Microsoft Announces $399 VR Headset Bundle, Available This October

The company will have a collection of VR bundles from HP, Lenovo, Dell, and Acer with built-in tracking and the option to run at 60fps or 90fps depending on the PCs they're connected to.

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Microsoft is making this fall a great deal more interesting for any and all parties interested in virtual reality. The company has been laying plans to democratize the mixed reality landscape and they’re going to be introducing a collection of headsets from a handful of companies this October.

The IFA technology show is underway in Berlin and Microsoft is using it as a stage to share information on their mixed reality headsets. The first wave of information has been detailed on their blog:

“We are on a mission to help empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more, and one of the ways we are doing that is through the power of mixed reality. Since January 21, 2015, when we announced Microsoft HoloLens, we have seen developers, partners, and customers innovate in ways we have never seen before. As a creator, it is inspiring to see the world embrace mixed reality; to see organizations and developers stretch the boundaries of what we can do with technology. Together we have created the most vibrant mixed reality community out there and it has been phenomenal to share in this journey with our community.”

Affordability and easy setup are a couple of the pillars that Microsoft is championing in order to make virtual reality available to the masses. The current tethered VR headsets require the placement of sensors for tracking so that users get the full experience. Microsoft’s upcoming lineup, including gear from HP, Lenovo, Dell, and Acer, will have their own built-in sensors that track your position. This allows for simple setups and easy transportation so the immersive experiences can be shared. These headset bundles w/ controller will start at $399 and, as the blog claims, work on PCs that start at $499.

There are no in-depth details on the PC requirements for these headsets, but Microsoft does share that they’ll be able to work in at least two different ways: 60 frames per second and 90 frames per second. They’ll eventually be offering PCs with those capable of 60 frames labeled as standard Mixed Reality PCs and those capable of 90 labeled as Mixed Reality Ultra.

The company’s Windows 10 Creator Update is also a significant piece of the puzzle, opening the door for creators that want to shape the ecosystem for augmented and virtual reality. Stay tuned to Shacknews for more information on this major shift as information is made available throughout the week.

Charles Singletary Jr keeps the updates flowing as the News Editor, breaking stories while investigating the biggest topics in gaming and technology. He's pretty active on Twitter, so feel free to reach out to him @The_CSJR. Got a hot tip? Email him at Charles.Singletary@Shacknews.com.

From The Chatty

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    August 28, 2017 10:15 AM

    Charles Singletary posted a new article, Microsoft Announces $399 VR Headset, Available This October

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      August 28, 2017 10:55 AM

      Not for XBO X?? That's weird. Seems like a good way to sell those.

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        August 28, 2017 11:12 AM

        I still think they're working on the Oculus tie-in for XBX. I would have assumed that might be a holiday launch item, but there's been no word. Though, honestly, I guess they should wait until CES/E3 for a holiday 2018 launch. Best not to launch a $400 add-on for a new system in the same launch window. The internet would never let MS live that down.

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        August 28, 2017 11:16 AM

        Probably wouldn't get enough developer support unless they can also get it to work with the original XBone and XBone S.

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        August 28, 2017 2:08 PM

        Phil Spencer said they are waiting until its wireless before bringing it to xbox. Also that it is still early stages with VR so best to keep it on Windows for now and down the road xbox. He talked about VR on the giant bomb e3 show. https://youtu.be/KYph4FCz8AE?t=11m45s 11m 45s

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      August 28, 2017 11:17 AM

      Minecraft VR. Yeah, say goodbye to your kids. 0.o

      What we really need is a standard. Too many competing ones already. Not that I'm advocating MS, but we need another round of DirectX standards to really get this off the ground; which is pretty much the path that Steam is trying to take, but needs more hardware partners; which is what MS has here.

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      August 28, 2017 2:25 PM

      Is there any detail on why they are calling it mixed reality today? The trailer just shows games that are currently in the market as dedicated VR experiences. I'd be interested in the headsets if it offered something substantially different from my first gen Vive. Trackers are not an issue for me today, they're up and working great.

      I really liked seeing Obduction in the trailer too, still a very pretty game.

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        August 28, 2017 2:57 PM

        Well they all have cameras on the outside of the units for detecting motion, I'm assuming they can be used to display what's actually around you with graphics laid over like the Holo lens.

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          August 28, 2017 2:58 PM

          I haven't seen anything demonstrating that that wasn't Hololens.

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            August 28, 2017 3:39 PM

            Me neither, but they keep calling it mixed realty, and they have cameras, that's just my assumption.

            I'm sure we'll find out more soon by October.

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      August 28, 2017 4:20 PM

      using sensors on the headset instead of external ones might be an issue for tracking the touch devices when theyre out of the view of the headset

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      August 28, 2017 4:22 PM

      60fps ewwwwww

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        August 28, 2017 7:02 PM

        60fps on integrated gpu. 90 if you have the hardware for it.

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      August 28, 2017 7:01 PM

      So apparently these don't use anything to track movement other than sensors in the device itself. No external cameras. It'll be interesting to see how that holds up.

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        August 28, 2017 7:02 PM

        Works well for hololens

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          August 28, 2017 7:19 PM

          Because hololens maps to a room with cameras right? I guess they could do the same thing with this. That'd be pretty awesome actually

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        August 28, 2017 7:11 PM

        It says as much in the article. Upload VR has tested a few of these on show floors, tracking seems to work alright from that small amount of testing.