The Microsoft Store is starting to flesh itself out with mixed reality headsets in preparation for Microsoft's push into mixed reality experiences, starting with the Fall Creators Update in a couple weeks. Two of the newest entries include Samsung's Odyssey, a premium HMD with OLED panels based on the same AMOLED technology it uses in its smartphones, and Acer's model.
Like the rest of the current crop based on Microsoft's reference design (save for the Odyssey), Acer's headset uses LCD panels, with a 1440x1440 resolution per eye. It costs $399, making it the least expensive mixed reality headset available alongside Lenovo's Explorer.
"Mixed reality may usher in one of the biggest transformations of our time. Acer is thrilled to be a part of this revolution by bringing our customers this intuitive and exciting way to experience an alternate world with our mixed reality headsets," said Eric Ackerson, Acer America senior manager, product marketing and brand management. "Mixed reality offers a plethora of fun and engaging content that is continually evolving. It promises to shape our lives in profound ways in the years to come with its potential for new and more immersive means to learn, collaborate, work and play."
Suffice to say, Acer has boarded the hype train that's being driving by Microsoft. The Fall Creators Update is supposed to usher in new era of computing. That's not to say Microsoft sees mixed reality becoming the default way of using a PC, but it is certainly looking to widen the field to a larger audience. To do that, it needed hardware makers to embrace the movement, while simultaneously lowering the cost of entry.
At present, here are the headsets available to preorder from the Microsoft Store:
- Acer Windows Mixed Reality Headset—$399
- Dell Visor—$449
- HP Windows MIxed Reality Headset—$449
- Lenovo Explorer—$399
- Samsung Odyssey—$499
You can also purchase Microsoft's HoloLens for $3,000, or pick up a VR headset including the HTC Vive for $499, HTC Vive Business Edition for $1,200, and the Oculus Rift for $599.
At present, each of the mixed reality headsets comes bundled with motion controllers, which is why none of them are $299 as previously promised. They offer inside-out tracking rather than external cameras placed around the room—the sensors are placed in the headset itself.
While mixed reality headsets are available to preorder, demand does not seem to be such that a shortage is looming. That being the case, the safe bet is to hold off and see how this all shakes out in the coming weeks and months.