Windows Mixed Reality Headsets Will Get SteamVR Support On 15th November

Beta for everyone.

With the launch of Windows 10’s Fall Creators Update back in the middle of October, we saw Microsoft’s first real foray into virtual reality, or mixed reality as they’ve branded it. Windows Mixed Reality has spawned a number of headsets from regular PC manufacturers like Dell, Lenovo and Asus, and as of 15th November next week, they’ll be gaining compatibility with the wide array of VR games and apps through SteamVR.

This is an expansion of the developer preview that has previously been available, but opens the gates to the beta support to all, and will go a long way to making WMR headsets a viable platform. SteamVR doesn’t just have games from Arizona Sunshine to Project Cars 2 under its umbrella, but apps like Virtual Desktop and Tilt Brush.

Windows Mixed Reality headsets work on different principles to other platforms, with cameras built into the headset itself that scan the environment and use that for tracking information, as opposed to having external cameras or laser stations. This leads to an interesting situation where the system’s motion controllers are only tracked when in view of the cameras, though how this actually affects apps and games is reportedly quite minimal.

Source: Ars Technica

4 Comments

  1. The more the better.

  2. I had a go on the HP one in John Lewis last weekend. It wasn’t that impressive.

    The inside-out tracking seems to work well, which is probably ideal if you’re demonstrating it in a shop in an area about the size of a large dog.

    Rather embarrassingly for the young man in charge of it, things weren’t working quite so well on the software side. Once I’d signed something to say I wouldn’t sue if I threw up and choked to death, a quick go on Superhot lasted about 30 seconds before it crashed, leaving me standing in darkness. A second attempt did the same. Some rebooting of the PC was required.

    A different game worked. Decent tracking of the controllers to shoot aliens while dodgy bullets.

    The display quality was a bit lacking, despite claiming to be higher resolution than the PSVR. And that was after he gave it a thorough cleaning, while someone found batteries for the controllers.

    Also, the headset itself was remarkably light. That’s not necessarily a good thing, as any movement was making it wobble all over the place.

    In the end, I came away thinking MS (and the hardware companies) possibly needed to do a bit more work before launching it. And I think the embarrassed bloke demonstrating it was heading off to try out PSVR afterwards. (It was in Reading, and Sony were there last weekend)

    • SteamVR could be a more robust software stack for the hardware to work with, and higher resolution is far from everything, the quality of the lenses and other factors come into it, while fit and finish is dependent on the hardware manufacturers.

  3. Seems like a smart move, the mixed-reality headset reviews i’ve seen recently gave kudos to the hardware but pointed out that so far all they really have to go on are a few tech demos.

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