Xbox Series X won’t get VR headset support after all

Xbox Series X won't get VR support
(Image credit: Phil Barker/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

Update: We've updated this article to reflect a statement from Microsoft. 

Unfortunately, Microsoft is not looking at bringing virtual reality headset support to the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, with a spokesperson telling VGC that: “VR for console is not a focus for us at this time.” 

IGN Italy reported that when it came to installing the new Xbox Wireless Headset on the Xbox Series X, a message popped up in Italian that translates to: “An update for the VR headset is available.” This had us pondering whether Microsoft was planning to bring VR headset support to its new game consoles. But it appears it was simply an error in the message. 

“The copy in this error message is inaccurate due to a localization bug,” the spokesperson said. 

Given that additional text in the pop-up message also asks Xbox Series X and Series S users to “update VR headset" it would appear that the mistake was more than just a lone typo. 

When we originally reported this, we had speculated that the message could simply be an error on Microsoft’s part, especially when the new Xbox headphones contain the word “headset” in their name. We'd rather hoped this wasn't the case and that VR headset support could indeed be on the horizon for the Xbox Series X, but sadly that's not looking likely. 

As it stands, there’s no VR headset support for the new Xbox consoles, nor has there been any for the older Xbox One. Yet Windows 10 has its own Mixed Reality system and has long supported a variety of VR headsets and platforms, meaning it wouldn't be a huge leap to see VR headset support come to the Xbox Series X. 

As the PS5 supports PlayStation VR and is set to support an upcoming PSVR 2, VR support on Xbox would at least give Microsoft some form of retort to Sony’s VR ambitions. 

The subject of VR and Xbox support has bubbled away for a while. And prior to the launch of the next Xbox consoles, UploadVR reported, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said he’d hope that VR support on Xbox would be a “no brainer.” However Spencer also explicitly said that there would be no VR support on the Xbox Series X at launch, and thus there wasn't.  

Unfortunately, the latter looks to be the case, despite support for, say, one of our picks for the best VR headsets potentially being an easy win for Microsoft. 

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.