Over the past few years, Technology has been making great leaps towards turning our childhood sci-fi wishes in to reality. We have smart phones with biometric security, cars that can sense when you drift out of a lane or get to close to an object, wireless home networks with voice activated assistants and now interactive virtual reality. Several companies have already produced high quality VR apparatuses like the Oculus Rift, HTC’s Vive and Samsung's Gear VR are among the top selling VR headsets on the market. Microsoft, however, has been surprisingly absent in the new tech market despite owning the platform that many of these headsets run on. That is until they unveiled they revealed their plans for a new VR headset in late October.
The new platform will have more detailed information released in December, but here's what we know so far. The new headsets will be set to work with Windows 10 are expected to be released in March with an estimated $299 price tag, nearly half the average cost of the current competition. This could prove groundbreaking in the new market especially when you take in to consideration how many PC companies have signed on to build hardware for the updated Windows VR system including HP, Dell, and Acer.
Microsoft also plans to make drastic innovations to the current VR setup. For those that don't know virtual reality headsets work using 3-axis sensors that can detect rotation around their three dimensions. However, in order for the headset to detect motion through space and allow moving around virtual environments they require motion boxes. The new model headsets that Microsoft is proposing will include six-degrees of freedom motion sensing, enabling the headset itself to recognize both rotation and spatial translation independently. That means no more motion boxes, as well as easier installation as well as more flexibility for the user. Microsoft has yet to go into detail as to how they plan to achieve this without any external references so we'll wait and see what other details they'll be revealing in early December. I'll updating you guys with any updates on this as they come so be sure to subscribe to stay up to date on this and other tech news.
Update: Dec. 20, 2016
Ok, so as promised here's an update on the Windows VR specifications for Windows 10.
CPU: Intel Mobile Core i5 (e.g. 7200U) Dual-Core with Hyperthreading equivalent
GPU: Integrated Intel® HD Graphics 620 (GT2) equivalent or greater DX12 API Capable GPURAM: 8GB+ Dual Channel required for integrated graphics
HDMI: HDMI 1.4 with 2880 x 1440 @ 60 Hz, HDMI 2.0 or DP 1.3+ with 2880 x 1440 @ 90 Hz
Storage: 100GB+ SSD (Preferred) / HDD
Bluetooth: 4.0 and above for accessories
These specs make the Windows VR platform more accessible than Oculus and HTC's. That plus the $300 estimated price tag remaining unchanged, means that future VR experiences will become available to a broader audience. Still no word on how Windows plans to get around the need for motion boxes, but they are definitely off to a good start based on the minimum system requirements. I'll be sure to keep you guys up to date with the latest updates so be sure to subscribe to Yagoli.com