A few days ago, Microsoft blew up the VR world by unveiling new affordable VR headsets from some big-name manufacturers. Starting at just $299, the new HMDs will be developed by HP, Dell, Lenovo, Asus and Acer and will incorporate Microsoft’s 6-degrees of freedom sensors.
At their October 26 press conference event, Microsoft officials discussed the future of virtual reality and how Windows 10 will take part in shaping it. While there are some notable details we’ll mention below, the biggest news from the event came when Terry Myerson, a Microsoft executive VP of Windows and Devices, decided to rock the VR world by announcing new affordable VR headsets coming from some huge manufacturers. According to Myerson, the new HMDs will be extremely affordable compared to the current headsets available on the market today, starting at just $299.
Room Scale VR Experience without Room Device SetUp
Most comprehensive VR headsets that offer immersive experiences, including the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, require you to set up different devices in your room to fully track your headset. However, according to Myerson, the new VR devices won’t need any additional room set up. These HMDs will be the first and only to ship with Microsoft’s inside-out, 6-degrees of freedom sensors technology. The sensors will let the HMDs track your room and know exactly where you are located without the need of any external help.
If implemented correctly, the new sensors may be the kick the VR market needs to be appealing to a wider audience. In combination with the affordable price, the HDMs might be the first readily available consumer VR devices for the PC to achieve a greater market share.
We still have to receive information on the exact specifications of the new VR headsets. Furthermore, the sensor technology was not explained in detail and might not be able to deliver the same level of experience as the more expensive room scale sensors of the HTC Vive for example. Nonetheless, having in mind the complicated Hologram chip technology developed by Microsoft for their HoloLens AR goggles, we are slightly enthusiastic about what the new VR headsets will be able to deliver.
The Windows 10 Creator’s Update
The VR headsets were not the only exciting VR news presented by Microsoft. As part of their new Window 10 Creator’s Update, Microsoft will release a VR/AR accessible community library of 3D creations. To further boost the virtual reality craze and show the capabilities of the new technology, Microsoft will also be releasing a brand new 3D version of MS Paint. The new Creator’s Update is expected to come this spring and will be completely free for Windows 10 users.
There was no information about when the new VR headsets will be released, but it is expected that we will learn more about these devices, as Microsoft prepares for their AR/VR focused Windows 10 Creator’s Update. Currently, the big name manufacturers that were announced, including the names of HP, Dell, Lenovo, Asus and Acer. Microsoft also noted that their affordable VR headsets target the lower-end PC spectrum and should be able to run even on mid-range laptops.