Virtual reality has been readily available for several years now, with a wide variety of affordable and high-end headsets now on the market. After the initial hype, excitement for this technology settled down a bit, likely because of the cost, limited software, and specialized PC requirements.
Thankfully, things are coming back around: More and more companies like Samsung, Acer, and HP are throwing their hats into the ring, with a myriad of software now available and the hardware becoming more streamlined and less exclusive. Microsoft has put its own unique spin on VR with Windows Mixed Reality, which is now integrated with the Windows 10 operating system.
Unlike some headsets such as the PlayStation VR which are built mostly for gaming, the HP Windows Mixed Reality headset is designed for a myriad of immersive tasks. You can build and decorate your virtual home, watch movies in a virtual theater, and – of course – explore games like Minecraft from an all-new perspective.
Similar to other designs like the Lenovo Explorer (and in stark contrast to units like the Oculus Rift), the HP Windows Mixed Reality headset has sensors built right into it – no external sensor setup required. This allows the headset to map your real-world surroundings and track your movement. Even more notably, the headset can project “holograms” all around you, creating an augmented reality environment that you can interact with. It even remembers rooms and can immediately load up environments you’ve built before.
This means you can use the HP Windows Mixed Reality headset for exploring completely virtual worlds (the device is compatible out of the box with more than 20,000 VR games and apps), as well as for augmented reality, with holograms projected onto your real environment, be it your living room or office. Imagine using your PC and browsing the web via a head-up virtual display instead of your standard mouse, keyboard, and monitor interface.
The HP Windows Mixed Reality headset bundle includes the headset unit along with two motion controllers. This would normally set you back $449, but from Monday, June 18 through Thursday, June 28, the Microsoft Store has the HP Windows Mixed Reality headset bundle available for a deep discount of $250 (no code necessary), letting you score it for a low $199 with free shipping.
Digital Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.
- The best VR apps for 2020
- The best VR headset for the iPhone
- HP’s Reverb G2 Omnicept Edition is a VR headset that knows when your pulse is up
- The best free FPS games you can play right now
- Weather Channel’s mixed-reality forecasts take TV meteorology to a new level