At the moment, there are two available headsets that officially work with Windows Mixed Reality: one made by HP, priced at $329, and another one by Acer, listed at $299.
Both headsets have “Developer Edition” attached to their name. Still, it seems that anybody can buy them, provided they are not out of stock, of course.
Spec-wise, the two headsets are virtually identical:
Two high-resolution liquid crystal displays at 1440 x 1440
89” diagonal display size (x2)
Front hinged display
95 degrees horizontal field of view
Display refresh rate up to 90 Hz (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
The similarities are not a surprise really, due to Microsoft’s detailed tech and design specifications provided to all headset manufacturers.
The inside-out tracking is the biggest draw of Microsoft’s Mixed Reality. Its “six degrees of freedom” technology removes the need for external tracking sensors that Rift and Vive are known for.
Now, Microsoft’s recommended PC system specifications are far more demanding than the initially proposed Intel HD Graphics 620.
Recommended processor models are either i7 with 6+ cores or AMD Ryzen 7 1700-equivalent or greater, with 8 cores and 16 threads.
GPU recommendations are on the very high-end as well – NVIDIA GTX 980/1060 or AMD Radeon RX 480-equivalent or greater, with 8GB (must be DX12 and WDDM 2.2 compatible).
Apparently, you also need at least 16 GB of RAM.
Of course, none of this is final. These are developer edition Windows Mixed Reality headsets that are subject to change and update over time.
Make sure to let your developer friends know these are available. The emerging market of Windows Mixed Reality is primed to explode by the end of the year.
ASUS, Dell & Lenovo Windows Mixed Reality Headsets
As one of the leaders in the gaming and tech innovation market, ASUS made sure to have their own take on the Windows Mixed Reality headset.
ASUS ROG (Republic of Gamers) machines are Oculus-compatible already. Now, ASUS is looking to establish their presence in the mixed reality market as well. Apparently, their headset is supposed to be ultra-light, with ergonomically adjustable strap.
Dell has partnered with Microsoft to bring a commercially viable consumer headset too. Their Windows Mixed Reality headset is designed by the team in charge of Dell’s high-end XPS and Alienware PCs.
Dell is focusing on comfort and convenience, with replaceable cushions, weight balanced headband, cable routing for more convenient cable management and an easily removable flip-up visor.
Dell’s Windows Mixed Reality headset is scheduled to be released some time before holiday.
Last, but not least, Lenovo will add their own solution into the mix as well. It’s supposed to be affordable and easy to set-up and enjoy the mixed reality experiences. It’s certainly better to have more options – it lowers the barrier of entry for new consumers.
Now, despite being listed on Microsoft’s official store page, there are no indications of Oculus Rift and HTC Vive joining the Windows Mixed Reality family of headsets any time soon. Obviously, these two popular VR headsets would first need to be updated with inside-out tracking technology.
However, even then, Microsoft might have exclusive Windows Mixed Reality partnership deals with ASUS, Dell, Lenovo, Acer and HP.
On the other hand, supporting Vive and Rift would provide a significant jumpstart to Windows Mixed Reality. The race is on!
This list of top 10 HTC Vive and Oculus games to play with your friends has a little bit for of everything for everyone. Whether it’s just a casual evening shootout filled with fails, chuckles and hilarity, or a serious endeavour that requires utmost team coordination, we’ve got you covered! Let’s dive right into it!
#1 Echo Arena
If you haven’t picked Echo Arena yet…well, which rock have you been living under this long? It’s been all the rage for while now. Best of all, it’s completely free.
The game is a blast, trust me. You are in this zero gravity arena, which resembles Ender’s Game Battle Room a lot. A lot!
The goal of the game is to… well, score a goal. You do this by grabbing the disk and flinging it in the direction of the goal, praying to gods Old and New that it goes in. It usually doesn’t, but that’s not that important. At least not in the beginning, I guess…
In the meantime, you slide through the arena, push, pull, punch other players in the face (yes, you can do that – it stuns them!). All three player modes are supported – sitting, standing, and roomscale – so you’ll definitely have options that fit you the most.
Now, the only downside is that it’s an Oculus exclusive. Don’t let that discourage you – it can easily be played on HTC Vive with ReVive.
I know. It’s a pain to resort to hacks just to play the game, but you won’t be sorry. Trust me.
Gunheart is recently launched early access VR game that lets you and your friends join together in various co-op missions. You play as robot bounty hunters, somewhere at the edge of the galaxy. As you complete the missions, you get better weapons and gear for your rig.
While it’s not the most polished VR game out there (early access, heh…), it’s a boatload of fun! There are a lot of aliens to shoot, missions are procedurally generated and span over large areas, action is constant and regular.
If you’re looking for a fun “shoot-em-up” game with tons of replayability, this is definitely it!
Gunheart is fully compatible with both HTC Vive and Oculus Touch. It’s available on Steam for 31.99€/$
#3 The Unspoken
Admit it – at one point in your life you’ve wanted to have super-powers! It could’ve been anything – telekinesis, Kamehameha, summoning monsters out of thin air, or just a plain old fireball slinging and watching the world burn.
The Unspoken lets you do all that, and more. You’re a wizard with incredible powers and abilities – something like Marvel’s Doctor Strange. Your goal is to defeat other wizards of such calibre in all kinds of urban environments. If you and your friends enjoy playing competitive games against each other, this is the game for you.
Unfortunately, The Unspoken works well only on Oculus. A lot of people report lags and frame loss on HTC Vive through the ReVive hack. Therefore, if you and your friends own HTC Vive, you might want to save those 30€/$ for now.
#4 Arizona Sunshine
ZOMBIES! A lot of them! The little-bit pricey first-person shooter (39.99€/$!), Arizona Sunshine was released in December 2016. During that time, it has maintained very high positive ratings.
Obviously, you’re somewhere in post-apocalyptic Arizona, fighting and surviving the undead hordes.
Developed exclusively for HTC Vive and Oculus, this game offers a lot of bang for the buck. Literally. You’ll be banging a lot of undead heads off of their shoulders, in a variety of ways. The campaign follows the story, and you can choose your own pacing.
Controls are polished and smooth, one of the best in the industry. Immersion is guaranteed, with a lot of details such as zombie mutilation, interactive environments and realistic “feel” of many ingame weapons.
The co-op mode lets you play with friends and beat the undead together. However, the more living brains out there, the more zombies will come. Don’t get overwhelmed!
Even if you’re not really into zombie games and zombie genre in general, I’m positive you and your friends will enjoy this game for a long time.
#5 Rec Room
Rec Room is a fun and lighthearted Early Access Free-to-Play VR game. It’s basically a hub consisting of several mini-games and game-modes. You can play Paintball, Disc Golf, co-op adventures, 3D Charades etc. There’s something for everybody.
It works well both on HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. The reviews have been overwhelmingly positive so far.
The game is perfect for some decompression after work and during weekends, as well as some casual fun after some more demanding VR games.
Pick it up, and let you friends know. After all, it’s free.
#6 Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is one of those VR games where you just go: “OMG! How come I never got to think of this!! Whoever made this is a genius!”
Released almost 2 years ago, it received a plethora of awards for innovative and creative design. The game is a blast. Literally. If you fail, you will get blasted to pieces.
The goal is simple – defuse the bomb. One player sees the bomb, while everybody else has the bomb defuse manual.
It gets really tricky, because the defuse procedures are basically mini-puzzles. They are all designed to capitalize on miscommunication and confusion. A detailed, specific and crystal clear communication is required from both parties involved in order to successfully defuse the bomb.
The bombs are procedurally generated, so the game offers a lot of replayability. The best of all is that you can play it locally. That’s because you only need one copy of the game. The defuse manual is free to download over at BombManual.com
Set in 2271, Raw Data is an Early Access first person shooter designed specifically for VR. It’s compatible both with HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, so you can join with your friends in co-op missions or enjoy the so-called Hostile Takeover PvP.
There are multiple classes to choose from, coupled with a wide array of futuristic weapons, abilities and techniques.
As part of the elite hacker resistance movement, your mission is to infiltrate the sinister Eden Corporation, take as much raw data as possible and escape alive.
Raw data is one of the best VR action games out there. If you and your friends enjoy action packed first person shooters, this game is definitely for you.
Launched way back in April of 2015, Elite Dangerous has been through a lot. Despite the troubles, the MMORPG space travel simulator has successfully survived and has a relatively small, but stable and loyal community.
It’s one of those games that cater to people that enjoy complex, snail-paced, open-ended adventures, requiring time and patience in order to progress. If you and your buddies don’t mind endlessly exploring the unknown – this is THE game!
The backstory and the purpose of the game are almost entirely up to the players themselves and the community as a whole. You can play in single player, private mode with just your friends, or in the open world where you can expect anything anywhere, depending on other players.
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