An interesting report on Xbox’s newest wireless headset shared this week suggests that Microsoft may have something in mind for a virtual reality device on the next-gen Xbox consoles. IGN Italy reported that once they’d plugged in a pre-release version of the wireless headset to one of the newer Xbox consoles, they received a message that referenced a virtual reality headset. The reference is clear enough that it doesn’t appear to be a mistake, but what isn’t clear right now is what this message means for the future of virtual reality on Xbox platforms.
The report from IGN Italy said that the notification reshared below by Twitter user Nibel popped up once the IGN reviewer had connected the headset to the console via a USB cable. While one reference to a VR device of some sort might be considered a mistake, it was said that there was more than one reference to a VR device after the initial popup that continued using the “VR” phrase.
Should the next-gen Xbox consoles be getting their own VR headsets or even if they get support for devices already released, it’d be a significant turnaround from what Xbox fans had expected from the new devices. Xbox executives like Phil Spencer have spoken about the prospect of VR on the new Xbox consoles in the past and have said indicated that the devices wouldn’t support that kind of technology due to a lack of demand from customers. Having support of any kind for that as well as the prospect of Xbox games that are designed with VR in mind would therefore be a complete 180 from the previous comments.
Conversely, PlayStation has done the exact opposite of shying away from VR. Not long ago, Sony announced that it had plans for a next-gen VR headset that’d be created exclusively for the PlayStation 5. Other announcements made since then have confirmed the development of several VR games including Doom 3: VR Edition and more.
“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,” Said PlayStation’s Hideaki Nishino, Senior Vice president of Platform Planning and Management back when the new VR headset was announced. “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.”
There’s no word now as to what Microsoft’s plans are for VR if they have any, but some clarification will likely come soon now that the pop-up has been noticed.