Recently, a blog post by Microsoft has given us a peek into updates coming from the Fall Creators Edition. Support will be included in these updates that feature mixed reality devices in an attempt to bring VR headsets to consumers at prices that are drastically lower than previously possible. One of the biggest pieces of news here, though, is that Microsoft is working on becoming compatible with Steam and HTC Vive and that they will be working alongside 343 Industries to bring consumers a type of Halo VR experience.
What does this mean for consumers? Well, quite simply, the library available for the $600 Vive will be accessible with the $300 Microsoft headset. Many may begin feeling uneasy about the HTC HQ, but it is likely that the company is already talking about lowering the price anyway. Already this month, the price of the Vive has dropped $200. This is probably because people are not willing to spend that much money on the hardware.
The vision Microsoft has for its mixed reality headsets will have a big advantage because they plan to build in a lot of the cumbersome stuff other VR headsets are lacking. For example, you must place sensors for motion tracking around the room for the HTC Vive. The Microsoft hardware, on the other hand, will reduce clutter by building movement tracking into the headset, making them more portable and less costly.
We can only assume that experiences Microsoft had with HoloLens and Kinect gave the company a good understanding on how to keep the sensors and set up process simple while mapping the rooms. HoloLens gives you an experience that is something to behold, one where virtual reality and physical reality become one. The uses for this technology are endless and amazing.
Of course, as you can only expect, Microsoft will be making plans for certification of this product. A couple of experiences will be available for laptop PCs and desktop computers where people can access VR content. Consumers purchasing the Windows Mixed Reality PCs will be able to run virtual reality at 60 frames per second, while those using the Windows Mixed Reality Ultra PCs are able to enjoy virtual reality at 90 frames per second.
Unfortunately, the entry-level machines will be running at a mere 60 frames per second. A minimum of 75 frames per second is the widely accepted norm for a good VR experience, and for the experience to be very comfortable, 90 frames per second are recommended. Using a system with a lower rate can be uncomfortable for the user. Once someone has a bad VR experience, they are likely to be turned off from using virtual reality because it can make them physically sick.
Microsoft posted a video to help consumers see the direction they are wanting to take their mixed reality branding. It seems their hope is to see their mixed reality branding in a different light than what many have come to see virtual reality.