Unfortunately, it appears that this match made in virtual reality heaven will not arrive on October 17th, which is when the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update and Windows Mixed Reality devices will officially launch. According to a new report from German news outlet Computer Base, Microsoft and its partners are only in the beginning stages of incorporating support for SteamVR. Confirmation of this “work in progress” comes from Microsoft’s Greg Sullivan, who made comments about SteamVR and Windows Mixed Reality headsets at IFA 2017.
What’s even more disappointing is that no timetable has been given for when support will be officially rolled out to customers.
Windows Mixed Reality headsets will be available from a number of big names in tech including Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, and Acer. "Existing high-end VR headsets with external cameras are cumbersome to set up,” said Microsoft in an IFA press release last week.
“For more people to experience VR one of the barriers that needed to be removed was the need for external markers. That is why the Windows Mixed Reality headsets coming this holiday will be the first to deliver VR experiences with built-in sensors to track your physical position without requiring you to purchase and install external sensors in your room."
Headsets, including the Lenovo Explorer, will be available starting from $349. Lenovo will also offer a package that bundles in motion controllers for $449. The Lenovo Explorer comes equipped with dual 1440x1440 displays and can offer a refresh rate of 60Hz on low-end hardware, or 90Hz with more potent hardware (you’ll need at least an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M to unlock these higher refresh rates).
While Microsoft is hoping to make a splash with its Windows Mixed Reality headsets, we can’t help but think that many hardcore gamers will be enticed by more “seasoned” options like the Oculus Rift. That virtual reality headset is available currently or $399 complete with Touch controllers, which undercuts the Lenovo Explorer + Motion Controller bundle by $50.