Microsoft Mixed Reality

Microsoft entered the VR market late 2017, and a little late overall to the game. This is unfortunate because Microsoft MR has unlocked one of the easiest set up for VR that greatly reduced set up friction.

What is Microsoft MR?
It is a VR headset, Microsoft decided to use the Mixed Reality term to perhaps integrate the front mounted camera for AR support some day. But for now, it is a pure VR headset that supports both Steam and MIcrosoft MR store.

What’s great about it?
Front flip visor form on all the MR headset are pretty great and comfortable. This feature is well loved in the PSVR device and it works quite well here also. Set up is a breeze as you only need to plug in 1 HDMI port from the headset to your computer, no more tracking camera cablings, laser mountings. The tracking is done with the handsets via constellation lights. This tracking works really great for the most parts for room scale VR. I give the tracking 98% accuracy. The 2% deduction is due to blind spots when you move your hands away from the headset view such as behind your back. This headset is great for glasses as well due it its flip design. Also: Steam compatible, that’s a strong point on its own.

Summary: ease of set up, 1 cable plug in, great tracking, lower PC requirement compared to other VR headsets, Steam compatible

vr, virtual reality, MR, mixed reality, microsoft
MR constellation tracking

What’s not great about it?
Microsoft decided to launch their own MR store to push content sales. This would have been a great idea if Microsoft wasn’t too late to the VR game. With Steam being the forerunner for game content ecosystem, it’s pretty hard for anyone to compete with them right now (unless you’re Oculus Store). The content collection in the MR is lackluster and primitive. The native apps don’t run as well as their Steam counterparts. But, given access to Steam, this problem is unimportant.

Overall, the MR headsets are pretty great for the value. Microsoft is sadly too late to the market and it will be harder for them to catch up. Oculus is rumored to be launching a full high-tier VR headset standalone this year.