Microsoft plans to launch a developer edition of the HoloLens 2 headset, priced at $3,500 in the US.

Microsoft recently unveiled the second-gen HoloLens, the HoloLens 2. Based around the tech originating in the now-discontinued Kinect for Xbox devices, HoloLens first went on sale in 2016 to developers for $5,000 (the development kit was $3,500), but there was never an out-and-out consumer edition. Hololens 2 changes all that; it's available to pre-order at a price of $3,500 (£2,680).

That's the exact same pricing as the new developer version, which means developers aren't getting a discount this time. Nevertheless, it comes with the HoloLens 2 hardware, Azure credits, free trials of Unity Pro, and the Unity PiXYZ Plugin for CAD data. Microsoft is also announcing Unreal Engine 4 support for HoloLens 2. This means developers will be able to serve up photo-realistic renders in their apps.

The headset has a wider viewable area in comparison to the first-gen model, and a more comfortable fit. Therefore, it should be easy enough to wear for longer. It also fits over glasses and has a dial for size adjustment. It retains the clear glasses element, too, as that’s fundamental to the way HoloLens works. And it's passively cooled, giving you around two to three hours of use.

Finally, like its predecessor, HoloLens 2 is an all-in-one unit and won’t need to be tethered to a PC. It also uses the new Azure Kinect sensor.  Microsoft has yet to announce a release date for the HoloLens 2, but the developer and commercial versions should ship later this year.

We suspect we'll hear more at Build 2019, Microsoft's annual developer conference, which is set to kick off May 7.