Steam content is coming to Windows Mixed Reality headsets

Microsoft has been pushing the idea of mixed reality since it first demoed its Hololens headset back in 2015. The company made some noise last year when it promised that its hardware partners would deliver headsets for under $400 in time for this year's holiday season. The new headsets use an "inside-out" tracking system that does away with the external tracking boxes used by HTC's Vive and Oculus' Rift. The Redmond software giant says that the new devices are still on track for a holiday release, will work with PCs that cost as little as $500, and perhaps most notably, that content from Steam will be available for the new platform. The company also mentioned that 343 Industries will create a new title in Halo universe for the new mixed reality devices.

Microsoft will be using a tiered approach when it comes to badging PCs ready to use with the new head-mounted displays. "Windows Mixed Reality PCs" will use integrated graphics to deliver a 60 FPS experience, while "Windows Mixed Reality Ultra PCs" will use discrete graphics chips from AMD and Nvidia to target the 90 FPS rate PC gamers have come to expect while gaming with HTC and Oculus headsets. The Redmond company previously stated that headsets will also come in at least two tiers—one that uses LCD displays with a resolution of 1200×1080, and another with AMOLED screens with a 1440×1440 resolution.

The company will have devices and software on display at the IFA event (Berlin Radio Show) going on this week. The $399 and $499 pricing that Microsoft announced for the upcoming headsets was quite impressive ten months ago, but recent price drops have put the the HTC Vive at $600 and the Oculus Rift at $400. Time will tell if the lighter hardware requirements and easier setup of the Windows Mixed Reality headsets will entice home users worldwide.

Comments closed
    • psuedonymous
    • 2 years ago

    This is rather a surprise on two fronts: for Microsoft, this is basically ceding the entire non-enterprise market for the Windows Holographic platform. For Valve, it means mucking in with interfacing to UWP, which has previously been a bit of a [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SteamOS<]sky is falling[/url<] issue for them in the past. One interesting wrinkle is the future OpenXR standard. Oculus are founding members, as are Valve, but Microsoft are not members at all.

    • juzz86
    • 2 years ago

    So this is just a monitor on a headband?

    I can sit down at my desk and strap this on, and play GTAV with my same old keyboard and mouse, but wear the monitor and headphones?

    I can see some limited appeal if that’s the case.

      • EzioAs
      • 2 years ago

      If I’m not mistaken (and I could be wrong), these headsets all work like the VR headsets such as the Occulus Rift or the HTC Vive but also has the cameras in the front to mimic AR functionality (thus why it’s called Mixed Reality, I think). Which means you can use them like you would use a Rift or a Vive headset and can also add virtual elements to the real world like what the Hololens (or Google Glass) is capable of.

        • juzz86
        • 2 years ago

        Thanks mate. So keyboards and mice are no-go?

          • EzioAs
          • 2 years ago

          [url<]https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/mixed-reality/immersive_headset_setup#setting_up_input_devices[/url<] Apparently you can use them but Microsoft recommends motion controllers or gamepads (for ease of use, probably).

            • juzz86
            • 2 years ago

            A+ service all-round mate, thankyou!

        • psuedonymous
        • 2 years ago

        [quote<]but also has the cameras in the front to mimic AR functionality (thus why it's called Mixed Reality, I think)[/quote<] None of the announced HMDs have this capability: the cameras are for tracking only, and do not offer any AR functionality.

          • EzioAs
          • 2 years ago

          You’re right. I knew I made a huge mistake somewhere. Mixed Reality is just VR with the added functionality of Windows on top.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This