Dell's first mixed reality headset 'Dell Visor' announced

Microsoft is taking a big step forward with its plan to conquer virtual reality

To help ensure buyers have some content to enjoy when they purchase their Windows-compatible mixed-reality gear, the company has enlisted a roster of partners that includes Hulu and Sony Pictures.

The deal could be a victor for all sides. The headset itself comes with all the standard Windows Mixed Reality features, including front-facing cameras for spatial awareness and room tracking, and the Microsoft-approved controllers.

That means that Microsoft's headsets won't just be there to use a VR version of Excel. Unfortunately, the Windows Store has a relatively sparse selection. Oculus CTO John Carmack personally campaigned to bring the game to VR after creator Markus "Notch" Persson left the company following the Microsoft buyout.

Meanwhile, for Valve, the deal offers an opportunity to expand the market for its VR games.

See the best of VR with our list of the PC's top VR games. While the list of developers is significant and growing, one name stands out: 343 Industries, which will be bringing "Halo experiences" to Windows Mixed Reality.

But beyond promoting the cheap headsets and teaming up with Valve, Microsoft is taking another step that could broaden the market even further. The company announced pricing on 28 August. In such computers, the graphics capabilities are typically built into the computer's main processing chip.

Microsoft is taking a big step forward with its plan to conquer virtual reality
We Tried Microsoft's Ambitious First Step Into Virtual Reality

The PC Gaming channel is presented by Intel's Game Dev program. "Ultra" relies on a PC with specs similar to what you need to operate a Rift or Vive, i.e. a several hundred dollar dedicated graphics card and a decent CPU. Microsoft has just revealed that its own "mixed reality" headsets will be coming to Steam VR. So the resulting headsets should be much easier to set up than cumbersome PC-based solutions like Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Developers may have to retroactively add Windows VR support for each game, so be aware that these new headsets may not work with all VR games straight out of the box. When plugged into these devices, the headsets will run at 60 frames per second.

That all said, you will look like an alien wearing this thing. Triggers on the bottom of the controllers let you "grip" virtual objects. The visor also features a unique flip-up capability for quickly transitioning from a virtual world to the real world without having to take the headset off completely. Microsoft is offering two logo programs.

Ultimately, Microsoft's intent is clear.

Expect to see devices from HP, Lenovo, Dell, and Acer later in the year.

Microsoft released a sizzle reel of some of the available apps, which include Dreams of Dali, SuperHot VR, and GoPro 360-degree videos, among others.

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