Windows Mixed Reality HMDs: A Spec Comparison

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karma77police

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Whether is MR or VR i get bad headache and nausea, not for me. I wonder about other people and their experience with it.
 

apesoccer

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Ok...So they're all relatively the same, with different purchase price and color. Got it. Does it work with games, are the windows vr goggles just basically a monitor (can you change resolutions, or is there basically only the 1 resolution that it always runs at), how do they compare to other VR setups...do they require the same types of hardware that the other VR setups require? (High end graphics card and decent cpu). Is this only for Xbox, does it also work for Xbox...does it work for playstation?
 

c4s2k3

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Yeah, price is a big issue, but if we don't see a significant number of compelling applications and other content during 2018, I think "VR" as we know it on PCs will go the way of 3D TV. Even low-cost VR hardware is pointless if there isn't enough compelling content to warrant the investment.
 

scolaner

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If they can get the SteamVR ports to work properly, it's going to be great. http://www.tomshardware.com/news/microsoft-windows-mixed-reality-content-steam-halo,35324.html

They can already get their own UWP stuff on there. What they do is let you view those apps (email, web browser, even Excel) in 2D windows within the XR environment. I find that use case extremely compelling--so long as they can develop smaller, lighter hardware.
 

scolaner

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That's a lot of questions.

Here are some recent articles we've done on this. Start there. :D

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/how-to-check-pc-compatibility-windows-mixed-reality,35606.html
http://www.tomshardware.com/news/microsoft-windows-mixed-reality-content-steam-halo,35324.html
http://www.tomshardware.com/news/microsoft-windows-mixed-reality-hmds-preorder,35593.html
http://www.tomshardware.com/news/samsung-odyssey-windows-mixed-reality,35597.html
http://www.tomshardware.com/news/halo-recruite-short-not-game,35608.html

Some short answers: The HMDs have a max res they can support, but games/experiences may have a lower res. The HMDs are fixed in that way.

These do not work with the Xbox...yet. I'd be shocked if they didn't roll out something like that super soon, though. PlayStation has its own VR HMD, so that's a no.

As for comparison to other HMDs, we'll wait for our full reviews to make any strong statements either way. Anecdotally, after experiencing many demos, I think the experience of these devices is comparable to Rift/Vive.
 

scolaner

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What HMDs/experiences have you tried? There are some that get me sideways, but by and large I don't have any issues anymore, now that they've gotten good at things like locomotion and high-enough res.
 

bit_user

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Ah, but most Steam titles probably follow system requirements guidelines of the Vive. So, it should only solve MS' content problem for people with higher-end hardware.

For everyone else, it will probably just be frustrating and nausea-inducing.
 

scolaner

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An excellent point, and one that we'll look forward to exploring. Then again, like I said, I think there's going to be a bit of a split in the use cases. Gamers will need better hardware, as always. But more to the point, SteamVR does help solve the content problem for those people.

Then again, the price parity issue is getting sooooo fun. :D
 

alextheblue

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The existing (and more costly) VR setups with outside-in tracking dropped their pricing a while back after the first crop of these WMR headsets were announced. So these devices are already pushing the cost of VR lower, and even with the reduced prices of Rift and Vive, these still undercut those devices - you could consider this the first phase of VR price cuts. Even so, in the longer term pricing will need to continue to come down over time. Sales will not catch on fire until we reach that impulse buy point (or if someone releases a Nervegear).

Ideally over the next year or so we will see a new generation of cost-reduced units (in the $150-300 range) with roughly the same specs as the current models, while other units push specs upwards within the current price brackets. That way, much like most PC hardware, we have something for (almost) everyone. I think the game that will finally make me buy a VR headset will be MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries, if rumors of it's VR support are accurate.
 

bit_user

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I'm actually making a specific prediction. I'm speculating that these HMDs will under-perform their sales expectations, during the holiday season, leading to some firesales in January/February. I hope I'm wrong, but that's my guess.

I'm torn whether to jump on one of these, or just hold out for wireless. It will probably depend on whether I have any non-gaming uses for them, in the meantime. Decent Linux support might help with that, although getting inside-out tracking to work well would require some serious investment by someone.

BTW, I'm a bit surprised at the CPU requirements of these. How is it that they can use a lowly laptop CPU for the basic level, but require a i5-4690 for the ultra level?
 

scolaner

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I imagine we're going to learn more about wireless HMDs at Oculus Connect 4 this week...honestly, if they don't have something along those lines to show off, it will be a big whiff.

People will be able to write books about VR and marketing and the challenges therein. It's *so tough* to market what is essentially a black box. You make a commercial or whatever, and it's just people with literal black boxes on their faces, and they're going, "WHOA!" (This problem also makes it really tough to write about VR, too. As I've said before, it's like trying to describe a sunset to someone who's never seen one.)

That is to say, I think it's extremely likely that your prediction will be accurate. Which is really too bad, because I think MSFT has done a good job with XR. The devices are relatively inexpensive. They're easy to set up. Experiences look nice on them. The PC requirements are relatively low.

At this time, there just isn't a super compelling reason to get one unless you're really into 1) VR itself or 2) gaming. And if the latter, then MSFT needs the SteamVR thing to work really well and really soon. The company has a terrible history getting devs to port their stuff. (See: Windows Mobile.)

MSFT's ace in the hole, I believe, will be that subset of buyers who really want in on the VR fun, and have fairly well-spec'd PCs, but can't or don't want to upgrade. It's actually the same advantage Sony had with PSVR: If you ALREADY have the machine to run VR (be it a PC or on Sony's case a PSVR), then all you need to get going in VR is a $350-$450 headset.

I suppose that's all the more reason to get Xbox plugged in here as soon as possible...

Also: If there is a fire sale after the holidays, although the hardware makers may lose money on each sale, they may find that there's a magic price point that suddenly lets them move a ton of units. I'm not sure where that point is, but it's probably under $300.
 

waynes

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I knew a company with 16k resolution prototype chips years ago. Back then (in the previous 8k prototype area) I was sprooking an AR system that oddly sounds like the dien the track subsequent hololens.

His resolution is too low, it should be 4k-8k an eye.
 
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