Microsoft is all set to kick-off the commercial launch of its VR headsets based on the Windows mixed reality platform, with Dell making its first move. Other companies like HP, Acer and Lenovo are also expected to release their Windows VR “mixed reality” headsets, this holiday.
However, to make consumers aware of all the proceedings about Microsoft’s plans with its mixed reality platform, the company has made a slew of announcements regarding all the upcoming major developments.
Windows VR Headsets to Get SteamVR Support
Microsoft has officially announced that their Windows Mixed Reality headsets will play SteamVR content straight away from the date of launch. Still, the specifics regarding the compatibility between Windows VR Headsets and SteamVR are not available. However, it is expected that just like the Vive and Rift headsets, manufacturers of Windows VR Headsets will collaborate with an OpenVR Driver which gives them a free pass to hook up with the SteamVR content.
In the future, Microsoft will be most likely selling its mixed reality content through its own store. But as Microsoft is still building up its own library of virtual reality and augmented reality apps on the Windows Store, SteamVR will provide the early headset owners substantial content to explore in the meantime.
In the wake of this development, Valve’s Joe Ludwig said “The introduction of Windows Mixed Reality headsets is big step forward for VR. Working with Microsoft to include SteamVR compatibility with these devices is also a big step in growing VR as an open platform for developers and consumers. With a broad range of hardware options available from leading PC manufacturers, the Steam community will have more choice than ever to experience the amazing potential of VR.”
Mixed Reality PCs for Windows VR Headsets
Microsoft has confirmed that it will divide its Mixed Reality PCs which are compatible with the Windows VR Headsets into two segments: Standard and Ultra. Obviously, the Ultra PCs will be meeting high-end specifications and will be running the Windows VR headsets with better graphic results and at high frame rates. Here is a look into what specifications will be met by each of the two categories.
Mixed Reality Standard PCs
Mixed Reality Standard PCs are the ones that will come with integrated graphics and meet the minimum required specifications. The Standard Mixed Reality PCs will power the Windows Headsets at 60Hz and deliver some low fidelity visuals. Microsoft says that in order to maintain optimum performance, the Standard PCs will have a three-app limit running at a time. The pricing for this category of PCs starts at $500.
Mixed Reality Ultra PCs
This category will include high-end, top-of-the-line PCs and will come with dedicated GPUs in order to run the Windows 10 VR Headsets at 90Hz and run applications with higher fidelity visuals. This will also ensure low latency tracking and deliver a smooth and immersive-rich experience. Moreover, the basic number of apps running on Mixed Reality Ultra PCs will not just be limited to three.
Jaunt’s VR App to Feature Cortana Voice Navigation
Jaunt’s VR Application is aimed at delivering immersive cinematic experiences with 360-degree stereoscopic imagery and directional audio. The company has recently announced its partnership with Microsoft to bring the Jaunt VR app to the Windows Mixed-Reality platform.
Here, Jaunt aims to bring a much more interactive and intuitive user interface with Microsoft Cortana Voice Navigation. It will also work towards content adaptive streaming to make sure that optimal image quality is retained for the available bandwidth.
George Kliavkoff, Jaunt CEO & President said in a statement “Partnering with Microsoft for the launch of Windows Mixed Reality allows Jaunt to bring one of the largest libraries of high quality immersive cinematic content to one of the most prolific technology brands in the world. Microsoft’s significant investment in mixed reality speaks volumes about the future of this medium. Working with Microsoft to bring the latest version of our app to audiences worldwide has allowed us to continue pushing the limits of what interactive content has to offer.”