The number of big-name manufacturers getting into VR is going to increase substantially with the entry of Microsoft VR hardware partners, revealed on stage today at Microsoft’s hardware-focused event.

Terry Myerson, Microsoft executive VP of Windows and Devices took the stage today to announce that the company is partnering with HP, Lenovo, Dell, Asus, and Acer to make VR headsets as a part the new Windows 10 Creator’s Update.

The Creator’s Update will bring along with it a new 3D version of MS Paint, and an AR/VR accessible community library of 3D creations for both HoloLens and the upcoming Microsoft-supported VR headsets. The Creator’s Update will arrive in Spring of next year on all Windows 10 devices free of charge.

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“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.

It’s unsure at this time exactly what spec these VR headsets are trying to hit, or whether they will incorporate some form of true positional tracking or not, as ‘6-degrees of freedom, inside-out’ doesn’t quite cut the mustard when it comes to determining exactly what sort of room-scale ability the headsets will have, computer vision-based or otherwise. If Microsoft is aiming for the lower end of the PC hardware spectrum however, we’re sure to see lower screen resolutions at the very least.

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  • Get Schwifty!

    Funny, everyone is adopting the Sony style headset. No way Vive and Rift can not change their designs up next time around.

    EDIT: I have had at least three comments “correcting” me that Sony didn’t create the design; that was not the thought or intention behind my post, only that it is perhaps the most identifiable vendor using the style. In no way was the intention to give credit solely to Sony, but rather to simply make the comparison with the design.

    • Steve Biegun

      How is this Sony style?

      • Get Schwifty!

        The hanging style…

        • Steve Biegun

          Hololens had it before PSVR existed.
          EDIT: Also, Sony doesn’t have a patent on hanging things.

          • Jim Cherry

            i’m pretty sure sony’s psvr design is an iteration of those failed sony hmd’s that existed before the vr rebirth. You guys remember the hmz right ;}

          • Get Schwifty!

            Don’t think I said they did, only that it is the same design. Never said it was their “design”.

    • Justos

      Sony didn’t really invent anything here. They borrowed ideas from other head mounted devices.

      • Get Schwifty!

        Perhaps so, I’m only commenting on that the design is now identified with Sony relative to the Rift/Vive.

      • Mageoftheyear

        I think the significant implication here is that (in terms of ergonomics) Sony were the first to “put their money where their mouth was” by shipping the PSVR with a hanging design.

        Risk may be the wrong word, but by being the first to risk going with that design (which IMO doesn’t look as sleek as the Rift) it kind of is “Sony’s design.”

        Kinda.

      • beestee

        Or did they?

        Check out that integrated headphone design.

        http://www.baltimoresun.com/health/bal-japan-audio-fair20090828125502-photo.html

    • Deppchef

      palmers 4th rift prototype: https://youtu.be/8P4P5PU6dS4

      • ummm…

        not so ergonomic and sleek there lol.

      • mellott124

        That mount has been around a long time prior to this.

    • Rogue_Transfer

      It does seem like that’s possible – consider Intel’s foray coming soon too with a similar design: https://newsroom.intel.com/chip-shots/intel-unveils-project-alloy/

    • Bryan Ischo

      Indeed; better ideas win and are adopted as the new norm. It’s a natural evolutionary process in tech and it’s better for everyone.

      • Get Schwifty!

        I was expecting they (Rift/Vive) would follow suit, but the pressure is even greater when everyone else is releasing the clearly better HMD design.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Except the Sony style headset isn’t really new.. Previous VR headsets have used the design already..

      • Get Schwifty!

        Perhaps I should edit my post…. I was not intending to give Sony credit only for the design, but the fact they are the most prominent display of it to market. The average person is going to identify it as “Sony” in comparison to most anything else currently, similar or not.

  • OgreTactics

    At last, they’ve understand what design cue to follow.

    ALL VR headset should follow the PSVR ergonomic design until someone figures out better design or there’s no need for straps anymore.

    Being able to just put the headset on any head and lift the device whenever ones want, rather than having to stretch, pull it on, leaving marks on your heair and not being able to lift-it.

    Eventually Virtual Headset are going to get lighter and most importantly thinner (when they figure out the other ways to manage the lenses part…), and we will just put them on like glasses.

    • mbze430

      I own the Rift, and initially it was “pretty good” design. Then I went to try the PSVR HMD. much more ergonomic for sure

      • Get Schwifty!

        Yeah, waiting to see if Sony PSVR gets their tracking and other issues worked out a bit, but still plan on picking a bundle up for a house Xmas gift. I suspect every time I put on my Rift then I will cringe a bit after using the Sony HMD.

        • I’ve been playing PSVR since launch and I do like it. The tracking for the most part is good enough but an update would be nice. For the cringe just imagine switching from a PC game to a PS3 or X360 the image will look very blurry. Some games actually look quite good though and the line up is pretty good.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      1995, forte VFX-1, The best design for an HMD, with flip-up vizor and excellent headphone.. Shouldn’t be hard to use that design and make it more lightweight and better..

    • James Friedman

      TOTALLY agree, I wonder though if Oculus and Vive could figure out a new strap to sell to current users that’s more comfortable. The HMD is fine, just give us a better more comfortable strap

      • Pistol Pete

        +1 to that! Shouldn’t be too hard. Would be a nice option.

    • SimonH

      Egonomics count for nothing if the headset is flawed. I’m starting a VR arcade so have bought all the current systems. PS VR has 2 issues. . no straps means the face isnt sealed and you get light leakage from below. I now know why the demo pods at gaming shows were all blacked out.. not just to make the move controllers easy to track. Then theres the issue of tracking… move 2 foot left or right and the psvr tells you out of game area. Immersion killer. That said psvr is ok if you intend to play seated games in a dark room ;) Just remeber if playing rigs use the joystick mode.. head turn mode is the most awful irritaing and nauseous input method ive seen in vr.

      • OgreTactics

        Both ergonomics and the headset tech count. PSVR is great for seated living-room entertainment, nothing more.

  • Tuttifrutti

    Nice

  • The Moose

    No mentioning of positional tracking? Pass. We really don’t have an issue with angular tracking nor do we need another one that does just that. This is practically a $300 Google Cardboard.

    • RedLeader

      > No mentioning of positional tracking?

      Define “positional tracking” – do you mean room scale, or do you mean traditional positional tracking like the ability to lean backward/forward/left/right, move around a bit within a stationary scene?

      Because the latter, at the very least, is what these are promising, and that’s pretty remarkable.

      > This is practically a $300 Google Cardboard.

      No, not really at all.

      Cardboard and GearVR devices have no positional tracking, which means whether I sit or stand, crouch or stand on my toes, lean in towards an object or reel back away from it, the headsets don’t know that. The Rift and Vive do, of course, and that’s a big part of selling the VR simulation.

      So for these to do that without a camera is a big step in the right direction and hopefully the next generation Cardboard/GearVR/Dream/Chinese clones devices can do this too after taking cues from Microsoft’s development.

      • The Moose

        No they are not promising that at all. Even RoadToVR is specularing that. They are just offering another headset that you plugin your cellphone and look around. With gyroscopes and all sorts of angular measuring tools. But none for moving around the actual position of your head. Which as I said, is hardly any different than Google cardboard. And at $300, it would not be worth it if it came out without it.

        • Jim Cherry

          this wont pluginto windows phone thats for sure it will pluginto pcs

          • JKay6969

            Yup, that’s what I took away from the article, this is a new wave of cheaper VR Headets that plug into the PC and offer i side out tracking without the need for external cameras or lightboxes. Where did The Moose get the Google Cardboard type device idea from? The article clearly talks about Windows 10 integration. Hmm, strange how two people can read the same text and get totally different information?!? Lol

          • RedLeader

            > Hmm, strange how two people can read the same text and get totally different information?!? Lol

            Well, I think the key is The Moose didn’t read it – Hell, it looks like he didn’t even bother looking at the pictures or taking in the contextual information about these being announced at a Microsoft event about Windows OS and Windows PCs. He really, really missed a lot.

        • Andrew Jakobs

          uhh, no, these will be headsets with their own displays, not GearVR type of headsets..

        • RedLeader

          > No they are not promising that at all.

          Yes, they are. Read the article, look at the pictures, use the contextual clues of these being headsets announced at a Microsoft event about Windows OS and Windows PCs and peripherals.

          > they are just offering another headset that you plugin your cellphone

          Source, please?

          > But none for moving around the actual position of your head.

          That’s *literally* what 6DOF is, duh. That’s why the DK2, the first protoype consumer level headset released advertised 6DOF tracking – because the DK1 didn’t have it, and that was the biggest differentiator.

          > And at $300, it would not be worth it if it came out without it.

          No shit, if it were Cardboard-esque of course it wouldn’t be $300. Thank God for the rest of us that that’s not the case and it’s simply a matter of you not reading the article before commenting.

  • guest101

    Want to know if this mean I can use Vive natively with Windows 10 without going through steamvr

    • Jim Cherry

      HTC has already been anounced as a holo partner so the least they could do is support the same experiences as these future headsets.

  • Rigelleo

    I think that the tracking technology is the same of the Kinect: structured light, look at the white headset! With this tecknology it is possible also to make a 3d scan of real 3d object.

  • Jim Cherry

    Am i to late for the ms bashing ;} in all seriousness these headsets judging from the company list will not be aimed at the gaming market. Also sense they are accessories as apposed to stand alone devices they wont support walking around a house and may only support standing in place and turning.

    • Armando Tavares

      «…judging from the company list will not be aimed at the gaming market.»???

      DELL=AlienWare
      ASUS=ROG
      HP=OMEN
      Lenovo=Y GAMING desktops

      Do I need to go on?

      I’m not saying the devices WILL be gaming targeted ok? I’m just saying, the company list doesn’t prove otherwise.

      • Jim Cherry

        you missed acer and i would think those companies gaming brands would aim at a higher starting point.

        • Armando Tavares

          You made an argument about the company list, in some way, meaning these devices wouldn’t be aimed at the gaming market. However ALL the companies listed are pretty well known for their gaming rigs/components.

          Again, I’m not trying to say THESE devices will be aimed at gaming. Just stating the company list can’t prove otherwise.

          And I didn’t miss ACER.. I left ACER out on purpose. ACER has to build some street rep before geting mentioned as a Gaming brand (even though their Predator line looks pretty cool).

          The starting price point for whatever VR related device is, at the moment, misleading. Oculus/Vive are trying to milk the cow for everything she’s worth until the hardware big boys join the party (NO!! Oculus and Vive aren’t hardware big boys. Not by a long shot.).

          Guess what… a few MAJOR ones just did.

  • Adrian Meredith

    Vr is pointless without motion control, the big question is whether these will support openvr. They are doa otherwise

    • Jim Cherry

      they are doa for gaming

      • Armando Tavares

        How’s that?

        You need to have a really narrowed notion of what ‘gaming’ is to make that claim.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      VR is not pointless without motion controls…

      • Get Schwifty!

        It blows my mind when people make this comment about motion control, or “room scale”. There is a lot of enjoyment for just plain 3D video if nothing else. It’s not all about gaming and that level of interaction.

        • RedLeader

          Plus, while I believe motion controls would make them much better via natural interaction from Leap Motion and similar, there are great seated experiences in Elite Dangerous, EVE Valkyrie, Project Cars, Euro Truck Sim, etc.

    • Bryan Ischo

      Your narrow definition of VR does not define VR.

    • yag

      Funny because actually ones of the most acclaimed VR experiences (content and immersion wise) are simulations. You know, the ones played with wheels and HOTAS…(or even gamepads)

  • This is great news, with even more ‘top dogs’ waving the flag for VR and hopefully leaning it more toward industrial/office uses and not just gaming (more sectors the better)… Microsoft seem to have targeted industry and other day to day usages more with the hololens and things we’ve seen in the past from their R&D team with transparent virtual screens etc. (*Plus they had the alien blasty thing for AR).

    If the positional tracking is as good as people say the hololens is and it can handle room scale… well… I’ll give Microsoft a little applause..and maybe even take my hat off…. I’m assuming the desktop app will be rather well rounded. (*The Windows 95 of VR….. not Vista.. please don’t be the Vista of VR)… I could sell a monitor or two…

  • Armando Tavares

    I hate it when I’m right (I actually don’t :P )… As I already stated (http://disq.us/p/1cuy3qw) In my humble opinion, price (device+hardware needed to drive it) is a major problem with VR devices at the moment.

    I wont go into that discussion again but it is my firm belief that the correct price point to make sure VR spreads worldwide is 300$/350$ and I’m GLAD to see a few major companies coming to the same conclusion.

    This actually made my day.

    Can’t wait to see full device specs and hardware requirements to drive them.

    AMAZING news.

  • Hogo

    This was the biggest announcement at the keynote. The hmd along with Windows holographic will drive so much damn innovation. In multiple fields. God, who’d of thought that Microsoft would become the visionaries.

    • Get Schwifty!

      They have some of the best engineers on the planet… the problem is that for several decades (like IBM before them) their sales and marketing wonks constantly gum things up. They realize now they have to actually be innovative to stay in the market with the PC not having the monopoly on computing it once did.

  • These VR headsets are silly. I have a story. I was going to be the one to introduce the real VR in 2009. Now the real VR is where the picture is in your head mind eyes. It’s inside you. This tech exists right now. Read my story here: http://www.darcylee.com/search/label/Terrorists this is the real VR.

  • I’d have to upgrade to Windows 10 to use these? Gawd, what an awful thought.

  • SimonH

    Believe me I’ve tried everything. I keep looking in comments other than this thread see if there’s an easy solution. The only way I can stop the light is to have the headband sat high on the top of my head, but then it’s too loose. I know about the forward backward motion but even with it right back, there’s light leaking in round the edges unless I tip it. The only time I don’t get light – very distracting light at that, is when the lights are off. Is it just a co-incidence the PS VR demo booths as gaming shows were matt black with no lights in? I don’t think so. Sony knew about this and released anyway. With Rift, Vive Gear VR, the thing is strapped to your face. The only time you get a bit of light leak if from underneath up the sides of your nose, but it doesn’t reflect off the lenses which is the trouble with the PSVR.

    • Donal Laurence Heffernan

      Put a black plastic bin-liner over your head – problem solved cheaply. (and forever)

      • SimonH

        I’ll do that if you put a real not virtual gun to your head and pull the trigger first. Idiot. Stop being a fan boy and accept criticism of your toy from someone who just spent £40k on building a VR arcade. We decided to cut the PS VR from our store for 2 reasons, not those I already mentioned above… 1) the cable mess which is just going to end up a trip hazard and the constant tangling on the over the head headphones as we can’t use ear buds for obvious reasons, 2) lack of licensing interest from Sony. If you do find a store with a PSVR they are probably violating the “For home non commerical use only” terms.