Microsoft has announced that their upcoming Mixed Reality headset dev kits from Acer and HP are available for pre-order now via the Microsoft Store.
As devkits, these are not going to be the final hardware and they’re simply intended for developers to be able to create games and apps with them. The Acer Windows Mixed Reality Headset Developer Edition is $299, while the HP version is $329. Each headset will use inside-out tracking, so an external camera or IR sensors won’t be needed, and you can still have room-scale levels of freedom to move around. All developers will need beyond these headsets is a Windows 10 Creators PC with the minimum specs required for the headsets themselves.
HP’s headset goes for a more futuristic approach using an all-black look, while the Acer headset almost seems more at home on the PlayStation 4 with its blue and black motif. Both headsets have two high-resolution LCDs putting out a 1440×1440 picture and have refresh rates of up to 90 Hz. You can also use any headset or mic you want with an included 3.5mm jack. The HP headset has a double-padded headband and an easy adjustment knob – so while it is a bit more costly, it does provide more comfort for longer sessions for only $30 more.
Developers interested in the headsets can pre-order them now, and check out the Windows Dev Center to view documentation about how to get the most out of their headsets. Developers should make sure they have either an Intel Desktop Core i7 with six or more cores, or an AMD Ryzen 7 1700 with eight cores to work with. GPU-wise, you will need either a GTX 90 or 1060, while an AMD RX80 will work fine on the AMD side of things. You will need at least 16GB of RAM or more and over 10 GB of free space on your hard drive as well. The pricing is lower to increase the adoption rate for developers, and it seems like that approach will probably apply to consumers as well.
No commercial release dates have been made available for the headsets yet, but a release in mid-to-late 2018 seems somewhat likely with developers only just now getting the ability to pre-order the headsets – let alone actually start development work on them.
Source: Windows Blog