With Virtual Reality on the rise across the board it was nice to see that both ASUS and Dell announced their new headsets at this year’s IFA in Berlin, Germany. Both these headsets are for the Windows platform and will be compatible with Steam’s VR platform and Microsoft’s VR controllers. While we would have preferred to have seen more affordable options hitting the market, both these headsets will still be over the $400 mark. Though, it does mean that there will be even more variety hitting the market.
ASUS’s new Mixed Reality Headset looks every bit as sleek as their gaming laptops and desktops thanks to its 3D polygon design. The headset’s strap has been designed to evenly distribute the weight of the headset across your head. This will allow you to enjoy hours of gaming or entertainment without that annoying feeling that cheaper headsets leave us with. Inside is where things get interesting. Unlike the cheaper Samsung Gear VR and the Google Daydream View, the ASUS headset doesn’t rely on your smartphone and instead features two 1440 x 1440 pixel panels with a refresh rate of 90Hz. The chassis is surrounded by premium antibacterial materials that not only cushion your face from the headset, but will also mean that it won’t leave you with any annoying skin irritations.
The ASUS headset relies on two front-facing cameras that are built into the headset, which is great news as it does not require any external cameras or sensors to work. The ASUS will also be compatible with Microsoft’s VR controllers. They might not be the most elegant controllers, however, they will work without any fixed external trackers, just the cameras on the VR headset itself. While it just showcased at IFA 2017, we already have an estimated price of €449 or about $530 in the US.
Dell might be one of the last companies that we expected to release a VR headset this early in the game, however, their partnership with Microsoft means that they too have come to the table at IFA 2017 with their Dell Visor. Dell’s headset has been designed with a flip-up visor that will allow you to easily transition between the virtual world and the real world. The Dell Visor features a well-padded head and face section, and a thumbwheel which is used to adjust the band for the ultimate in comfort.
The Dell Visor uses the same technology as the Microsoft HoloLens. Its inside-out tracking cameras scan your surroundings instead of satellite emitters positioned around your room. This is future-proof technology according to the guys at Dell and at Microsoft. There will even be the possibility for user interaction with other Microsoft Mixed Reality headsets owners who live down the road. There will be a Dell controller and headset bundle that is set to retail for $449.99, or you will be able to pick up a standalone headset for $349.99.
Wrapping It Up
Both headsets have not been released yet, but are expected to hit the market before the holiday season. Microsoft have also partnered with Acer, HP and Lenovo to make the Mixed Reality dream come true. The added bonus of these new headsets is that they will run on more PCs than the hardware intensive Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive headsets. Microsoft claims that PCs as low as $499 will be able to run their Mixed Reality platform.