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May 11, 2017

Microsoft follows Google Daydream and Oculus with own Mixed Reality controllers

by John_A

After rebranding its augmented reality system to Windows 10 Mixed Reality, Microsoft is expanding the ecosystem with motion controllers to interact with experiences.

Different manufacturers, including Acer and HP, are making their own Mixed Reality headsets that run Microsoft’s software. But to standardise input there will be a unifying control system that will work with both.

Microsoft announced the Windows Mixed Reality Motion Controllers during its Build 2017 developers conference and they are similar to devices available for other VR headsets. That includes the Daydream controller from Google and Oculus controller for the Samsung Gear VR and Oculus Rift.

  • Acer Windows Mixed Reality preview: Will this $300 headset bring VR to the masses?

What’s most interesting about Microsoft’s new controllers is that will not require any additional hardware, such as sensors. The headset itself does the tracking, and sensors built into that device will tell the controllers where they are in the virtual space.

Microsoft also revealed that its Mixed Reality system does not require room configuration – it should work install-free.

The two headsets announced so far, from Acer and HP, will cost $299 and $329 respectively. Developers can pre-order them now from the Microsoft Store and delivery, in the US at least, will start in the summer.

Unlike Microsoft HoloLens, the new Mixed Reality headsets require connection to a PC, much like an Oculus Rift. This is what keeps the cost down, however.

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