Windows Mixed Reality details new Samsung headset, pre-orders go live

Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality vision is nearing its debut on October 17 as the final software bits will be released with the upcoming Windows 10 Fall Creators Update and a few headsets will start shipping. On Tuesday, October 3, the company hosted an event where it provided some additional details, introduced a new Samsung headset, and talked about some key software partnerships.

At the event, Microsoft clarified its Windows Mixed Reality vision, highlighting how it is working to move beyond paper and screens to erase the barrier that exists between the physical and digital worlds. Their approach to mixed reality will continue along very specific lines:

  • Embrace the entire continuum from augmented reality to virtual reality and everywhere in between
  • Build cutting-edge devices and the technologies that power them, such as HoloLens
  • Create a unified platform for applications and the services to target

Samsung Odyssey

microsoft details windows mixed reality status samsung odyssey

The Samsung Odyssey mixed reality headset was announced, adding another member to the list of Microsoft partners making headsets for the Windows Mixed Reality marketplace. The Odyssey will provide the same relatively standardized set of specifications and capabilities as the lineup of headsets that’s already been announced, and it will be available with motion controllers for the slightly higher than usual price of $500. The higher price is justified by the use of larger, higher-resolution AMOLED displays compared to the LCD displays used by other manufacturers

The Odyssey’s specifications are as follows:

Displays: Two 3.5-inch high-resolution AMOLED displays
Resolution: 1,440 x 1,600 each
Field of view: 110 degrees horizontal
Refresh rate: Up to 90Hz (native)
Ports: 1x HDMI 2.0
1x USB 3.0 Gen1 Type-A
1x headphone / microphone jack
Other features: Front-hinged display
Detachable HDMI/USB combo cable
Inside-out tracking

Alanna Cotton, Samsung Electronics vice president and general manager, provides some details on the Odyssey’s release:

“When we began designing and engineering the Samsung HMD Odyssey with Microsoft, there was only one goal in mind, create a high-performing headset that’s easy to set up and can transport people to the incredible world of virtual reality. Powered with dual AMOLED displays which Samsung is known for, that results in vivid colors and the highest resolution in the industry, built-in spatial AKG headphones, inside-out tracking, built-in microphone, and quick, responsive motion controllers, the Samsung HMD Odyssey immerses users with a 110-degree field of view as they discover the new frontier of Windows Mixed Reality.

Samsung is committed to working across platforms to build cutting-edge technology, and we’re excited to partner with Microsoft to shape the future of virtual reality. But most of all, we can’t wait for you to take the Samsung HMD Odyssey out for a spin, and see it for yourself.”

Windows Mixed Reality headsets available for pre-order

microsoft details windows mixed reality status headset preorders

If you’ve been champing at the bit to get your hands on a new Windows Mixed Reality headset, then Microsoft wants you to know that each model available for purchase this holiday season can now be pre-ordered. Here is the list of products that will soon be available for order at the Microsoft Store:

AltspaceVR joins Microsoft

microsoft details windows mixed reality status altspacevr

Next up is news that the team at AltspaceVR is joining Microsoft, bringing immersive communications to the Microsoft stable. AltspaceVR has been a pioneer in that particular technology, enabling VR events in 160 countries including large-scale events hosted by NBC, Drew Carey, and more.

Immersive VR content

Microsoft announced that more than 20,000 apps leveraging Windows Mixed Reality will be available in the Microsoft Store as of October 17. That includes a host of some of the most popular VR titles, such as Obduction, Dreams of Dali, Space Pirate Trainer, Superhot, Arizona Sunshine, Luna, Skyworld, Move, Free the Night, Minecraft, Fantastic Contraption.

In addition, developers can now access the Windows Mixed Reality SteamVR preview, to get an advanced feel for how the two VR platforms will integrate. Consumers will get access to the preview this coming holiday season.

Finally, Microsoft will provide the first look on October 17 at the coming Halo-based Windows Mixed Reality experience. That follows on from the Halo: Recruit introduction that was shown off during Tuesday’s event.

Update: Added more details following the press event.

Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…

Take a trip to a new virtual world with one of these awesome HTC Vive games

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.

Rekindled yet again, Nokia’s next-gen phones offer more than just nostalgia

HMD Global, a startup that designs and builds Nokia Android smartphones, wants to put the Nokia brand name back “where it belongs.” It helps that it’s made up of ex-Nokia employees. We go behind the scenes to see how HMD formed.
Virtual Reality

Think virtual reality is just for games? These awesome apps will change your mind

Virtual reality isn't all about gaming. Swim with turtles, paint in 3D, and immerse yourself in some unique experiences the platform has to offer with our curated list of the best VR apps.

Data breach compromises 773 million records, 21 million passwords

A security researcher was alerted to a collection of breached data that included more than 773 million compromised records. After digging deeper, the breach was revealed to contain more than 21 million passwords.

Dell teases new XPS laptop with Intel’s 10th-gen Ice Lake for summer 2019

After teasing a mysterious Ice Lake-powered XPS laptop during Intel's keynote, Dell confirmed that it will announce a new 10th-generation Ice Lake-powered XPS laptop this year. The new XPS notebook could debut as early as summer.

Faster new PCIe 5.0 standard leapfrogs the best feature of AMD’s Ryzen 3

PCIe 5.0 will bring even faster data transfers, but it may only be found on HPCs and servers initially. The standard is four times faster than your current PC at transferring data, and new devices could appear later this year.

From Chromebooks to MacBooks, here are the best laptop deals for January 2019

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work or you're just doing some post-holiday shopping, we've got you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.

Keep your laptop battery in tip-top condition with these handy tips

Learn how to care for your laptop's battery, how it works, and what you can do to make sure yours last for years and retains its charge. Check out our handy guide for valuable tips, no matter what type of laptop you have.

Protect your expensive new laptop with the best Macbook cases

If you recently picked up a new MacBook, you’ll want something to protect its gorgeous exterior. Here, we've gathered the best MacBook cases and covers, whether you're looking for style or protection.

Watch out for these top-10 mistakes people make when buying a laptop

Buying a new laptop is exciting, but you need to watch your footing. There are a number of pitfalls you need to avoid and we're here to help. Check out these top-10 laptop buying mistakes and how to avoid them.

Don't spend a fortune on a PC. These are the best laptops under $300

Buying a laptop needn't mean spending a fortune. If you're just looking to browse the internet, answer emails, and watch Netflix, you can pick up a great laptop at a great price. These are the best laptops under $300.

Dell XPS 13 vs. Asus Zenbook 13: In battle of champions, who will be the victor?

The ZenBook 13 UX333 continues Asus's tradition of offering great budget-oriented 13-inch laptop offerings. Does this affordable machine offer enough value to compete with the excellent Dell XPS 13?
Product Review

LG Gram 14 proves 2-in-1 laptops don’t need to sacrifice battery for light weight

The LG Gram 14 2-in-1 aims to be very light for a laptop that converts to a tablet. And it is. But it doesn’t skimp on the battery, and so it lasts a very long time on a charge.