The first sub-$500 headsets designed for Windows Mixed Reality are now up for pre-order, and most models should ship on October 17th.
Windows Mixed Reality is a new feature built into Windows 10 Fall Creators Update which brings native support for virtual reality to Microsoft’s desktop operating system. Know what else ships October 17th? The Fall Creators Update.
You can pre-order the new headsets from the Microsoft Store. Prices range from $399 to $499 for a headset with two handheld motion controllers.
Acer and HP actually started selling developer edition models of their headsets earlier this year. But now the developer kit label is gone and the commercial versions of those headsets are set to launch this month.
They’ll be joined by headsets from Dell, Lenovo, and Samsung.
Asus has also announced plans for a Mixed Reality headset, but it doesn’t seem to be available yet.
I should note that what Microsoft is calling “Mixed Reality” is going to look an awful lot like virtual reality on these new headsets. You can spend $3,000 on a HoloLens if you want a transparent display that can superimpose virtual items on real-world environments. But these headsets will offer a more affordable option for folks that just want something to plug into their existing PC hardware.
Most of the headsets have similar specs, including dual 1440 x 1440 pixel LCD displays with refresh rates up to 90 Hz, inside-out position tracking, and support for a set of motion controllers that’s pretty much the same no matter which headset you buy.
Samsung’s $499 Odyssey headset is the outlier, thanks to its 1440 x 1600 pixel AMOLED displays and built-in AKG headphones. It’s also the newest addition to the Mixed Reality headset lineup, and while it goes up for pre-order today it won’t be available until November 6th.
Most of the other differences between headsets comes down to design features such as the materials used to cushion the head strap, the placement of the wires, and the color and shape of the front of the headset (the part you won’t actually see when wearing it).
via Windows Blog