Published: Fri, March 03, 2017
Research | By Francis Brooks

Microsoft's first Windows 10 VR headsets get into developers' hands this month

Microsoft's first Windows 10 VR headsets get into developers' hands this month

There has been speculation regarding whether the company will offer VR headsets support for Scorpio, but Microsoft has not yet replied to this.

Microsoft is working along popular PC manufacturers: HP, Dell, Lenovo, Asus and Acer, to bring cheap Windows 10-enabled VR headsets to market. What is known is that the company will start shipping out dev kits to developers this month and that consumer units should hit retail this holiday season. Gesture tracking, another key pillar of the HoloLens experience, is also missing from the Acer HMD.

The headset, made by Acer, should allow designers to develop Windows 10 virtual reality apps.

Microsoft has announced that mixed reality experiences will be coming to the Xbox One family and the forthcoming Project Scorpio console in 2018.

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Microsoft, in partnership with Acer, also announced a new Acer Windows Mixed Reality Development Edition headset. Much like the way Valve opened up its development process for the Vive to a wider market of hardware developers, Microsoft has partnered with a few firms to held seed the market for augmented reality hardware and content. The Facebook-owned VR firm said it will slash the cost of the Oculus Rift headset and Touch controllers to get more people interested in VR. These same headsets will also work on the Xbox One and Project Scorpio consoles as well.

Terry Myerson, the Windows and Devices Group chief at Microsoft says there is a reason the words Mixed Reality are incorporated. The ACER headset comes with two LCD displays in high resolution at 1440 x 1440.

What we didn't see in the opaque headset demo yet: the HoloLens-like ability to place those windows (and virtual 3D objects) onto digital representations of the real world. This means that all the room tracking and motion tracking is done inside the headset.

In the meanwhile, as we saw firsthand, users will already be able to stream existing, flatscreen Xbox One games to the headset and play them in their own personal theater.

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