is focused on “experiences you would play on your TV,” according to Chief Marketing Officer for Gaming Mike Nichols.
Of course, Microsoft has pursued VR compatibility on Windows, and invested in the development of the HoloLens technology, so the capability to develop future VR headsets remains strong. However, former efforts to develop an in-house VR headset are reportedly now on hold, so a dedicated Xbox VR headset isn’t likely to appear any time soon.
While no Xbox VR release date is on the horizon, a pre-production version of the HoloLens was released on March 30, 2016. Additionally, HoloLens 2 was announced on February 24, 2019, at the Mobile World Congress, with it being available to pre-order for $3500.
VR isn’t a priority for the Microsoft C-Suite, following the firm belief that in its current form, VR is best suited to PC gaming only. Commenting on the software and applications available on VR platforms, Xbox VP Mike Ybarra more recently complained that the technology was not yet “worthwhile”, suggesting that this lack of support for VR is still embedded within Microsoft. Of course, the next console generation is quickly coming to fruition, and demand for Xbox VR on their next console could well swing this opinion.