The mixed reality headsets made in collaboration with Microsoft have been delayed by a week, and won’t be launching on October 10th as originally announced. However, a select number of the headsets will be available starting October 17th in the middle of the month along with the launch of the mixed-reality app, Halo: Recruit.
Originally it was reported that the HMDs would be as cheap as $350, but along with the week-long delay it appears the prices have also gone up by $50.
The pre-orders for all of the currently announced headsets are live right now over on the Microsoft Store.
The available headsets include Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Samsung.
Acer and Lenovo’s headsets will launch the cheapest at $399.00 each on October 17th. They will come with the basic mixed-reality headset that will work with augmented reality apps and virtual reality apps, along with the spatial motion controllers that have built-in positional awareness sensors so you don’t have to have lighthouses to get 1:1 tracking like you do with the Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive.
Dell’s Visor and HP’s HMD will also launch on October 17th, but they will carry a price-tag of $449.00. They, too, will also come with the exact same motion controllers as the others. In fact, all of the headsets come with the Microsoft-made spatial positioning motion controllers that have been designed for use with augmented reality apps and virtual reality apps.
Samsung’s Odyssey is the only one launching next month on November 6th for $499.00. It supports a 110 degrees field of view, and a resolution of 2880 x 1600. It’s a much higher spec unit than Acer or the other $399 units that only have a resolution of 1440 x 1440 and only offer a field of view of 105 degrees.
All of the devices utilize inside-out positional spatial tracking so they don’t need the lampposts setup around the room or all that drilling required to hook the lighthouses to your ceiling. The headsets track with the controllers so you get tracking without additional hardware. It remains to be seen how well these actually work in practice, though.
According to the Windows Blog, Microsoft will also be working with Valve so that the firmware updates will be compatible with SteamVR. This means you’ll be able to natively use each of the mixed reality HMDs with Steam’s VR gaming environment.
Microsoft will also be supporting 20,000 apps across the Windows Store to accommodate the new headsets, and they will be bringing over additional games already available on other digital distribution services such as Space Pirate Trainer, Obduction, Superhot, Arizona Sunshine and Skyworld – to name but a few – to help flesh out the gaming offerings.
Before diving in it might be wise to wait for the reviews and see how well these mixed reality HMDs perform in real-time before pre-ordering. Microsoft has a tendency of diving in head-first in some of these endeavors and then pulling out like a groom with cold feet once they see adoption rates stagnate.
You can look for the first set of headsets to go live starting October 17th later this month.