Best answer: Sadly, no. Right now, there are no plans to include VR on the Xbox Series X.
- PlayStation alternative: PlayStation VR (From $230 at Amazon)
- PC alternative: Samsung HMD Odyssey+ ($500 at Amazon)
So, uh, why not?
Considering Microsoft has its very own VR platform in the form of Windows Mixed Reality, you’d think VR would be a no-brainer on the Xbox platform, including the next-gen Xbox Series X. Sadly, it simply isn’t the case for a variety of reasons.
First and foremost, Microsoft isn’t convinced there’s a profitable market for VR as of yet, with attach-rates on the PlayStation VR headset, perhaps the cheapest entry point for the medium remains invariably low. Here’s what NPD analyst Mat Piscatella had to say on the topic recently.
The data suggest that Phil Spencer is spot on with his assessment of VR gaming. Perhaps someday this market can develop, but it’s been years and the overwhelming majority of games consumers just don’t care. Rounding error of rounding error for games spending, tiny niche.
— Mat Piscatella (@MatPiscatella) November 26, 2019
Xbox head Phil Spencer elaborated further on the 1000th episode of GamerTag Radio (which is awesome by the way), offering some more details on the reasons why Microsoft isn’t jumping head-first into VR for Xbox Series X.
“We’re not going to do that. I understand certain people would want that. We have to focus our efforts on the things we’re doing right now. And the most precious resource that we have is the team and their ability. And I just have to focus on the things we’re doing right now. […] VR is not as simple as plugging your headset. You have to redo the dash[board]. There’s a bunch of work that goes into it. And the teams at Valve, the teams at Sony, the teams at Oculus that are doing that work. They know the completeness and what it means to support the platform.”
Spencer remains optimistic about VR, however, going on to suggest that one day, perhaps it could be a “no-brainer” to bring it to Xbox.
“Obviously VR is big on Windows today. We are the Windows company, and we’re never going to close our eyes to where things are going. […] I hope it gets bigger. I hope it’s something that’s just so important that there would be a no-brainer for us to support it.”
As of May 2020, VR got a big boost thanks to Half-Life: Alyx, but month-over-month growth seems relatively low, with Steam only adding 0.1% more Steam users with VR headsets in the latest Steam survey. The appetite for VR may simply not be there, or we may need to wait for prices to drop, comfort to increase, and other ergonomic improvements before it hits the mainstream. At the very least, it looks like we’re not getting VR on Xbox Series X or any other Xbox for that matter, at least in the near-term.
Cheapest point of entry
If you don’t already own a VR-capable PC, the PS4 is the cheapest point of entry to VR gaming.
Mixed reality alternative
WMR, SteamVR, great VR
This is the most accessible headset on PC without descending into discomfort and questionable quality, and has access to all Steam VR games.