Microsoft’s Windows 10 ‘Fall Creators Update’ is available for download today, making the operating system compatible with its line of Windows “Mixed Reality” VR headsets, which coincidentally are arriving on doorsteps and store shelves starting today too.

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update was first announced at the Microsoft Build dev conference back in May, and promised to bring with it some incremental updates alongside one of the most important of all: support for its line of Windows VR headsets. You can wait for the timed rollout, which is said to come to all compatible PCs over the next few weeks, or skip the line entirely and download the update today.

Setting them apart from other PC VR headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, Windows VR headsets (confusingly named “Mixed Reality”) include inside-out tracking thanks to the on-board vision processing sensors, meaning there’s no need for external sensors or base stations—a truly ‘plug and play’ experience. As a product of the same reference design, the headsets pack identical specs, although the build quality and design aesthetic seem to differ along price lines.

Windows VR Headsets: Basic Specs

  • Dual displays at 1440 x 1440 per eye
  • 2.89” diagonal display size (x2)
  • Front hinged display
  • 105 degrees horizontal field of view
  • Display refresh rate up to 90Hz (native)
  • Built-in audio out and microphone support through 3.5mm jack
  • Single cable with HDMI 2.0 (display) and USB 3.0 (data) for connectivity
  • Inside-out tracking
  • 4.00m cable

Headsets from Acer, Dell, HP, and Lenovo are available both online and in select stores starting today.

Acer Windows Mixed Reality Headset

Image courtesy Acer

At the lowest price tier for $400 (with controllers) is Acer’s retro-styled headset. Like all headsets in Microsoft’s lineup, it features a halo-style head strap and a flip-up design, although it uses less expensive materials in its construction, making it seem a little more plasticy than the others while offering the same basic functionality.

Dell Visor

Image courtesy Dell

Smooth and futuristic, Dell’s Visor falls in line with some premium styling that will set you back $450 (with controllers). A rubberized texture gives the headset good grip without collecting finger prints, and was supposedly weighted in strategic spots to be more comfortable for longer play sessions.

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HP Windows Mixed Reality Headset

HP headset, image courtesy Windows

HP’s headset is more business than play in styling, with its facial interface featuring cutouts for eye glasses to go along with its sober grey scale tones. HP matches Dell in pricing at $450 (with controllers)

Lenovo Explorer

Image courtesy Lenovo

Another headset that looks like it means business is the Lenovo Explorer. With styling that looks at home with Lenovo’s line of ThinkPads, the headset sits at the lowest price tier of $400, of course offering all the same functionality.

Samsung HMD Odyssey

Samsung’s sleek Odyssey headset may be slated for a November 6th launch in the US (now available for pre-order), but it sets itself a part from the others with a higher comparative resolution with its 2880 x 1600 OLED, pushing a 90Hz refresh and up to 110 degree field of view. Integrated audio and integrated dual mic array clearly put this ahead of its cousins, but it also comes at the price tag of $500 (with motion controllers), $100 more than the Oculus Rift.

Image courtesy Microsoft

The headsets are being sold in a bundle including two wireless controllers that utilize the headsets’ room-tracking tech. Ergonomically, the controllers aren’t that great when compared to Oculus Touch, although they seem to provide positional tracking that is clearly above that of PSVR’s Move controllers. Check out our hands-on here.

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If you’re worried about whether your computer can handle the headsets or not, Microsoft recently published a minimum spec list that says the only thing you need is a desktop or laptop with a fairly recent i5 processor and a GPU with integrated Intel HD Graphics 620 or greater DX12 capable integrated graphics card. You’ll also need a minimum of 8GB of RAM, a single HDMI 1.4 or DisplayPort 1.2, and a single USB 3.0 Type-A or Type-C port to get you started in the world of VR.

Granted, a PC reflecting Oculus or Vive’s recommended specs will get you into more graphically intensive applications like games on Steam, although you won’t be able to play Steam games just yet. Developers already have a preview version of Windows Mixed Reality SteamVR support, but consumers will gain access sometime before the end of the year.

We’re putting out our deep dive hands-on with the hardware later today, so check back for the most comprehensive breakdown you’ll likely find on the subject.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 4,000 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Joe Black

    Does anybody out there know the extent to which these headsets will be available internationally?

    The same as for Oculus Rift and Vive, or is this a product that will see similar distribution to, for instance, mainstream computer monitors.

    The latter is all I ask for :fingersx:

    • Andrew Jakobs

      I do know the Samsung will not come to the EU, at least not for a while (hopefully we get an updated version with a hinge).

  • Luke

    tonight I played Echo Arena and I’m sure those new inside out hmd’s could not run this game as the same quality level because of the inside out tracking.
    Echo Arena is simply awesome. and I hope one day will be multiplatform, so I hope microsoft will add the chance to use a custom setup with external sensor to add precision to the built in inside out tracking system.

    • Al

      Are you guessing or have you confirmed?

      Lots of Bias against inside out yet reviews currently coming in indicate that most of it is just that – Bias.

      • Luke

        I’m sure but I can be wrong but listen: I’m sure
        that for the actions that I did one of my arms where out of the field of
        view of the 2 inside out tracking camera if I had a MR HMD!
        with my left arm I was clinging…. and with that arm I was moving holding the
        corner of a giant airbone polygon, this mean that my left arm was
        reaching close to my back! how could the front facing camera see that?! and with my right arm I was holding the disk
        to launch. I hope it’s clear now.

        • Luke

          another action that is impossible is to grab an airbone polygon and push in one direction by releasing the arms energy from the back. that is awesome…. and very natual as action… but castrated by the inside out-only tracking. they just need to let us the choice to use a custom setup with custom external sensors to solve this! :)

          • Henk Janssens

            Stop Luke. Check the video’s ands stop defending what you have.
            All reviews show that tracking is 99-100% accurate.

          • Luke

            is it accurate also on the back (or the top of the head) when the camera do not track the pads?

          • Luke
          • dk

            yes we perfectly know the limitations……… and 95% of the time it will be all u will need ……and for the rest there r workarounds ……no one is saying it’s the most perfect tracking ever
            …….and if anyone doesn’t care about the advantages of this system they should get a different system with advantages in the tracking

      • dk
    • Thetrick

      I just watched the video of a guy playing a game that is exactly like Echo arena. WHaat videos have you been watching???? How can you be so sure when all the facts say otherwise?

      • Luke

        I have not a video to show (I played tonight by myself) and I’m sure that for the actions that I did one of my arms where out of the field of view of the 2 inside out tracking camera if I had a MR HMD!
        with my left arm I was clinging…. and with that arm I was moving holding the corner of a giant airbone polygon, this mean that my left arm was reaching close to my back!.and with my right arm I was holding the disk to launch. I hope it’s clear now.

        • Henk Janssens

          You’re just guessing ;)

          • Luke

            no I’m not. watch this video please

          • Henk Janssens

            So you found one. And actually the guy is very positive in that it does work out of line of sight. Albeit it with a slight delay when he locked his arm. Also comment says – when actually playing a game – (which the guy in the video did not) the software handled it. So all you said and made a draw of, can be put in a bin haha

          • Luke

            when the arm is out of the boundaries (front facing camera FOV) and he keep it steady for more than a second it stop tracking! (this is super bad). it seems that it can track it only if the movement is really fast. this destroy a lot of possibilities in freedom of choice about movements, game tactics, game design control schemes, etc. etc…

            before we can draw conclusions it’s better to find out new specific tests. maybe RoadtoVR could help us by doing some tests for us? please

  • Claus Sølvsten

    Will vive and rift work with windows creators update? It would be wierd if windows only worked with certain monitors right?

    • dk

      it’s inevitable ….it will work on them too

    • Andrew Jakobs

      For now they won’t work with MR, but maybe it will get support in the near future.

  • Jean-Sebastien Perron

    MS Mixed reality is only for people that never tried Oculus orVive, because they will never know how MS’s tracking is limited to field of view. They will get used to poor tracking. I cannot imagine anyone who is used to full tracking downgrading to very narrow tracking. Even PSVR has better tracking : you can shoot both guns fully left and right at the same time, you can play golf …

    • Meredith

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      On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $11752 this last four weeks..with-out any doubt it’s the most-comfortable job I have ever done .. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
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    • David Herrington

      The tracking volume of these HMD’s are a lot larger than you think, enabling golf/baseball/and shooting out of vision. Also the controllers still retain approximate orientation due to acceleration sensors. But I won’t try to sway you as you will always disparage new tech without first trying it, Jean.

    • Henk Janssens

      Videoreviews I saw today of Windows MR devices, all disagree with you.
      SteamVR is also fully working for those with early access.
      You will have to change your mind. Sorry.

  • CrazierChief

    Where are The reviews of mixed reality headsets, Its Been a quiet launch, i dont see that as a good sign

    • Henk Janssens

      There are quit some video reviews out. Also with very good hands-on that are worthwhile to watch.

  • David Herrington

    MS Mixed Reality will be for everyone who can’t afford an expensive PC that can run Vive/Rift or don’t want to mess with setting up cameras or base stations. It will do an adequate job of Room Scale Tracking and do it on very low cost PCs and laptops. It will get high grade VR to the masses with little investment. This is a good thing and despite it being a tiny step backward in capabilities it jumps HUGE steps forward in affordability and ease of use.

  • Luke
    • kmanitou81


      • Luke

        your no is awesome XD

  • Hitherto

    I find it rather disappointing and sneaky that Microsoft is calling all of these ‘Mixed Reality’ headsets. None of them are capable of Mixed Reality. They are all strictly VR headsets. They shouldn’t mislead consumers like that to get them to buy their products. The terms VR, AR and MR are confused enough as it is: mislabeling headsets like this only compounds the issue.

    I also don’t approve of the spec list they’re supposed to run on. I’d be amazed if these higher-resolution headsets ran any faster than 60fps on their minimum recommended card when using applications. And that’ll mean bad VR experiences for users, who’ll naturally expect everything to be smooth so long as they ‘meet the specs’.

    I really like that they’re trying to get VR to the masses. I do! I just think that this attempt is going to fail in a few key places and result in turning away a number of people who’d be willing to give it a try.

  • Bartender

    Does anyone know if I’ll be able to run any of these headsets on integrated graphics? I have an i7-7700K. According to Microsoft’s mixed reality minimum requirements, a CPU with Intel HD Graphics 620 (or greater) is needed.

  • Andrew Jakobs

    In Germany (and propably every country where it is using de Medion brand) Lenovo is also releasing the Medion Erazer (so using the Medion label, which normally is regarded as a lowcost brand), which seems to be a rebrand of the Lenovo Explorer. It sells for around 449 euro’s including the motion controllers.

  • I’m very curious about this platform and the success it will have. It’s very strong on the easeness of use and the cheapness of the minimum specs PC.