Microsoft has once again played down speculation it plans to launch a virtual reality headset for the new Xbox Series X/S consoles.
A Microsoft spokesperson told Trusted Reviews “VR for console is not a focus for us at this time,” following a report seemingly indicating future VR support for the new wireless gaming headset.
IGN Italy reported that plugging an Xbox Wireless Headset to the Xbox Series X/S consoles showed a (translated) message informing them “an update for the VR headset is available.”
That immediately led to reports claiming the Xbox VR headset had ‘leaked’. However, in a statement, Microsoft said the message was simply down to a “localisation bug.”
Here’s the full statement from the Microsoft spokesperson: “The copy in this error message is inaccurate due to a localisation bug. VR for console is not a focus for us at this time.”
Microsoft hasn’t shown much interest in virtual reality for its Xbox consoles, saying it prefers its content to be viewed on a television set. However, Windows PCs are a different matter. The company’s mixed-reality efforts, spearheaded by the HoloLens headsets, are well documented.
There’s no reason why a HoloLens couldn’t be used with the Xbox console in the near future. It’s also possible the Xbox Wireless Headset can be used with a VR headset that isn’t Microsoft branded also. However, at this point, it seems pretty unlikely we’ll see a dedicated Xbox VR device.
The firm’s big console rival Sony recently announced its plans for a next-gen PSVR2 headset for use with the PlayStation 5. Last month, in a blog post, Sony said: “Today I’m pleased to share that our next-generation VR system will be coming to PlayStation 5, enabling the ultimate entertainment experience with dramatic leaps in performance and interactivity. Players will feel an even greater sense of presence and become even more immersed in their game worlds once they put on the new headset.”
Sony’s PSVR2 is far from imminent and won’t go on sale in 2021. However, it seems there won’t be an Xbox rival standing in its way.