At Computex 2017 this morning, Microsoft and a variety of hardware partners showed off the final designs of the Windows Mixed Reality headsets that will ship in time for the holidays.
Most of these Windows Mixed Reality headsets actually debuted at CES back in January. But today, we’re seeing a few final designs for the first time, including the entries from ASUS and Dell.
In short, Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, and Lenovo will all sell Windows Mixed Reality headsets in time for the holiday selling season. Each will be relatively affordable, depending on your definition of affordable, with prices starting at $300. (PC-based virtual reality, or VR, tends to be expensive, and has required higher-end PCs to date. But phone-based VR can be had for as little as $20.)
Some of these devices are pretty cool looking. The ASUS headset, for example, features “a unique polygonal 3D cover panel” that can’t be seen when the headset is worn.
And the stylish Dell unit looks like it was influenced by WALL-E, with a white, curvy design.
Because these headsets all conform to the Windows Mixed Reality standard, they are all universally compatible with the same VR software that’s built-in to Windows 10, and they will work broadly with the same apps and games. Each includes built-in sensors with “inside-out tracking,” meaning that they don’t require external tracking hardware like high-end VR systems such as Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. But each is likewise a tethered system, unlike HoloLens, meaning that they must be connected to a PC using a cable.
And despite Microsoft’s “mixed reality” branding, these devices are simply VR headsets, and should not to be confused with the true MR capabilities of the more powerful and much more expensive HoloLens.