In case you were following Microsoft’s Surface event last week, you might have noticed a seriously underrated announcement as well. Microsoft unveiled its VR headsets for Windows 10 last week as well, however, it got lost amid all the excitement surrounding the new Surface lineup. The company clearly realizes the import of VR headsets for Windows and will be holding a separate event in December, introducing and detailing its VR Headsets for Windows 10.
The events, which are slated to take place in the first two weeks of December, will see Microsoft outline its VR Headsets for Windows program primarily for manufacturers. The company has already entered into partnerships with a bunch of premium hardware manufacturers including HP, Lenovo, Dell, Acer, and Asus. In collaboration with Microsoft, these manufacturers will be producing VR headsets for Windows, that can directly be plugged into Windows 10 PCs.
Speaking with Polygon, HoloLens chief Alex Kipman said that there were still several huge problems associated with inducing VR into the mainstream and Microsoft was working upon fixing some of them.
The stuff is super expensive. You need a $1,500 PC to get started and then something like a $500 Oculus device.
And there were technical constraints too. The HTC Vive for example, requires two base stations to be mounted on the opposite corners of the room you are playing in. This is to ensure that you don’t bump into something or don’t fall of the balcony. HTC ‘s systems for example, project walls inside your virtual environment in order to keep you within safe limits.
Microsoft’s VR Headsets for Windows though, will likely be cheaper as well as technologically more sophisticated.
We’ve lowered the specs you need for a PC from a $1,500 system to a $500 one. So now what used to cost you $2,000 [including the headset and PC], now you can get into for $800 and it’s the most powerful, most immersive experience.
While we are going to have to wait until December to get more concrete information on the topic, we do know that the first wave of devices will be opaque, and will come with a “high field of view”. Kipman also said that they will need to be connected to a computer by a long wire — though we can expect Microsoft to lose the wire in later upgrades.
The VR Headsets for Windows will also pack six degrees of freedom and inside-out tracking. In case you are wondering, Six Degrees of freedom mean the ability to move forward, backward, left, right, upwards and downwards — or any combination of these directions. Inside out tracking gives the systems the ability to track a users movement without any externally mounted cameras.
We can expect these devices to ship in March, and range in price from $299 and upwards. Meanwhile, we will know more once one Microsoft’s December 8th-9th, and December 14th-15th events take place.