In addition to shocking the tech world (in a positive way) with the wholly unexpected announcement of not one, but two Surface Book 2 variants, Microsoft yesterday delivered on a promise from early last month, officially launching both the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update and the first batch of immersive Windows Mixed Reality headsets.
A large number of Redmond’s traditional hardware-making partners have jumped right in to support the Oculus, HTC and Sony-challenging MR initiative, developing head-mounted displays that are perhaps a little too similar and confusing for the end user.
Basically, choosing one of the four headsets up for grabs today is a matter of design preference, as they’re all capable of the same captivating experiences, no hole-drilling into your walls necessary.
You can purchase the unnamed Acer WMR headset and the Dell Visor with or without standard bundled controllers at $299, $399, $349 and $449 respectively. The Lenovo Explorer is only available with included motion controllers, for an affordable grand total of $399, and the complete HP Windows Mixed Reality package sets you back an extra 50 bucks.
In terms of specifications, the Dell Visor and Lenovo Explorer stand out with a 105 field of view, compared to the other two’s 95 degrees FOV. All four sport LCD screens with 1440 x 1440 resolution per eye, which the Samsung Odyssey marginally upgrades to 1440 x 1600 pixels with OLED technology.
The Odyssey also features built-in premium AKG headphones, costing $499.99 with motion controllers, and shipping from November 10. Then you have the swankiest product of them all, from Asus, with a 3D polygonal design, priced at €449 on the old continent, but only slated for a commercial release next year.
Finally, Fujitsu came a tad late to the party, targeting the always distinctive Japanese market with a fairly generic-looking Windows Mixed Reality headset priced at the rough equivalent of $445, controllers included, and regionally due out in late November. Don’t forget you need compatible PCs to get these bad boys to work, although the minimum requirements aren’t exactly excessive.