Microsoft Readies Windows Mixed Reality Developer Kits

Posted March 03, 2017

The Microsoft VR headset is headed to Xbox in 2018.

As announced past year, Microsoft has partnered with manufacturers including Acer, Asus, Dell, HP and Lenovo to produce Windows Mixed Reality headsets. The software giant said the headset would start shipping to development partners later this month. Where the company's HoloLens developer kit has a narrow field of view that makes it tough to see even an entire application window at once, much less an entire Windows desktop, that wasn't a problem with Microsoft's VR-style rig. Gesture tracking, another key pillar of the HoloLens experience, is also missing from the Acer HMD.

The full line starts at $299, but Microsoft didn't detail which end of the pricing spectrum Asus' mixed reality headset will sit.

If you're one among a select group of developers, then you already have access to the Acer-built Microsoft MR development kit.

Microsoft has announced that it hopes to introduce Mixed Reality headsets to its Xbox console gaming platform by 2018.

Microsoft, in partnership with Acer, also announced a new Acer Windows Mixed Reality Development Edition headset.

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Acer is getting into the mix first and will be offering its headset to developers this month.

Microsoft said that it will reveal more new on mixed reality during its Build conference in May.

There are no indications on what GPU you will need to power the VR headsets, but we assume it won't be as graphically demanding as the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. According to CNet, the headset closely resembles the Sony PlayStation VR but was not as comfortable to use.

That means the Xbox One, Xbox One S and Project Scorpio support is coming.

"We use this term mixed reality to represent this spectrum of augmented reality to virtual reality and everything in-between".

Also part of the mixed reality experience journey, Microsoft says the dev kit will also be available for other devices as time goes on.