With Gamescom 2017 now over Microsoft has ensured that Monday isn’t quiet on the virtual reality (VR) news front. Its announced that the upcoming Windows Mixed Reality (MR) headsets will support Steam, and that customers looking for an all-in-one solution of head-mounted display (HMD) and PC will be able to purchase both for less than $1000 USD.
Alex Kipman, HoloLens’ chief inventor and technical lead at Microsoft announced on the Windows Blog: “Windows Mixed Reality headsets and motion controllers will be available this holiday from HP, Lenovo, Dell, and Acer. Headset and motion controller bundles will start as low as $399 and will be compatible with exciting and new PC models starting at $499.”
The Windows headsets utilise HoloLens technology to allow full tracking of the motion controllers and a users location, all without the need for external cameras or sensors like HTC Vive or Oculus Rift.
In terms of the PCs there will be two iterations available: Windows Mixed Reality PCs and Windows Mixed Reality Ultra PCs. Microsoft states that the former “will consist of desktops and laptops with integrated graphics. When plugged into these devices, our immersive headsets will run at 60 frames per second,” while the latter “will consist of desktops and laptops with discrete graphics. When plugged into these devices, our immersive headsets will run at 90 frames per second.”
So while both will support the new headsets, for that $499 price you’ll get 60 FPS on your $399 headset, totaling $898 for the package. As for the cost of the Ultra PC’s, Microsoft has yet to confirm a final price.
With HTC Vive and Oculus Rift both slashing their prices this summer, knocking $200 off, the Windows MR headsets aren’t as competitively priced as they were previously. Still, Microsoft offers some unique technology that the others don’t which may sway consumers this holiday season when they launch.
VRFocus will continue its coverage of Microsoft and its Windows (MR) headsets, reporting back with the latest updates.