Some say that this wave of VR is already nearing its end, what with the lackluster sales of Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. The upcoming Windows Mixed Reality headsets are launch soon with the intention of changin this notion.
Microsoft partners will ship their head-mounted displays (HMDs) starting October 17, alongside the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.
Several of these headsets can actually already be preordered on the Microsoft Store, with prices ranging from $399 to $499. Analysts, meanwhile, are quite mum on whether these will be a success story, and usher in a new revolution in the fields of virtual reality.
The vice president of research and strategy at SuperData, Stephanie Llamas, weighed in on these new HMDs with a prediction that these will outsell their Oculus equivalent by a factor of two to one in the fourth quarter of the year.
A bold claim, but the research firms believes that since Microsoft is taking a hard aim at all kinds of computers, both low and high ends of the spectrum, a boost in sales may be on the cards.
At least, when compared to the likes of Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, both of which require to be paired up with fairly powerful gaming computers.
That said, Llamas did say that the concept of mixed reality could be a double-edge sword:
“However, there may be confusion around the names Mixed Reality and Virtual Reality. These headsets offer Virtual Reality experiences – not what the industry would consider Mixed Reality. So, consumers may actually expect something different or more advanced from Rift and Vive, which will cause confusion and disappointment – a major marketing issue that could fracture consumer expectations for the entire industry as a result.”
Also, a convincing suggestion is the fact that there is a distinct lack of content for these headsets. Microsoft has promised a lot, including support for Steam games and a Halo experience for these devices, but there is nothing much else on the horizon in terms of software.
Still, the Microsoft brand may just be enough to have a positive impact on sales of these HMDs, as both Oculus and HTC lacked the brand recognition amongst the general consumer base.