Next year we can expect a lot of VR/AR headsets from Microsoft partners, including firms like Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP and Lenovo. A lot of firms are hoping to strike gold in the VR market, but whether this emerging market can support so many players will remain to be seen.
While current VR headsets like the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift focus on the higher-end market, Microsoft's Windows 10 will support head-mounted displays with a wide range of specifications. The price of a headset will be as low as $300 and the minimum hardware requirement will start with “Integrated Intel HD Graphics 620 (GT2) equivalent or greater DX12 API Capable GPU.” VentureBeat writes Microsoft will support devices with a wide rang of different specifications in terms of framerate, resolution, and field-of-view, but all devices must offer six-degrees of freedom.
“We want a wide range of price points, wide range of specs, wide range of input, single developer platform, single developer surface area so the experiences work across the entire set,” said Alex Kipman, technical fellow of new device categories at Microsoft, in an interview with UploadVR. “You must at least be able to track in 6 degrees of freedom. That means to me 6 DoF tracking is the minimum requirement. After that it’s all about giving opportunity for partners and choice for customers. That’s inclusive of FOV, refresh rate, resolution and we abstract all that to developers. That is true from an input perspective from 3 DoF to 6 DoF to everywhere between.”
Not all of these devices will be suitable for gaming, of course. For a high-quality VR gaming experience you will still need an expensive VR headset and a high-end gaming PC.