Microsoft has finally released its much-awaited VR platform. This will be third VR platform besides Rift and SteamVR. Facebook released its dedicated platform last year while Valve introduced the Vive (powered by SteamVR) as an extension of existing steam service.
Microsoft’s new VR platform named as Windows Mixed Reality will support multiple headsets made by many companies like Acer and HP, Lenovo, Dell. All four companies have also launched their headsets which will be in the price range of $399 to $449. All these headsets resemble in terms of specification and the only difference in the look and feel. So, it does not matter which headset you choose as long as you do not care about looks.
But this does not mean that Windows Mixed Reality platform will not have any premium quality headsets. In early November, Samsung will launch a premium Windows Mixed Reality headset which will be followed by Asus releasing its own mixed reality headset. Samsung’s headset will cost $499 but there is no price confirmation on Asus headset.
One of the big difference between the Oculus and Valve headset is that they use external sensors which must be placed around a room to provide six degrees of freedom. While mixed reality headset has inbuilt sensors (inside out tracking). This is a big advantage as you will be able to freely walk in the room without worrying about sensors.
On the first day, Windows VR customer will have access to their own virtual home in which they can pin their traditional apps like video playback software and Internet browser. Users can also access Windows store and download VR apps like Halo.
Later this year, Microsoft and valve will release a preview of SteamVR support for Windows VR. So, windows VR user will be access to all the apps present on the Steam. Of all the additional service provided by Microsoft, one that stands out is that users can use these headsets on low specifications PC also.
Well, we will have to wait to see how the users respond to these headsets. One of the big questions that stand in front of Microsoft is that will these headsets be enough to disrupt Rift and Vive market?