Microsoft has announced that pre-orders are now open for their new mixed reality headsets, including the Samsung HMD Odyssey.
Microsoft has been busy putting its mixed reality concept through its paces since early 2015 and the HoloLens reveal.
Over two years later, and a hook-up with Samsung, they may have a product that you might buy. Moreover, a headset that you can actually afford.
Samsung HMD Odyssey
The new headset looks a lot like others, such as the HTC Vive, and Facebook’s Oculus Rift but, according to Microsoft, it’s easier to use.
Additionally, Microsoft states that it also has a few other big advantages too.
The Samsung HMD Odyssey works with any computer running the Window 10 Falls Creators Update. This software update will be released on October 17th.
That appears to be the only real requirement. This is a lot different to the Vives, Rifts, etc that need a puter with plenty of poke.
Samsung’s headset boasts dual AMOLED screens pushing out a higher resolution than either of those headsets too.
Furthermore, Microsoft says it only takes minutes to set up, whereas the Vive and Rift can take an hour plus to install.
The HMD Odyssey also features built-in camera. This enables you to walk around in virtual reality without setting up a bunch of cameras in the room first.
Finally, there’s the built-in AKG headphones and a microphone so you can talk to Microsoft’s AI assistant Cortana.
New software and apps
As with all tech these days, you need that killer app to make people get aboard.
It appears that Microsoft may have a solution for that, too.
As of October 17th, Windows Mixed Reality will offer 20,000 apps through the Microsoft Store. I will just let that sink in for a second.
You will get popular titles such as; Minecraft, Fantastic Contraption, Superhot and a brand new mixed reality Halo experience called Halo Recruit. By the sounds of things the latter is pretty much just a demo.
Microsoft is also working with gaming giant Valve to add support for SteamVR, its library of virtual reality games.
I am nit currently able to say when this will be happening. However, what I can say is that there should be some sort of preview available later this year.
Other Windows headsets
These will all be available with the software, on October 17th.
Acer Windows Mixed Reality headset
Once the headset is paired with the controllers, you can take advantage of the full position and rotational tracking in the headset to easily create content or play games.
Dell Visor Windows Mixed Reality headset
It’s thoughtfully engineered for comfort and convenience with well-cushioned head and face padding that allow for comfortable wear, even for people who wear glasses.
HP Windows Mixed Reality headset
Lenovo Explorer Windows Mixed Reality headset
It tracks your movements with superior fidelity and spatial awareness so you can move around naturally in an area of 3.5 by 3.5 meters (about 11.5 by 11.5 feet) without constantly reorienting yourself.
Price and availability
All the headsets are available to pre-order now.
The Samsung HMD Odyssey will be released on November 6th, whilst the others will be available on October 17th.
- Samsung HMD Odyssey – $499
- Lenovo Explorer – $399
- HP Windows MR Headset – $449
- Dell Visor – $449
- Acer Windows MR Headset – $399
Check out the full range at Microsoft.com