Microsoft and partners, including Steam, prepare to democratize virtual reality this holiday.
We are on a mission to help empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more, and one of the ways we are doing that is through the power of mixed reality. Since January 21, 2015, when we announced Microsoft HoloLens, we have seen developers, partners, and customers innovate in ways we have never seen before. As a creator, it is inspiring to see the world embrace mixed reality; to see organizations and developers stretch the boundaries of what we can do with technology. Together we have created the most vibrant mixed reality community out there and it has been phenomenal to share in this journey with our community.
A little over ten months ago our mixed reality journey took a leap forward when we announced that the world’s largest PC makers were working with us to democratize virtual reality this holiday with Windows Mixed Reality headsets.
This week at IFA we will be sharing more details on Windows Mixed Reality headsets and I encourage everyone to tune into the news that will be coming out of Berlin.
As we get ready for a big week with our partners, I would like to share with you some exciting details about our product, including the first wave of content experiences you can immerse yourself in this holiday.
Windows Mixed Reality: easy setup, affordable gear, a range of hardware choices, and immersive experiences
Existing high-end VR headsets with external cameras are cumbersome to set up. For more people to experience VR one of the barriers that needed to be removed was the need for external markers. That is why the Windows Mixed Reality headsets coming this holiday will be the first to deliver VR experiences with built-in sensors to track your physical position without requiring you to purchase and install external sensors in your room. You don’t need to spend hours to set up a single room in your house with a large play space, just plug and play. This also means these experiences are portable – whether you are traveling for work or visiting friends and family, just pack your PC and headset and you can share the magic of mixed reality.
A variety of Windows Mixed Reality headsets and motion controllers will be available this holiday from HP, Lenovo, Dell, and Acer. Headset and motion controller bundles will start as low as $399 and will be compatible with existing and new PC models starting at $499. Along with our partners, we are committed to making mixed reality affordable.
Range of hardware choices
When it comes to deciding which hardware is right for you, we know that our customers value choice in brand, industrial design, and features. That is why we created Windows Mixed Reality as a platform for you to enjoy experiences across multiple devices that meet your mobility and performance needs.
We have talked a lot about the headsets and motion controllers, now let’s talk about PCs that will be compatible with Windows Mixed Reality. This holiday, customers can choose the PC that’s right for them – Windows Mixed Reality PCs and Windows Mixed Reality Ultra PCs. Here is some context on what makes the two experiences different:
- Windows Mixed Reality PCs: will consist of desktops and laptops with integrated graphics. When plugged into these devices, our immersive headsets will run at 60 frames per second.
- Windows Mixed Reality Ultra PCs: will consist of desktops and laptops with discrete graphics. When plugged into these devices, our immersive headsets will run at 90 frames per second.
Both configurations will support today’s immersive video and gaming experiences such as traveling to a new country, exploring space, swimming with dolphins, or shooting zombies. Use your Windows Mixed Reality motion controllers to enjoy a world of discovery and imagination this holiday.
We are working with an incredible set of partners to bring the most immersive experiences to the Windows Store. First, we are excited to announce the first wave of content partners coming to Windows Mixed Reality. Second, it’s my pleasure to let you know that we are working with 343 Industries to bring future Halo experiences into mixed reality. We are not providing specifics right now, but it is going to be a lot of fun to work with them.
In addition, I am thrilled to announce that Steam content will also run on Windows Mixed Reality headsets. Virtual reality enthusiasts know that Steam is a great place to enjoy cutting edge immersive experiences. We can’t wait to bring their content to you.
Here is a sneak peek into what you can expect this holiday. We are just getting started and we are honored to work with world class creators and developers.
Mixed Reality is the future, and we want everyone on the journey with us. For customers, we are creating the best, most affordable mixed reality headsets and bringing you immersive experiences that you will love. For developers, we are making it easy to create great content spanning from simple augmented reality to virtual reality and of course holograms.
There is more in store for this holiday and I look forward to sharing more details with you in the coming weeks! In the meantime, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me on Twitter, and please continue to share your feedback with us.