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Halo and Steam VR Coming to Windows VR

Microsoft announces new content & bundle options for their upcoming VR headsets, all for a killer price.

Today was a busy day for the guys & gals over at Microsoft with a handful of exciting announcements around their upcoming ecosystem of mixed reality products. Windows is diving into the VR and MR market head first this holiday season with new bundle options at a competitive price and a VR experience based on one massively popular franchise.

In a statement made by Valve’s Joe Ludwig, the programmer revealed that Windows VR headsets will in fact support the SteamVR platform including all of its content:

“The introduction of Windows Mixed Reality headsets is big step forward for VR. Working with Microsoft to include SteamVR compatibility with these devices is also a big step in growing VR as an open platform for developers and consumers,” explained Ludwig. “With a broad range of hardware options available from leading PC manufacturers, the Steam community will have more choice than ever to experience the amazing potential of VR.”

No details as of yet on the technology behind the compatibility, but many are speculating on an OpenVR system, similar to that of the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.

Along with support for content of a different platform, Microsoft will also introduce one of its biggest franchises to VR for the very first time. 343 Industries, the current studio in charge of the Halo series, is working on Halo-themed experiences for the various Windows VR headsets.

“…it’s my pleasure to let you know that we are working with 343 Industries to bring future Halo experiences into mixed reality,” revealed HoloLens’ chief inventor and ‘Mixed Reality’ project lead Alex Kipman. “We are not providing specifics right now, but it is going to be a lot of fun to work with them.”

Microsoft has yet to announce which headsets will feature the heroics of Masterchief, whether they include mixed reality support for the Hololens, or VR support for one of the many upcoming Windows VR headsets from HP, Lenovo, Dell, and Acer.

Of course all this support and awesome must come at a pretty hefty price, right? Well, apparently not. On top of this slew of reveals, the company announced a selection of VR headset and motion controller bundles starting at $399 this holiday season. This is an incredibly reasonable entry price into the Windows Mixed Reality ecosystem, especially when you consider the VR headsets feature inside-out roomscale tracking, technology currently absent in the Vive, Rift and PSVR.

“When it comes to deciding which hardware is right for you, we know that our customers value choice in brand, industrial design, and features,” said Kipman. “That is why we created Windows Mixed Reality as a platform for you to enjoy experiences across multiple devices that meet your mobility and performance needs.”

This is an absolutely incredible start for Microsoft’s MR & VR technology division as the company introduces state-of-the-art technology featuring wide support for a huge variety of content, all at a reasonable price. With the promise of an interconnected system of different Windows technology, Microsoft is setting itself up to be a major player in the industry.

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