Last year, Microsoft announced that it was partnering with a handful of device makers to develop a range of mixed-reality headsets. Today, at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, the company announced that dev kits of Acer's mixed-reality headset would be shipping later this month.
"Mixed reality blends real-world and virtual content into hybrid environments where physical and digital objects coexist and interact," Microsoft said (opens in new tab). "Create mixed reality experiences targeting a broad range of Windows 10 devices—from the untethered, self-contained HoloLens to fully immersive PC experiences using the upcoming Windows Mixed Reality headsets. Release your users from flat screens."
Acer's is the first of these "Windows Mixed Reality" headsets—it features two 1440 x 1440 liquid crystal displays, a native refresh rate of up to 90 Hz, and connects via HDMI 2.0 (for the display) and USB 3.0 (for data). It has built-in audio out and microphone support through a 3.5mm jack.
Microsoft's mixed reality headsets use inside-out tracking, which means they don't require external trackers or sensors such as the HTC Vive's Lighthouse tracking. They're designed to be paired with a "mixed reality-ready" Windows PC, unlike Microsoft's own HoloLens headset (opens in new tab), which is a self-contained unit (and costs $3,000). Other Windows mixed-reality headsets are in development from Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and 3Glasses. Microsoft previously announced that these headsets will start at $299.
Microsoft is hoping developers will build a wide range of content for these MR headsets, including games. Devs interested in building content for them can sign up for ID@Xbox (opens in new tab). For more info about Microsoft's vision for mixed reality, check out the video below: