During the Microsoft Surface event, GM Megan Saunders stated "powerful and affordable VR is coming to you." With that, the company then announced VR hardware 'accessories' for the upcoming Windows 10 Creator's Edition software update.
More information will be revealed during a December event, but here's everything we know so far about Microsoft's Windows 10 VR headset so far...
Microsoft VR: Design and specs
Further details about the new, cheaper VR headset were not released - it doesn't even have a name beyond 'accessory.' During the demos, it seemed to be untethered and running Windows 10. It also doesn't seem to be directly a Microsoft device - rather the companies will be running the software provided by Microsoft.
However from the video released by the company, the headset appears to be tethered and the person is using a large controller to navigate the interface.
There's no headset specs so far but we do know the minimum PC requirements as discovered by The Verge. Apparently your computer will need 4GB of RAM, USB 3.0 port, graphics card with DirectX 12 support and four CPU cores, including dual-core processors with hyperthreading.
This is great for people who don't want to spend a ton of money on a beastly machine - which is what's needed for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
But there's no telling what you'll be getting in terms of VR experiences. With this power, you could be looking at apps and games on the same level as mobile VR, or slightly better depending on the headset's own specs.
Microsoft VR: Price and release date
The company is working with HP, Dell, Lenovo, Asus and Acer to launch $299 VR/mixed reality headsets to work with Creator's Edition PC's.
Microsoft's push into VR is likely a move to make mixed reality devices more accessible since the developer's kit for HoloLens is so ridiculously high at $3,000. There's no actual release date yet but we're expecting next spring when the Windows 10 update hits.
Microsoft made its augmented reality headset available to buy in the US and Canada back in August allowing anyone with a Microsoft account and a US/Canada address to buy one, then released it in the UK in October. With the new partnerships, it can in a way, add affordable headsets to its lineup. However it's still early - we'll have to wait and see just how good this accessory really is next year.
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