A new challenger has entered the arena…
The Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) gates are open and everyone wants in. Microsoft is not new to the VR/AR industry, their augmented reality headset, the HoloLens, is proof of that, but is also rather expensive for average consumers.
That all changed during the Microsoft’s Windows 10 and Surface event in New York.
During the event, Microsoft announced partnerships with HP, Dell, Lenovo, Asus, and Acer to develop and ship a new line of virtual reality headsets, of all shapes and sizes, that utilizes Windows 10’s holographic and VR capabilities.
Here is the best part about this announcement, Microsoft said that the headsets will start at $299…*drop the mic*
Now this announcement is great for multiple reasons, but in particular the set price point means that there is now a gauge on how much a consumer grade PC VR/AR head mounted display (HMD) should cost. The new HMDs will not require a smartphone either, which will make the new hardware a competitor of the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and the Playstation VR.
However, there is little known about the newly announced hardware, but it was made clear that it will use an inside-out tracking sensor, or also referred to as a six-degree-of freedom tracking system, which is much like the Oculus’ Santa Cruz hardware that is currently in the prototype stage.
The use of inside-out tracking sensors means that external cameras or other tracking systems like those on the current Oculus Rift or HTC Vive will not be necessary.
Although the Microsoft VR does not need external trackers, reports of the hardware showcased on stage were that the HMD was still wired and not self-contained.
There was also little mention about Microsoft VR controllers. In my personal experience and semi VR educated opinion, VR controllers are an absolute must when launching a PC VR/AR system, or at least making consumers aware of options such as Leap motion.
The need for controllers at the launch of a new VR headset was demonstrated by the less than stellar launch of the CV1 Oculus Rift, which will only be catching up to the room scale immersive experience offered by the HTC Vive this December with the release of their Oculus Touch controllers.
Also, during the event Microsoft disclosed that headsets are expected to launch alongside with the Windows 10 Creators Update, which is slated for spring 2017.
As mentioned earlier, there are very few details about what this announcement, but there will most likely be more information in the weeks and months to come.
Well VR seekers, that is all I have to report for today. It seems like there is a new development in the advancement of VR everyday and it seems like the stigma of VR being a novelty is starting to fade. So it seems like it is definitely here to stay, and so are we.
With that said, check into vrporn.com, periodically for new posts on everything under the VR sun, from breaking VR developments – to the most up-to-date VR porn collection, we will do our best to keep you informed. Oh yeah we are also on Twitter, so do not forget to follow @vrporn and @trexxxvr.
Also, If you have any other cool information on emerging VR technologies, post in the comments below and get paid to write about your discovery for vrporn.com.