Xbox Series X (opens in new tab) - the next generation Xbox console confirmed for Holiday 2020 - could come with a comprehensive set of virtual reality accessories, including a boundary mat, stylus, and pair of motion controllers, if the latest discovered hardware patent document filed by Microsoft is to be believed.
As first discovered by Twitter user WalkingCat (opens in new tab), two US patents were filed all the way back in March 2018 by Microsoft, but they've only now been made available for public viewing, as seen on the FreePatentsOnline website (opens in new tab).
One describes a "six-degrees-of-freedom input device", while the other is filled as a "virtual reality floor mat activity region (opens in new tab)". The accompanying images across the documents reveal that Microsoft is developing a boundary mat, stylus, and set of motion controllers for virtual reality, with a VR headset and Xbox Kinect camera clearly visible in some of the sketches.
It's not specified whether these items are in development specifically for the Xbox platform, and it's entirely possible that they never made it past the Research & Development phase at Microsoft HQ, but it wouldn't be fanciful to infer that Xbox Project Scarlett will be compatible with some form of VR experience that could re-integrate the Xbox One's lambasted Kinect motion capture technology.
Xbox Head Phil Spencer has publicly expressed interest in bringing virtual reality to the Xbox platform in the future, while previous PlayStation patents have indeed suggested Sony isn't giving up on VR for PS5 (opens in new tab) either. In a best/worst case scenario, then, we could all be flailing around as Master Chief in Halo Infinite (opens in new tab) by this time next year.
For more, check out the biggest new games of 2019 (opens in new tab) and beyond on the way, or check out our latest episode of Dialogue Options below.