Microsoft acquires social virtual-reality startup AltspaceVR


The 110-degree field of view allows users to discover paramount virtual experiences around them.

With its Oculus-supported Gear VR headset, Samsung has been pushing the boundaries of affordable VR for years. Alex Kipman, Microsoft's Mixed Reality head, said that it's created to offer a first glimpse into what mixed reality and Halo can feel like.

Designed and engineered in partnership with Microsoft, the Samsung HMD Odyssey features dual AMOLED displays, screen tech Samsung is known for in its Galaxy line of smartphones. (You do with the existing Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR.) But we haven't yet tried it under real-world conditions, only in fairly dim rooms, and we had some tracking issues in early demos. The Odyssey is actually the best Mixed Reality headset with Windows operating system.

Microsoft held a press conference for the upcoming launch of the Windows Mixed Reality platform today, confirming the existence of the Samsung Odyssey and launching the pre-order campaign for the numerous head-mounted displays (HMDs).

Microsoft is hoping that it can make VR headsets as simple as PC monitors - you just plug one in, and it works, with no additional setup, and no worry about whether your friends' devices are compatible with yours.

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Microsoft already announced that it was working with 343 Industries on Halo experiences for mixed reality, but today the company revealed its first one: Halo: Recruit.

Microsoft said it will bring Halo to its Windows Mixed Reality headsets later this month.

The firm uses the term "mixed reality" to refer to both VR experiences, which are based exclusively in computer-generated worlds, as well as AR, which mixes graphics and real-world views together. Samsung joins that group with an intriguing option of its own. The game will be available starting October 17th - you can either try it out in Microsoft Stores across the country, or download it from the Windows Store for free.

The HMD Odyssey will retail for $499, which comes in above the $450 headset and controllers bundles from Dell and Lenovo.

PCMag is at the event in San Francisco today, so stay tuned for more details as we go hands on with the Samsung HMD Odyssey and see what it can do.