E3 2017: Xbox One X Will Support VR, Microsoft Assures

by Jamie Feltham • June 15th, 2017

It’s been a strange week for Xbox and VR. The latest addition to Microsoft’s console brand, Xbox One X, was finally revealed in full, but the promised VR support was not detailed. Since then Xbox boss Phil Spencer has downplayed the importance of VR on a console, saying he isn’t often asked about it. Rest assured, though, the X will support VR at some point.

Spencer confirmed as much to CNET earlier this week at E3. There’s no direct quote, but he apparently confirmed the box fully supports VR and the company’s commitment to the tech hadn’t changed. Previously, Microsoft stated that it would bring mixed reality — it’s term to cover all things from VR to HoloLens — to the device in 2018. Xbox One X, meanwhile, will launch in November for $499. Expect to hear more on the console’s VR support next year.

Right now Microsoft is instead focused on bringing VR to PCs with its own line of Windows 10 VR headsets, made in partnership with the likes of Dell. These devices support inside-out tracking, with no external sensors necessary, and will have their own six degrees of freedom (6DOF) controllers. The first set from Acer will be launching for $300.

It remains to be seen if it’s these devices that will support the X, though Microsoft has hinted that it wants VR on consoles to be wireless. Is it possible the company will have a fully wireless headset ready to go for its new console next year? We’re hoping so, but we’ll have to sit tight for now.

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  • Sean Lumly

    This is very reassuring (if true, MS’s talking heads cannot be taken for their word) for the VR community, though I fear the timing bodes poorly for competition sake (they are really late) at which point the competition will likely refresh their units.

    Honestly, I cannot see the OneX moving enough units to justify a VR headset, though they may have VR ready PC ports on Windows Store, and allow users to plug compatible HMDs into the system. And if it is a niche market, then the XBVR may have exposure limited to a very small group of gamers.

  • MrLonghair

    Once again MS do the YES we meant NO actually its YES dont listen to him NO oops we meant YES thing…………

    • d0x360

      Wtf are you talking about? What have they ever done that with?

      Please fill us in

      • Multiplataformgamerz

        They removed VR from the online specification. Then they said that didn’t mean it wouldn’t support VR. Then they said VR support would be 2018. Then they said it would receive Windows MR support in 2018. Then they said they believed console VR should be wireless, but didn’t specify if that was their plan for One X, then Phil Spencer said he was surprised people were asking about it as he didn’t believe those wires were a good idea for the living room and that they were focusing on MR for Windows PCs

        • d0x360

          Vr support for the console is a matter of drivers. It’s a USB device, HDMI device and that’s it. I have no doubt VR works fine on the original xb1 right now.

          They aren’t officially supporting Anything just like they never officially supported 3d TV’s but at any moment they could.

          If VR gets bigger than it is instead of stalling out then chances are they will support it. There is nothing about any model Xbox preventing you from hooking up a Vive or oculus.

          Sony spent a significant amount of money on VR and while initial numbers looked promising how is it looking now? Not so great.

          • Multiplataformgamerz

            i couldn’t call outselling both biggest headsets together “not so great” (psvr sales > oculus + HTC), if anything, the whole VR market is “not so great”, the launch of a sony headset did promote VR in a way, it automatically doubled the VR gamers (which also means VR market) and made AAA devs move to VR development. The fact that they keep releasing VR games every week for the platform, speaks volumes.
            I don’t get why so much hate to VR tho, and more, hate to console gaming in general, people that owns a PC seem to have autoestim problems, which is strange because neither me or my friends are like that and we own both things.
            VR is also demanding, it’s no that simple as “plug USB and HDMI and we are ready”, the breakbox frees the ps4 from doing 3D stereo and gyroscope tracking so resources go to light tracking and the game itself, if that was easier, the breakbox wouldn’t be needed.
            Funny enough is i don’t even own a psvr, i’m just well informed, i have a vive tho, but my cousin has one and it works pretty well, tracking is leaps and bounds better on vive tho hands down.

          • d0x360

            I don’t understand why some pc gamers hate on consoles either. I’m primarily a pc gamer but I own all the consoles and tell plenty of pc gamers they are idiots for acting like fanboys.

            Just because Sony needed to use a box for psvr doesn’t mean Microsoft would on the x1x. The setup for the Oculus and Vive is literally a couple USB cables and and an HDMI cable.

            Unlike the both the PS4 and the PS4 pro the x1x has enough gpu resources to handle mid range pc quality vr with no issue. Hell the only reason the pro even exists is because the regular PS4 really doesn’t have the power for vr so they hoped people would upgrade and get a better experience. Proper vr requires quite a bit of power. I have a gtx 1080 in my PC and even with that there are games that struggle to maintain the ideal 90fps refresh rate.
            Sony paid Capcom to make re7 a vr title so you really can’t count that one and Bethesda is adding VR to Skyrim and fallout because it’s simple to do so and they can sell the same games again likely for full price. That has absolutely nothing to do with Sony.

            Vr sales on pc are lower than PS4 simply because of price. Of course the trade off is VR on PC is superior in every possible way. Better tracking, better visuals, better image quality, higher frame rates and much better controls.

            People are waiting for prices to come down and for headsets to become wireless which should really start happening in 2018 along with a likely update to the displays in the HMD’s so they can display higher resolution which means improved image quality.

          • Multiplataformgamerz

            well yea, the pro being made for a better VR is true, reason why both projects were called “Neo” and “Morpheus”, tho VR in PS4 is quite good for it’s limited resources, i’m more surprised about how they nailed it, but truth said, it’s not “there” yet, it’s good enough for a sit down experience and quite good depending on the game for standing up experiences (Farpoint with the AIM is one of the best VR shooters i ever played, we can nail it on the Vive but it’s not quite as good in terms of feeling a gun in your hands), they didn’t do bad, but didn’t do great either, they got ride of problems like SDE and God Rays while added problems to tracking, nonetheless this step added to VR, and yes you are right, nothing stops MS from having VR in xbox, but it also requires to work in a VR environment, they have an advantage tho, they are almost ready with their VR environment for Windows, but so far FPS and resolution are not just there, MR for now is 30 fps, that won’t be good for VR-mode stuff

          • d0x360

            The whole point is with the x1x provided Microsoft allows it you could use an Oculus or a Vive.

            Allllll the other stuff we both posted is completely irrelevant

          • Multiplataformgamerz

            not much irrelevant, without a niche gamer base, there’s no end-user where to point at your sales, that’s the base for any business, the rest is indeed more irrelevant if there’s no user to sell your system, and it will still be irrelevant if there’s nothing being made for the XBX in regards of VR, but nothing says that there’s nothing in the future, at least Sony proved that VR in consoles is fairly possible, MS just need to join the train.

          • d0x360

            MS will join the train when there are profits to be made. For psvr to break even Sony would need to sell 3 million units a year and each psvr owner would need to buy 2 games that cost $30 or more.

            Besides have you not noticed all the VR stuff Microsoft is doing right now? Think it’s a coincidence because it isn’t. They will allow the use of something like the Oculus or vive etc instead of developing another HMD. There is no need to.

          • Multiplataformgamerz

            yea i pointed that out, Ms is working on it’s own VR environment, but it’s far from being there yet, 30 fps, 90 FOV, that’s not close to the lowest VR phone headsets, but it makes a lot of sense to rely VR on the already solid headsets. But that also means compromise, XB is a closed environment, any problem caused by a hardware that is not their own will bring sues if they don’t control it, and while Vive and Oculus are VR powerhouses, they are FAR from perfect, they work wonderful in most PC, but, i dare to say, a LOT of PC even on the right hardware spot, have their issues, mostly related to GPU. That’s a problem you encounter when you work with hardware you don’t control, more when that environment is optimized for something, like a game console. I’m sure tho, MS will apply the VR environment to XB at some point in the future, after all they use the same kernel for everything now, which at the same time worries me, Windows Kernel is a mess, nonetheless, and you can’t mess up in VR. Time will tell, for the sake of VR i hope it goes well, my 2 cents.

          • d0x360

            I don’t think you quite understand what the kernel is but there is nothing wrong with the kernel in Windows. As for sharing a kernel…only sort of.
            No the 1st versions of Oculus and vive aren’t perfect but they are the best but you will never see Microsoft make an Xbox 1x VR headset. They will use the PC sets. They won’t make an “Xbox VR”

          • Multiplataformgamerz

            i do understand what a kernel is, quite part of my career and job, tho i work on Linux, not Windows NT (ancient to say the least)
            and the last statement, again, it’s a closed environment, MS brand all over, it’s not “it’s my OS on YOUR machine, your problem” which is pretty much part of the ToS of W10, XB is a MS product, anything wrong with it will hit back MS, no one else.
            I’m just curious how it will be dealt by MS in the case they take that route, but as far as it goes, i see them taking another approach, 3rd party MS “licensed” devices, which is already in the process for PC.

          • d0x360

            Im standing by my kernel statement. Vr not games have anything close to kernel level access and never will.

            Almost all if not all instability in any version of Windows since 9x comes from third-party programs and or drivers it has nothing to do with the kernel

          • Multiplataformgamerz

            Well just no get to a final point, the NT kernel itself is just a modification of the old DOS kernel, windows kernel itself is the problem of bad HW management, which leads to several driver patches, it’s not 3rd party fault, it’s the other way around, reason why 3rd party can’t rely on windows dll set and have to make their own in order to not crash the OS (dll hell) or just because the OS doesn’t support the features they need, which leads to wasted CPU/RAM/GPU power, critical when it comes to a game in a console. Also in consoles you DO have kernel level access, it is restricted, but it’s there, but there we are talking about the OS not the kernel.
            We could continue this convo but i think i’m going off topic here, the point is, my worry is about a non-MS hardware trying to work in a closed MS environment, i’ve seen this in the past, and didn’t go well (hello WP)

          • d0x360

            I’m sorry but we are going to have to completely disagree here on all points about a kernel.

            Also nothing user facing has kernel level access on the xbox one or PS4 for that matter. If they did then a simple glitch in a game could give the user write access to the system ROM which would lead to piracy because you could easily read the decryption key.

          • Multiplataformgamerz

            dev kernel access (never said user, user=/=executer) is why jailbreak is possible on PS4
            tho it’s extended in other ways
            but let’s just agree to disagree

          • d0x360

            None of the multiple exploits for PS4 gave kernel level access. Not one. If they did it would have been decompiled and dumped online, it’s never been. Hell I could do it to mine except for one problem…none of them granted kernel level access lol. I would love to be able to have kernel access to the PS4 but it’s not possible.

            Exploiting a flaw in a function call to the kernel and having full read write access are completely different things.

            Completely.

    • TimothyStone

      As I said before, it’s really a PR thing. They don’t want to kill momentum for products that they and their partners having coming out later this year. It’s as simple as that.

      If people knew that next generation Wireless VR was coming out for the Xbox in late 2018, what do you think would happen to the wired versions for the PC coming this year?

  • Gary Moran

    Microsoft’s position that Xbox One X supports, or will support, VR is simply not credible.

    It is obvious that Microsoft no longer have concrete plans on this, and this is the reason for so many mixed messages. Phil Spencer’s BBC interview was the nail in the coffin for any realistic hopes.

    One X may eventually get something, but at this moment in time MS have no idea how this will occur.

    • d0x360

      Uh no…

      The reason they aren’t talking about it is simply because the install base of vr is microscopic compared to the installed base of the consoles and gaming PC’s

      There is simply no reason to talk about it yet especially since we all know it’s going to happen.

      • Gary Moran

        The issue isn’t that they are not talking about it: it’s that when they do talk about it there are such mixed messages and that the overall tone is dismissive. That isn’t how a company behaves when it has a plan.

        They removed VR from the online specification. Then they said that didn’t mean it wouldn’t support VR. Then they said VR support would be 2018. Then they said it would receive Windows MR support in 2018. Then they said they believed console VR should be wireless, but didn’t specify if that was their plan for One X, then Phil Spencer said he was surprised people were asking about it as he didn’t believe those wires were a good idea for the living room and that they were focusing on MR for Windows PCs.

      • Gary Moran

        See RoadToVR: xbox-head-phil-spencer-clarifies-stance-vr-xbox-one-x-refreshingly-candid-interview

        Phil Spencer’s interview with Giant Bomb’s Jeff Gerstman makes it as plain as day that they have no current plans for VR or MR on Xbox One X

  • Multiplataformgamerz

    “apparently confirmed”
    great journalism ….

  • NooYawker

    Hey yea man, we care.. we just said we didn’t care. I know MS is smarter than this. They released hololens for devs and they have a low end VR dev kit for the PC. I’m sure they won’t ignore VR on the Xbox but maybe don’t say stupid shit like “we don’t get a lot of questions about VR” Just because you’re VR gear isn’t ready.

  • ender707

    I wonder if the power of the original Xbox One is a factor here. It seems they are in an awkward situation where they said the Xbox One and the X will be able to play the same games, but this may not apply to future VR titles.

    • Braycen Jackwitz

      They’ve always said VR would be Scorpio/One X only since they announced it last year.

      • ender707

        Oh I missed that.

  • John Collins

    From past Microsoft decisions I see this as trying not to muddy the waters. The whole time since the announcement of the X they made sure that every game that has been made for xbox one and announced will work on all One consoles. If they then said these games are only VR and will only work on Scorpio they would get crucified. While I would have liked some concrete info I am not sure what would make me happy. Supporting the big 2 headsets or banking on the HMD’s from 3rd parties that aren’t even out? I don’t like it but I would rather wait until all HMD’s are launched and then have them tell us which one exactly. Hopefully either way they go I can use the same HMD for PC and Xbox.

    • d0x360

      Not really true…

      Vr scales just like any game. Most VR games have pixel density built right in to the settings so the original Xbox one could run vr games just fine with paired down visuals just like the regular PS4 does.

      Also of they said you NEED a Xbox one X to run VR then people who want it and don’t have a capable pc would buy it.

      Vr on the PS4 is awful. Vr on the PS4 pro is also pretty awful. Unlike Sony Microsoft isn’t willing to half ass it just to say “hey we did it”

      The Xbox one was going to be more powerful than the PS4 except at literally the last min (2 weeks before unveil) Samsung managed to get their yields of gddr5 high enough to fit 8 gigs on the APU.

      Had it not been pure luck the xb1 would have had a significant visual advantage over the ps4

      • Multiplataformgamerz

        “Had it not been pure luck the xb1 would have had a significant visual advantage over the ps4”
        what …

  • d0x360

    There’s no reason the x1x or the normal Xbox couldn’t run vr. They both have all the required ports even for oculus room scale. It’s really just a matter of drivers which I don’t see them having any issues getting.

    I think the reason they are staying silent is because it would make a great unveil either later in the year or at e3 and since it would end up supporting pc VR they can say buy 1 headset and get great vr on console or pc

  • RationalThought

    Microsoft………be smart…..just support ALL. Oculus, Vive and Windows 10 Headsets. The smart play is make your console the HOME for all console base VR AND gives you fighting chance against PSVR and the onslaught of their exclusive content. Promote some sort of Steam/Oculus/MS store partnership for Vive content and Oculus store content. Overnight your base of headset’s is over a million worldwide and you immediately compete with PSVR software library the day of Xbox one X release.

  • Braycen Jackwitz

    If they’re holding out for wireless VR headsets, which they’ve indicated, I can wait. Should be getting those next year anyway. Hopefully enough time to work out any kinks in the motion controllers too.

  • Rezerlius Carnelius Mazretin

    Wow Microsoft really doesn’t know what to say anymore they have so many mixed answers I can’t tell what they are actually planning for the One X with VR support come on Phil Spencer make up your fucking mind you want to support VR or you don’t want to support it yes or no it’s really that simple we don’t need mixed answers we need a straight up answer from you Phil Spencer to tell you the truth VR Gaming is growing exponentially and I truly love it I have my very own VR headset for my Android phone and I have a wireless Bluetooth controller hooked up and I was having a serious blast with VR games I can see why they want people to experience VR Gaming wirelessly on Xbox One X I’ll definitely wait for that but PS VR is still dominating and they have so many great VR games it almost feel as though Microsoft is not showing not much interest with VR Gaming even though they announced game developers can use the HoloLen that’s pretty much it 😞