Existing virtual reality headsets like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift can cost upward of $500. But Microsoft has been promising that headsets designed for its Windows 10 Mixed Reality platform would be available for much lower prices.  And now they’re almost here.

The Acer Mixed Reality headset is up for pre-order starting today for $299, while HP has a model that sells for $329. Both should ship this summer.

The Acer headset features two 2.89″ x 1440 x 1440 pixel displays, a 95 degree field of view, refresh rates up to 90 Hz, a front hinged display that flips up when not in use, and HDMI 2.0, USB 3.0, and a 3.5mm mic and headphone jack.

The headset requires Windows 10 Creators Update or newer to function and Microsoft recommends app developers use a system with an Intel Core i7 hexa-core or faster or AMD Ryzen 7 17000 or faster processor with a recent NVIDIA or AMD graphics card.

HP’s headset has nearly identical specs and requirements, but also features a double padded headband that looks a bit more comfortable.

Microsoft also unveiled a set of motion controllers with buttons, sensors, and grips to let you interact with virtual objects using hand and arm motions.

Acer is expected to offer a headset + Microsoft motion controller bundle for $399 when the new controllers are available.

Windows 10 Mixed Reality used to be called Windows Holographic, but Microsoft changed the name around the same time that the company revealed that VR headsets other than its pricey Hololens would support the platform. But at this point it looks like most of the entry-level hardware will offer more of a virtual reality experience than mixed reality, since the new headsets don’t superimpose virtual objects on your real-world view the same way that a Hololens does.

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8 replies on “Windows Mixed Reality Headsets coming this summer for $299 and up (pre-orders open today)”

  1. Is there a girlfriend mixed reality app? That is really the only VR/MR app that I am interested in. I already have the full reality wife app.

    1. You really shouldn’t use MR for that. Gotta keep those two realities completely separate, lest they find out about each other. Usually when that happens the wife app will start consuming a lot of resources and can’t be force quit until completely removed from your system, which can be quite costly to carry out, assuming neither of you performs an illegal operation, in which case you’re totally screwed…

  2. “Ryzen 7 17000”

    Curse you AMD and your confusing Ryzen branding still around after so many generations /s.

    1. Hmm… I wrote that line based on something MS had said at a previous press event, but that was a while ago and I’m not on site for the MS Build conference this week, so I’m going to assume Windows Central got it right. I’ll update the post.

      Thanks!

    1. That’s their recommendation for developers. The fact that the system requirements also mention notebook specs (and there are no hexa-core i7 chips or Ryzen chips for notebooks yet) suggests that consumers can get away with simpler hardware.

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