Microsoft is partnering with a number of companies to bring a new line of virtual reality headsets, the company announced today during a Windows 10 event.
HP, Dell, Lenovo, Asus, and Acer are currently working on various devices that promise to take full advantage of Windows 10’s VR and holographic capabilities. According to the company, the new VR headsets should arrive in spring 2017 alongside the release of the new Windows 10 Creators Update.
On the subject of pricing for the hardware, a minimum cost of $299.99 has been set. Microsoft stated that the headsets will feature “inside-out tracking sensors” which removes the necessity of external cameras or any additional sensors to track the user’s movements. In comparison, the current PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive headsets require tracking sensors and also cost as much as $800.
“This means there’ll be zero need for a separate room,” explained Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Windows and Devices Group.
Microsoft’s VR lineup announcement shouldn’t be confused with the company’s HoloLens device which is an augmented device that projects virtual objects into the real world. As for the partnered companies, it’s too soon to compare their VR experiences with the current trio. However, for the price of $299.99, it’s unlikely that the experience is going to be as premium as offered by major players in the consumer market.
It’s unfortunate that Microsoft didn’t take the stage to talk more on HoloLens and when a consumer model is expected to arrive. The developers edition of the HoloLens augmented reality headset currently ships for $3,000.
The presentation didn’t clarify as to whether the new VR lineup will be used for games or not. More information has been promised next year as Microsoft draws closer to its next major Windows 10 update. The Creators Update is going to be free for everyone on all devices.