Here’s a visual tour of some of the first VR headsets to be shown adopting Microsoft’s new Windows Holographic platform. At CES Acer, 3Glasses, Dell, HP and Lenovo are all showing VR headsets due for 2017, this is what they’ll look like.

Microsoft’s Windows Holographic is the company’s immersive initiative built on foundations begun with their first foray into the augmented reality world with their HoloLens visor. At the time of HoloLens’ launch, Microsoft announced that Windows Holographic would be a unified platform for immersive devices, built into every copy of Windows 10. Therefore, any manufacturer looking to enter the VR or AR space could design and build that hardware atop Windows Holographic, knowing the APIs used would be universally available to Windows users.

Minimum Specs for Microsoft's Windows 10 AR/VR Interface Are Impressively Low

The initial lineup for Windows Holographic hardware was announced in December of last year, with Microsoft OEM stalwarts Asus, Acer, Dell, HP, and Lenovo all signing on to produce VR hardware for the platform. Chinese VR headset maker 3Glasses also joined the group, and will support the Windows mixed reality environment on their S1 VR headset in the first half of 2017.

We already took a sneak peek at Lenovo’s device at CES this week and despite the device being non functional, the flip-up face interface and PSVR-like head harness impressed. Now, Windows Central has taken a closer look at the devices from other partners, and while there are some design ethos differences, that flip-up functionality and head harness design we liked so much seems to be standard across all. Here’s a quick visual tour of each, thanks to Windows Central. Note how all seem to include front-facing, dual camera sensors presumably integrated for use with inside out tracking, as has been confirmed for Lenovo’s headset.





In terms of specifications for these new headsets, all we know at present is that they’ll be able to “scale across mainstream Intel architecture platforms natively on [Intel’s CPU-integrated] HD Graphics,” by the end of 2017. But as we’ve noted before, that it’s unlikely this will allow the creation of high fidelity VR experiences the likes of which seen on other PC VR platforms like Oculus’ Rift and HTC’s Vive.

In terms of headset resolution, we know Lenovo’s will pack dual 1440 x 1440 pixel panels but if the tracking and headset form factors may be similar across the headsets pictured above, there’s no guarantee display tech will be too. In fact, given the likely price disparity between the cheapest (said to be close to $300), different headset may opt for more premium specifications.

Road to VR are at CES throughout the show, and we’ll be doing our best to shed some light on these questions.

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Based in the UK, Paul has been immersed in interactive entertainment for the best part of 27 years and has followed advances in gaming with a passionate fervour. His obsession with graphical fidelity over the years has had him branded a ‘graphics whore’ (which he views as the highest compliment) more than once and he holds a particular candle for the dream of the ultimate immersive gaming experience. Having followed and been disappointed by the original VR explosion of the 90s, he then founded to follow the new and exciting prospect of the rebirth of VR in products like the Oculus Rift. Paul joined forces with Ben to help build the new Road to VR in preparation for what he sees as VR’s coming of age over the next few years.
  • Xilence

    Have you ever been more excited? BECAUSE I SURE AM. This is the birth of AFFORDABLE VR. :D

  • Bob

    The sheer number of VR headsets being announced for release this year and in the coming years is absolutely staggering. Every major technology company is trying to get a piece of the action which means more innovation and rapid advancement and this should drive the original “founders” of this VR revolution, Oculus and HTC, to work much harder to produce something that’s far more advanced than what the rest of the market is offering. This train is gradually accelerating much like the smartphones that came before. It’s looking very bright indeed…

    • Bryan Ischo

      Oculus and HTC are *already* producing “something that’s far more advanced than what the rest of the market is offering”.

      I agree that more players in the market will only serve to drive innovation and reduce prices, which is absolutely what we need.

      • Michael Ramirez

        What are they producing that is “far more advanced than what the rest of the market is offering” ?

        • Bryan Ischo

          The Rift and the Vive. They include positional tracking unlike any of the other products out there, and additionally include motion controls.

          Hence, the Rift and the Vive are “far more advanced than what the rest of the market is offering”.

      • Andrew Jakobs

        We don’t know anything about these headsets, all we can think of is the tracking of O/H being better, but we have no idea.. The displays of these headsets seem to be of a higher resolution (1440×1440 per eye), but that doesn’t say anything.

      • NooYawker

        Making an inferior but more affordable product will bring more consumers into the market. And that will get more companies developing for it.

    • VRgameDevGirl

      Agreed!! I can’t wait to see where VR/AR will be in the next few years! Its moving so fast!!

    • Andrew Jakobs

      I don’t know, these headsets seem to be based upon a single hardwareplatform with only the outer shell/headband being different. so not much innovation here..

      • WyrdestGeek

        Worst case is: maybe they have a lot of the same internal hardware components.

        As in: sure they probably all have very hi resolution displays. I mean, why wouldn’t they? And sure they all have lenses to magnify– why wouldn’t they?

        But even if all they’re doing is copying the competition– there’s suddenly a lot to copy from and attempt to innovate from — small, tiny innovations.

        This is similar to how natural selection works except instead of nature doing the selecting it’s the consumer market . All these little tweaks and adjustments mean that suddenly there could be much more data about which tweaks make a big difference and which ones are unnecessary.

        (P.S. It probably also means the space will be chock full of “noisy shiny crap” and gimmicky gadgets that don’t work– but that’s a part of the process too. The bright side is that most of those will not stay in the market for more than a year or so.)

        Furry cows moo and decompress.

    • user

      the sheer number of smartwatch manufacturers didnt help these devices.

      • OgreTactics


      • WyrdestGeek

        Smartwatch is a solution looking for a problem to solve.

        Also, the “day of the smartwatch” may yet come. But also, I’m not holding my breath.

        You could be right. It could be that a proliferation of devices doesn’t help at all. However, I’m choosing to stay cautiously optimistic that this will be beneficial for VR in the long run.

        Furry cows moo and decompress.

      • NooYawker

        Smart watches didn’t bring much to the table. What can it do aside from replicate what’s already being done on your phone. VR is exciting and new.

      • Bob

        No but did we need smartwatches when we had smartphones? Do we have an alternative to complete “three dimensional immersive entertainment”? Obviously the type of technology matters so stop overgeneralising.

        • user

          you didnt understand my point

          • Bob

            Perhaps you’d like to elaborate then?

    • OgreTactics

      Do you work in the Apple PR marketing team? Because you just spew absolute fairy non-sense.

  • David Herrington

    Anyone else notice that 3Glasses logo

    uses the same logo as Cryengine?

    • WyrdestGeek

      To me, the logos look distinct from each other, but yet still similar enough for a lawsuit.

      • J.C.

        Lol, if Chinese manufacturers were suddenly held accountable for copyright/trademark violations, the entire country would go bankrupt.

  • Foreign Devil

    Almost all of them have adapted the hinge strap of PSVR. . . Learning from the competition. . good to see!

    • Get Schwifty!

      IKR…. single biggest advance of VR for 2017: PSVR-style hinge-strap :)

      Now if only Rift and Vive will announce revised headsets using them in their 2.0 versions….

      • Armando Tavares

        If KOPIN does what they are saying they will (, it will be among the top 3 things to happen in AR/VR in 2017 for sure. The potential is ENORMOUS.

  • Ian Shook

    TLDR Which one do I buy k thanks

    • OgreTactics

      if you don’t care about they do: any, I don’t know, the cheapest.

  • Andrew Jakobs

    If the Dell was black, then I might even think about that one.. It seems all headsets are using the same internal hardware, and only the outershell/headband is different among the headsets.

  • Nein

    This is great. Now they just need to solve the software side of things. Particularly breaking the ice in making GOOD content in a profitable way.

  • Luke

    those HMD seems to have not room scale suppport. please do something, we should talk about this, if possible write articels, say to the developers to implement it.
    microsoft wants to force seated vr or what? this looks like a dictate.

    • BrianCalhoun

      The windows Holographic headsets all have positional tracking built in so you don’t need lighthouses or external sensors.

      • Luke

        positional tracking and “room scale” aren’t the same.

  • Smokey_the_Bear

    I have high hopes for these, but i’m a bit disappointed that all of them are wired. 2017 should be the year the cord gets cut.

    • NooYawker

      Wireless addon is coming soon. But it’ll be expensive.

  • OgreTactics

    It’s like those cheap knock-off you see on any market segment, but they’re somehow more advanced because they iterated after main consumer devices, at a way cheaper price. Something is not in order, but I’ll buy one to test that external tracking component.

    Still not what is going to guarantee VR’s future for this cycle though. Can’t wait to see what Samsung & Google do next.

  • Fear Monkey

    Hp’s need to have a red led that goes from left to right and back to give that cylon look.
    By your command!

  • awesome new comers. welcome to VR/AR world