Microsoft's Windows Mixed Reality platform is starting to take shape.
The Dell Visor, which is Dell’s first headset for Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality platform, will be available from 17 October for $349.99, or you can get it in a bundle with two controllers for $449.99. The company announced pricing on 28 August. Mind you, Microsoft introduced the platform in May, alongside an announcement from Dell that it planned to build a headset for the platform.
- Microsoft will now release major Windows 10 updates twice a year
- Windows 10 S is a streamlined version of Windows for education
Microsoft's “mixed reality" technology is supposed to be a mix between augmented reality and virtual reality, though the first headsets seem to lean more toward the VR end of the spectrum. The company has been exploring mixed reality since 2015, when it announced the HoloLens headset, but more recently, it's allowed major PC partners to create their own Windows Mixed Reality headsets.
This week, at IFA in Berlin, Microsoft plans to share more details about these Windows Mixed Reality headsets, which are due to start arriving this holiday season. They will have built-in sensors to track your physical position, and they don't require you to buy or install external sensors in your room. You won't need a large play space either or hours of setup. You're suppose to just "plug and play".
HP, Lenovo, and Acer are three other companies working on headsets. And all of the headsets are supposed to be affordable. For instance, the headsets start at $299. But if you get them with Microsoft's hand motion controllers, which work like Oculus Touch but without the camera sensors, the bundles start at $399. These headsets will also be compatible with new PC models starting at $499.
Whether that's actually affordable depends on the person and their budget. But speaking of those new PCs, they will come in two versions:
- Windows Mixed Reality PCs: Desktops and laptops with integrated graphics. When plugged into these devices, the headsets will run at 60fps.
- Windows Mixed Reality Ultra PCs: Desktops and laptops with discrete graphics. When plugged into these devices, the headsets will run at 90fps.
Now, when it comes to mixed reality, there are four components: the platform, the headset, the PC, and the content. Microsoft has just announced the first wave of content partners working on Windows Mixed Reality content for the Windows Store. One of them is 343 Industries, which will bring "future Halo experiences into mixed reality", and another major title coming to the platform is Minecraft.
Microsoft even announced that SteamVR content will also run on Windows Mixed Reality headsets. No other specifics were announced today, though we suspect we'll hear more at IFA and in the coming months leading up to the holidays.