The new Windows 10 Mixed Reality platform from Microsoft is the first real step in bringing together low-level virtual devices and top-end helmets into a single standardized framework.
Peripheral manufacturers, including HP, Dell, ASUS, Acer, Lenovo and Samsung, are creating their own helmets for Windows 10, the price of which will range from $ 299 to $ 500. Each of them will offer some unique chips while maintaining the overall functionality in key points.
Among the significant advantages of this platform include built-in tracking technology, support for Windows 10 with related tools and utilities, support for games on SteamVR, and two virtual controllers that are included in the delivery of each helmet.
Moreover, each helmet will offer in the future technology of mixed reality, which includes both virtual and augmented reality (at the first stage only virtual will be available). The main goal is to get rid of barriers that prevent VR / AR devices from becoming mainstream.
The Microsoft MR platform seeks to combine the ease of use of devices such as Samsung Gear VR that take top positions in virtual device sales, with the technology of the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift helmets, providing the final product as a standardized Windows 10 device.
Thanks to the tools provided by Microsoft, manufacturers can produce relatively inexpensive helmets with the ability to run on integrated video cards of laptops instead of expensive devices that require top-end video cards to work.
According to analysts from the company SuperData, Microsoft’s standardized approach will provide a large volume of sales to new devices already at the start: “Microsoft is in excellent conditions to become a serious competitor to Vive and Oculus. The company owns a recognizable brand, on its side – a powerful marketing and price range, which are suitable for various consumer budgets. ”
Analysts predict that at the start of the device from Microsoft and partner manufacturers will bypass HTC Vive and Oculus Rift in sales in the ratio of 2 to 1.