This week has finally seen Microsoft properly discuss the upcoming launch of its Windows Mixed Reality (MR) platform which its building with manufacturing partners Acer, HP, Asus, Lenovo and Dell. For the company’s IFA press conference today, Microsoft unveiled what it calls the Windows Device Collections, a fancy way of bundling similar products together for a nice rounded look. So there’s a Premium Collection for the top end devices, a Gaming Collection for – you guessed it – gamers, and several more. Naturally MR got a look in with the Mixed Reality Collection, with Microsoft pointing out some of the differences between the headsets that may sway consumers.
As you may expect most of those differences revolved around aesthetic design. Each manufacturer has gone for a particular look, with Dell opting for a minimal white design while Asus has taken a much more striking approach with a polygonal look. While the other three have gone for a more generic design, with Acer adding a splash of colour to make it pop.
As the headsets are all based off of a Microsoft core design, how they actually work and their internals are virtually identical. The tech giant did try and point out some fundamental differences, some more obvious than others. The flip hinge on the Acer headset was noted during the press conference – although looking at the design of each one they all bear the hinge.
Supposedly the Lenovo has a focus on comfort, ideal for long play sessions – so does that mean the rest aren’t? The Dell was noted to have swappable face pads should users get all hot and sweaty, but again if the other’s don’t there won’t be any sharing or local multiplayer fun. The one feature of note was for the HP headset, which has a quick release cable – handy if it gets snagged or trodden on.
So has Microsoft already tempted you into buying a Windows Mixed Reality headset? Prices start from $299 USD for the Acer, with bundles including the motion controllers starting at $399. Plus there’s the fact that Steam support has now been confirmed, adding a wealth of titles to the launch.
As ever, keep reading VRFocus for the latest updates.