Today Microsoft announced that developers in the US and Canada can now pre-order the Acer ($299) and HP ($329) Mixed Reality headsets from the Microsoft Store. Delivery of the headsets is scheduled for August 2017.

In October, Terry Myerson, Microsoft executive VP of Windows and Devices announced that the company had partnered with HP, Lenovo, Dell, Asus, and Acer to make VR headsets a part of the new Windows 10 Creator’s Update.

“These headsets will be the first and only to ship with inside-out, 6-degrees of freedom sensors. Unlike every other VR headset on the market today, it means there’ll be zero reason for a separate room, zero need for a complicated setup, and while those less immersive accessories today cost over $500—most of the time requiring a new, expensive device, we are announcing today that these Creator’s Update accessories start at just $299,” said Myerson.

The ‘Windows Holographic First Run’ application, a sort of pre-check to see if your computer can actually run one of Window’s headsets, revealed some surprisingly low minimum requirements for AR and VR on Windows compared to what we would call a ‘VR ready’ computer today. Combined with the relative low cost in comparison to a high-end gaming PC, Microsoft is aiming to quickly build a large audience of Windows VR headsets, and more importantly, a large userbase.

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Among other things, these specs imply a PC that could be running with hardware as low as the 2009 AMD Anthlon II series (some have 4 cores) and 2010 Nvidia GT 400 series (some support DX12). And what that means is a very cheap PC, that may also be ancient by today’s standards. If these specs are all that’s required to run Windows Holographic, even many lower-end laptops should work, compared to what would be required for an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive.

Because of this low-end PC approach, Microsoft is focusing on providing applications like Cliff House, an app that’s meant to showcase the Windows operating system as imagined in virtual reality. According to Principal Program Manager Brandon Bray, Cliff House allows you to place and arrange your apps around the space where you can create a number of customized areas like a gaming basement, a productivity room or an entertainment hub on the balcony overlooking a mountainous landscape—essentially mirroring the HoloLens usecase of choosing which Windows apps you want to use and sticking them around your house.

You can now pre-order Acer ($299) and HP ($329) headsets directly from the Microsoft Store. They won’t include the motion controllers shown earlier today however, but the Acer VR headset will be offered as a bundle with controllers for $399 some time around the holiday season.


The Microsoft Store has now updated the store for Acer and HP headset pre-orders.

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  • NooYawker

    “You can pre-order Acer ($299) and HP ($329) headsets directly from the Microsoft Store.”
    That link sends me to a page that says: “Sorry there was a problem with your request”
    Tried to find it myself on the microsoft store page but can’t. I see all the VR stuff and the Hololens that sells for 3-5 K. But no pre-order list for Mixed reality dev kits.

    • Jim Cherry

      wait till keynote reaches the vr ar section theyll probably go live around then

    • Alex Coulombe

      any luck?

      • NooYawker

        Nope.

        • Alex Coulombe

          Here it is! windows.com/mixedreality

    • Andrew Jakobs

      The headsets are only available for pre-order in the US……. :'(

  • iThinkMyCatIsAFlea

    More hardware is exactly what we need…

    • Jim Cherry

      oems have never cared about what we “need” just ask apple did we need the iphone when we had perfectly good palm pilots and blackberries

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Yes we do.

    • Lucidfeuer

      Better hardware is what we need, and nobody seems to be fucking capable of doing their job despite being multibillion corporation. So these don’t add much, and have ridiculously low FOV but…hey they add a bit of something.

    • Bakkster

      The problem isn’t that this is an additional hardware setup, the problem is that it’s an additional software setup. It’s bad enough having Oculus, SteamVR, and OSVR for developers to support, adding MS’s proprietary VR format doesn’t help.

  • Mark my words this will be scorpios vr solution, announcment incoming soon.

    • Smokey_the_Bear

      Everyone already knows this…

      • okay, thanks i guess?

        • polysix

          “mark my words”

          O.K Cap’n obvious.

          • lol man didnt realize stating the obvious can trigger people. so sensitive.

          • Bryan Ischo

            Well someone in this thread is being sensitive but I’m not sure it’s who you think it is :)

    • GrangerFX

      Hope so. I will be first in line to pre-order a Scorpio/VR bundle.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      It was already announced during the show itself, these headsets will work with the Xbox.

  • Bryan Ischo

    Unfortunately Microsoft has not done itself any favors by continually misrepresenting the technology to the point that it becomes impossible to understand exactly what they are shipping. You cannot take their announcements at face value because they always misrepresent the field of view of the projected images as well as the capabilities of the hololens technology to blend arbitrary image opacities into the environment.

    Therefore, I do not understand exactly what this device is. Is it just a cheaper version of hololens with the same display limitations (can’t tell from the video embedded in this article because it’s clearly the same lie as they’ve always been telling about hololens)? Or is it something else?

    Also as exciting as the idea of this inside-out tracking is, if it’s really just there to support a hololens like experience, then unfortunately it’s just about guaranteed to not be good enough for real VR. I’d love it if we could have inside out tracking at the same fidelity as lighthouse, but supporting “mixed reality”/hololens tracking is not the same as supporting true VR tracking and so being able to inside out track with this device is no guarantee that it would be good enough for real VR (the fact that they’re not releasing a true VR headset — assuming that they are not — is pretty convicing evidence that they *can’t* do inside out tracking with fidelity acceptable for VR).

    I really hope that I’m wrong and that the tracking is good enough for VR, but I highly, highly doubt that it is.

    • Marco Grubert

      It’s a regular VR headset with Project Tango-like tracking. Nothing “mixed” about it as far as I can tell. My main concern is drift in room-scale applications- walking 3m in one direction, turning around and going back to the starting point will the tracking system be robust enough to figure out that I am back at the origin?

    • PrymeFactor

      None of these have anything to do with Hololens. Obvious if you’d read the article or done a cursory google search.

      People have tried it at Build today and report the tracking is pretty great.

      All that wall of text and too little thought behind it.

      • Bryan Ischo

        I did read the article. It wasn’t obvious to me. Is calling VR “mixed reality” an attempt to make things clear? Because if it was, it failed spectacularly, at least for me.

        Anyway, guess what — I didn’t have to do google searches and try to figure out what it was — I just had to ask on RoadToVR and you provided the answer … sucker!

    • Lucidfeuer

      Asking myself the same question: what the fuck are they advertising here.

  • NooYawker

    Do I want this? $299 is so cheap but what do I do with it?

    • iThinkMyCatIsAFlea

      That is the right question.

      It’s as though companies think we’ll buy plastic headwear even if there’s no content that we really want. @YouKnowWhoYouAre We won’t. And don’t think current pc games that get VR’d count; Doom VR, PayDay 2 VR, Fallout 4 VR, Half-Life 2 VR will not get us to spend several hundred dollars on an headset. We’ve already played those PC games.

      • ersander

        Devs = Content. More People Using = More motivation for Devs to create more Content.

        The whole idea behind this low cost unit is to get it into the hands of as many devs (and ultimately people) as possible, which is a necessary first step towards a world a plethora of compelling content.

        • iThinkMyCatIsAFlea

          Then maybe they should keep it for the Xbox Two right? Like what Sony did with PSVR.

          • Graham J ⭐️

            Maybe you should stop posting about the VR industry until you know as much about it as people who are actually in it.

          • iThinkMyCatIsAFlea

            ;)

      • Graham J ⭐️

        Asking what you would do with a dev kit is not the right question unless you don’t know what dev kit means. It’s for developers so they can develop software so that when it’s released to the public there is content people want.

        Do you really think huge companies like Microsoft, Asus and HP haven’t thought about this? Maybe they’re not as stupid as you think.

        • iThinkMyCatIsAFlea

          “Do you really think huge companies like Microsoft, Asus and HP haven’t thought about this?”

          Yeah, I do. They’ll announce tech demos, Minecraft, Forza, Halo something or other and maybe, if we’re lucky, Solitaire.

    • Graham J ⭐️

      It’s a dev kit – you would write software for it.

  • GrangerFX

    The HP looks a lot nicer than the Acer. The Acer will almost certainly get caught up in your hair based on that design. The HP is a lot sleeker and the knob to tighten the band works well if it is like the one on the PSVR. If you are going to get one of these, go for the HP. I will wait until we learn if either of these will work with the XBox Scorpio. Hopefully they will announce a bundle at E3.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Uhm, as far as I can see, there is little to no difference between de Acer and Hp in regard to headband, Both have a knob at the back and the rest is the same..
      But I also like the design of the HP more due to it being black and not the toylike color the acer has.
      It’s already announced that these headsets will work with the Xbox, so no need to wait for an announcement. BUT I do agree on waiting for some review as nothing has been actually said about these headsets. How well do they fare compare to the current vive/oculus.

  • Graham J ⭐️

    “and while those less immersive accessories today cost over $500”

    So the idea is that these headsets will be more immersive than, say, the Vive? Even when they actually come with motion controllers (which currently they do not) that is a pretty bold statement.

    These are a bit higher resolution and don’t require external positioning units but otherwise I don’t see a lot of benefits to this approach. You’re still going to want space to walk around in, you’re still tethered to a PC, and at least for a while there’s going to be next to no content.

    As a dev I’m tempted to get it just to get in on the ground floor but I think I’ll wait for more reviews.

    • iThinkMyCatIsAFlea

      “..and at least for a while there’s going to be next to no content.”

      Which is what we were discussing below.

      • Graham J ⭐️

        What we were discussing below was dev units; this quote and my comment refer to future production units and the system in general. There being no content is fine for the dev kit but production units will be compared with existing ecosystems.

        I hope this does do well because more choice is better, and if many devs pick these up and start developing for them I may be wrong about there being little software at launch. But either way I don’t see these being “more immersive” than existing tethered headsets.

        • iThinkMyCatIsAFlea

          Yeah I don’t either.

  • Lucidfeuer

    If they bothered having decent FOV, these would be the best headset per price on the market now. Also I don’t really understand, “Two high-resolution liquid crystal displays at 1440 x 1440”, so one screen per eye and what latency?

    But I’m curious about their inside-out tracking solution, which is far from clear as well.

    • So it’s LCD, not AMOLED, that’s all we know.

      • Lucidfeuer

        Yup, LCD…maybe not a good news either, even if resolution is okay.

        • daveinpublic

          From the reviews I’ve seen, it’s not quiet as good as OLED, but’s it’s not far off.

  • With these low prices, they can disrupt the market

  • MW

    Facts: poor res., small fov, no centent. Cheap. Well… no,thanks. I preffer waiting for Pimax 8k.

    • daveinpublic

      High res