Microsoft introduces $300 VR headsets; specifics coming in December


Microsoft announced a lot of exciting hardware at their event this week, including a new Surface Book, the all new Surface Studio, and last but not least, a new slew of $300 VR headsets from some of the most popular hardware companies around. There is something quite interesting about these new headsets however..

They support merged reality.

That’s right, if you thought Microsoft’s futuristic Hololens technology would never make it to market, you’d be wrong. Microsoft thinks that merged reality is the way to go when working in a virtual 3D space, as it allows for manipulation of real world objects and doesn’t require any special tracking methods.

You have HTC creating things like chaperone to make sure you don’t hurt yourself. So you end up putting holes in your wall for a $800 product so you can see a cube. And you still can’t see the people in the room.

says Alex Kipman, who heads mixed reality at Microsoft.

It doesn’t bring the humans and objects into the environment.

This can definitely be the issue with many VR experiences, but many times it is also the point. Often, players want to be whisked away to somewhere which is plainly not real life, and that is quite a bit harder to do with mixed reality. Still, Microsoft have created something special in its own right, and it is extremely exciting to see it coming to a price level that many can afford.

At the same event, the company revealed a number of 3D manipulation tools coming in its next update, which should work quite nicely with the headsets. A new version of Windows 10, which the company is calling the “Creators update” comes early next year, and will include all of these tools free of charge to its users.

While there wasn’t any specific information regarding headset specifications past confirmed partners, the company said it would have more to say at an upcoming event in December. Fortunately, that is only a month away, and we can’t wait to see what kind of voodoo magic the company has whipped up for 2017.

Excited to learn more? Stay tuned to VRSource as we bring you coverage of all kinds of reality, as it comes.

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