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Minimum Specs For Microsoft’s VR Headsets and Hololens(?) Revealed

Last month, Microsoft announced a line of VR headsets that their various hardware partners would be developing. Not much else was announced apart from the shockingly low price of S$425. Now, we have a bit more information, specifically the minimum specs to run the Microsoft VR headsets. For those of you holding out because of less powerful machines, prepare to leap for joy.

Targeting the lower end

Initially reported by Tech Radar, the latest update of Windows 10 includes a built-in test to see if your PC was ready for the headsets. Called ‘Windows Holographic First Run,’ results are very promising:

screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-6-29-52-pm

The most striking aspect is the GPU requirement. As pointed out by Ars Technica, this means that even integrated graphics cards should be able to support the holographic experience. Of course, minimum specs says that the experience offered here will not be amazing graphically, but it definitely lowers the barrier to entry significantly.

Image courtesy: Microsoft
Image courtesy: Microsoft

These were not the only requirements shown, however. The test also asked that a few square feet are cleared to allow for the VR experience. No number was given, but a few feet is significantly less than the space needed for the HTC Vive. Also, the test suggests ensuring that the headset is visible, which Ars Technica believes to mean external sensors. Now, the Microsoft headsets are supposed to have internal sensors, so this is likely to ensure that the Windows 10 holographic program is compatible with other headsets. Good to see that Microsoft is steering away from creating an exclusive experience.

Microsoft’s VR plan

Image courtesy: Youtube
Image courtesy: Youtube

We don’t know what Microsoft’s VR plan is, but it is definitely not aimed just at gamers. Such basic specs would suggest that they want even notebooks to be able to run even the most basic of VR or Mixed Reality experiences. Tech Radar suggests this is a move towards creating a VR office environment. All of these are just speculations, but if there is even a grain of truth to these, the possibilities are astounding. Welcome to the future of how we do work it looks like. Or what Microsoft want’s work to be.

Sources: Tech Radar, Ars Technica

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