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.

Virtual Reality

Prototype Valve VR headset leaked: HTC Vive challenger confirmed?

Leaked images revealed that a Valve VR headset is in development, even amid Valve's partnership with HTC for the HTC Vive. Sources confirmed the device, which may be bundled with a Half-Life VR game.

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Virtual Reality

Is the Vive Pro better than the original Vive? Our answer might surprise you

HTC Vive vs. Vive Pro, which comes out on top? That's the subject of our latest comparison, which looks at everything from tracking solutions, to controllers, and the brand new headset that could set a new standard for VR.
Home Theater

Don't wake the baby! How to connect headphones to a TV

Do you need to connect a pair of headphones to your TV? Our handy guide will show you how to hook up your headphones in a variety of ways, whether you're using wired headphones, wireless headphones, or gaming headsets.
Emerging Tech

Intel’s new ‘neural network on a stick’ aims to unchain A.I. from the internet

To kick off its first developer conference in Beijing, Intel unveiled the second generation of its Neural Compute Stick -- a device that promises to democratize the development of computer vision A.I. applications.

Convert your PDFs into convenient Word documents

PDF files are great, but few document types are as malleable as those specific to Microsoft Word. Here's how to convert a PDF file into a Word document, whether you prefer to use Adobe's software suite or a freemium alternative.
Product Review

If the Surface Studio 2 can't win over Mac fans, nothing can

Most creative professionals are staunchly planted in the Apple camp, but with the Surface Studio 2, Microsoft is making a serious attempt to win them over. Despite its niche appeal, you’ll wish you had a few grand to drop on this beauty.

These laptop makers produce the most reliable, quality hardware today

If you want to buy your next laptop based around a specific brand, it helps to know which the best brands of laptops are. This list will give you a good grounding in the most reliable, quality laptop manufacturers today.

All the best Amazon Black Friday deals for 2018

Amazon may be an online-only retailer, but that doesn’t mean its Black Friday sales are anything to sniff at. In fact, due to its online status, Amazon has huge flexibility with the range of products and deals it can offer. Here's our…

Here are the best laptop deals for November 2018

Whether you've started a new school year, are shopping for a student, or you just need a new computer, we've got you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.

Recover your beloved data with these great software tools

The best data recovery software isn't always free, but whether you've lost files on a hard drive, SD card, or even physical media like CDs and DVDs, there's a chance they'll be able to get that data back.

If the speed of AMD’s Radeon RX 590 doesn’t entice you, the game bundle will

AMD's Radeon RX 590 is a new video card that targets 1080p gaming at maximum detail. Starting at $280, it fills a gap between the Radeon RX 580 and the more expensive Radeon RX Vega. AMD says the new RX 590 can beat Nvidia's GTX 1060 Ti.

Microsoft Surface Studio 2: Everything you need to know

Microsoft's Surface Studio 2 comes with a new CPU, new graphics card, and a brighter display -- but is all of that worth the higher cost? Here's everything you need to know about the Surface Studio 2.

Want to use one drive between a Mac and Windows PC? Partitions are your best bet

Compatibility issues between Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OS X may have diminished sharply over the years, but that doesn't mean they've completely disappeared. Here's how to make an external drive work between both operating systems.