Ahead of IFA 2017 (starts this Friday 1st Sept) Microsoft has provided an update about what Windows Mixed Reality (VR & AR) hardware and software to expect in time for Xmas. It promises to deliver "easy setup, affordable gear, a range of hardware choices, and immersive experiences," to the market. Yesterday it detailed a few initiatives which will help make those promises happen.
Easy and affordable
Microsoft says that existing high-end VR headsets are neither easy to setup, nor affordable. Windows Mixed Reality headsets have built-in sensors so that you setup won't require room sensors to track your physical position. Thanks to its HDM and controller partnerships with makers such as HP, Lenovo, Dell, and Acer, Microsoft will also make VR experiences more affordable with bundles of VR hardware (HMD and controllers) starting at US$399. Check out the new Dell Visor, for example. It is connected to a PC via a single USB Type-C connector and boasts a 1440x1440 screen for each eye.
For the accompanying PC Microsoft says that you will be able to get a VR capable one for $499. It later spells out what the entry level is capable of as follows:
- Windows Mixed Reality PCs: will consist of desktops and laptops with integrated graphics. When plugged into these devices, our immersive headsets will run at 60 frames per second.
- Windows Mixed Reality Ultra PCs: will consist of desktops and laptops with discrete graphics. When plugged into these devices, our immersive headsets will run at 90 frames per second.
Windows Mixed Reality needs some software to make it an attractive proposition and what better library for entertainment than Steam? In its latest blog post Microsoft confirms that Steam VR content will run on Windows Mixed Reality headsets. It isn't just relying upon third party content though, it has already lined up Minecraft VR and yesterday it announced that it is "working with 343 Industries to bring future Halo experiences into mixed reality".
Microsoft plans to reveal more Windows Mixed Reality news at its IFA keynote on Friday.