• Microsoft VR Headset

Microsoft VR Headset (Photo : Facebook)

Microsoft's big news at its Windows event was the Surface Studio PC but the tech giant also announced a new virtual reality headset. The new VR device will include built-in tracking sensors and have a $299 price that is much lower than Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, and even $100 cheaper than Sony's PlayStation VR. Microsoft's new VR devices will be manufactured by partners like Acer, Asus, Lenovo, Dell, and HP but there are questions about how they will work and affect the VR industry.    

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The VR headsets use new tracking tech. "Inside-out, six-degrees of freedom" would be a prodigious jump forward in VR technology.

"Six degrees of freedom" goes beyond tracking when the users turn their head and can pick up when the person is moving through space.  It is the main difference between high-end headsets and budget devices like the $99 Gear VR and $20 Google Cardboard.  

The new VR headset differs from Microsoft's HoloLens augmented reality (AR) headset that puts holograms into the real world. Microsoft's executive VP Terry Myerson explained that the new VR headset uses many HoloLens technologies, according to The Verge.

For example, the HoloLens also includes inside-out tracking. This creates the Holodeck virtual world if there is physical space to move around. However, in the demo on October 27, Thursday the Microsoft employees only moved a few steps.  

The new VR headset also seems to be wired to a Windows 10 computer like the HoloLens. A press image shows the devices beside what seems to be a Lenovo Yoga laptop, and it could also work with HP and Dell PCs.  

It is unclear if the new Microsoft VR headset would be bundled with controllers like Rift, Vive, and PSVR. During the demo people seemed to control the device using voice commands.   

Microsoft shared that the new VR headset will be released in 2017. It will be part of the company's Windows 10 Creators Update that is 3D-focused.

In related news, PlayStation VR is selling better than expected at GameStop and more units will arrive for the holiday shopping season, according to Game Spot.

In-house demos are offered at 115 GameStop locations in the United States. Best Buy is also offering free demos at many physical stores. 

Here's a video on the Windows event: