Microsoft took the tech industry somewhat by surprise late last year when they announced a line of VR devices at competitive prices. Not much is known other than their affordable price and very manageable tech specs. Now, we finally have a release date. At the Game Developers Conference, Microsoft will begin shipping. Don’t get too excited, however, because these headsets are for developers only.
Windows 10 VR
Microsoft’s headsets are not strictly VR headsets, as they work in mixed reality, similar to their Hololens project. Unlike Hololens, which is standalone, these still need to be wired into a computer. Even though the specs are more forgiving than the Vive and Rift, you still need a relatively modern computer to keep up. Most likely Microsoft is envisioning these headsets for more professional use than their competitors. PC World noted that Microsoft is going to add functionality to their Windows 10 Apps, like Skype and Cortana. All these are cool features, but more useful in a professional setting than for entertainment purposes.
Either way, it will be some time before any consumer gets their hands on the headsets. Vlad Kolesnikov, senior program manager at Microsoft, said in a webcast last Friday that the headsets will coincide with the Creators update. This is so developers can try out their apps and programs with the new headset. Standard business practice, after all, but it’s a shame to see others get the chance to try out the headset before you can.
Consumers will eventually get their hands on these devices when Microsoft’s hardware partners release their own versions. Some of these were shown off at CES this year, like Lenovo, Asus and Acer. As long as there is no price increase, consumers will be able to get a PC VR headset for US$300(S$428). The wide variety of hardware providers should keep the price of these headsets down. Meanwhile, sending out these headsets to developers should allow for an excellent wide range of apps for when the headset is launched commercially. Hopefully, this one doesn’t take half a year to launch in Singapore like the HTC Vive did.
Source: PC World,