Microsoft posted an update on their Mixed Reality VR endeavor where they revealed affordable virtual reality headsets and announced a partnership with Steam and other major companies.
“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,” the announcement from Microsoft read.
The follow-up to their initial announcement from earlier in the year details their attempt to “democratize” virtual reality through the Mixed Reality project by working with major PC makers to create new VR devices. Since the first announcement, Microsoft says that it’s created “the most vibrant mixed reality community out there” and are ready to share more details.
Easy Set-Up and Affordable
One of the main initiatives that Microsoft looked to accomplish with the Mixed Reality project was to create devices that were both affordable and easy to use, two factors that aren’t easy to come across in the relatively new world of VR. Microsoft says that they’ve had accomplishments in both of these areas by creating reasonably-priced gear that’s simple to set up.
Coming this holiday season, HP, Lenovo, Dell, and Acer have all partnered with Microsoft to create an array of hardware choices. The headset and motion controller bundles will be cost as low as $399, a price that matches the cost of the PlayStation VR and beats out the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive.
The devices will be easy to set up as well, requiring no additional cameras or external markers to use. New Mixed Reality devices will ship with built-in sensors to track movements, so say goodbye meticulous set-up processes.
Mixed Reality Will Offer a Range of PC Options
For computers that’ll be compatible with Windows PC devices, Microsoft has taken consumer preference into consideration by announcing higher-end Mixed Reality-compatible PCs while also confirming that less expensive options will be available during the holidays.
Below are the specifics on the PC compatibility options that’ll be available during the holidays:
- 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.
Microsoft Partnered With Tons of Companies, Including Steam
Expressing their excitement about the partnerships in the announcement, Microsoft confirmed that this group of companies listed in the photo is just the first wave of content partners. This leads hopeful VR gamers to think that even more companies will follow suit by partnering with Microsoft for the Windows project.
One of the biggest partnerships revealed is Microsoft and Steam coming together, a deal that’ll allow Steam content to run on Mixed Reality headsets. Steam has a selection of VR games already that range from well-known titles to indie projects, and PC gamers can expect many more headsets to soon be included in the list of compatible devices.
Halo Mixed Reality Content is on the Way
Continuing on from the discussions about the first set of partners, Microsoft confirmed that 343 was on board.
“Second, it’s my pleasure to let you know that we are working with 343 Industries to bring future Halo experiences into mixed reality,” the announcement read. “We are not providing specifics right now, but it is going to be a lot of fun to work with them.”
It’ll be a lot of fun for gamers too with new Halo projects being included in the Mixed Reality endeavors. Like Microsoft said, there are no specifics at this time, but with more details coming soon at IFA, gamers will likely learn much more about Windows Mixed Reality very soon.