Xbox One Games Coming to Oculus Rift, But with a Catch

Xbox One owners will soon have another platform on which to enjoy their library of games — assuming they also have an Oculus Rift headset on hand. Microsoft today (Nov. 22) announced that you'll be able to stream your Xbox One games to your Rift in a matter of weeks.

Specifically, on Dec. 12, Microsoft will release the Xbox One Streaming to Oculus Rift app, which will do precisely what its cumbersome name suggests. You'll be able to get the app for free from the Oculus Store, at which point you'll be able to play the likes of Gears of War 4, Forza Horizon 3 and other Xbox One titles in VR.

MORE: Best VR Headsets

Don't expect too immersive an experience, though. Instead of plopping you down in the middle of a game VR-style, what Xbox One streaming actually does is stream the game into a virtual environment, as if you were playing it on a big-screen TV. In its announcement of the Rift app, Microsoft says you'll have your choice of three different environments for streaming Xbox One games onto what the company describes as "a massive screen."

You'll need more than just an Xbox One console for streaming games to the Rift. You'll also need a PC that's capable of supporting the VR headset. That means a machine with either an Nvidia GTX 960/1060 GPU or an AMD Radeon RX 470 and an Intel Core i3 processor.

The arrival of Xbox One games on the Rift fulfills a pledge Microsoft made back in June 2015, when the VR headset was still in its prototype stage. More importantly, though, it also expands the number of apps you can enjoy on your Rift, as the Oculus headset competes with similar devices from HTC and Sony for the hearts and minds of VR's early adapters.

Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.