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MS's Virtual Reality Sets This Year

Ars Technica has word Microsoft's plans for their own virtual reality head-mounted displays, saying support for these should come to Windows 10 this autumn and the units should ship by this holiday season. Word is the goggles will sell for around USD $299.00 and there will be a bundle for a hundred dollars more that will include motion controllers. There are some surprises, including word that these will support Valve's SteamVR games, they will not require base stations for tracking, and the controllers are more complex than those for current HMDs. Here's a bit :

In time for this year's holiday season, there will be $299 headsets and $399 headset-and-motion-controller bundles, using Microsoft's new motion controllers. Aside from the price, the Windows platform has a few features that make it stand out from SteamVR and the HTC Vive and Facebook's Oculus Rift. The first is substantially easier setup, as the Windows platform doesn't need fixed base stations for position tracking. Instead, it uses "inside out" tracking; it combines acceleration input from accelerometers with visual input from cameras embedded in the headsets to provide motion tracking. This means that it doesn't need base stations on the walls, nor does it need the laser-based tracking used in the HoloLens headset.

The same tracking system is used for the motion controllers; they include embedded accelerometers, and this data is combined with the camera data (since most of the time your hands will be on the edge of your field of view), and reverse kinematic models (which is to say: since you're holding the controllers, their movements are limited by human anatomy). The Microsoft controllers are more complex than those used by the HTC Vive, with more buttons and controls on them; they're also asymmetric, with a dedicated left hand and right hand controller.

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21. Re: MS's Virtual Reality Sets This Year Aug 29, 2017, 09:32 Verno
 
jdreyer wrote on Aug 28, 2017, 16:39:
New GPU 4X more powerful than original XB1, according to specs. Maybe not top of the line, but a huge leap in 4 years.

I don't consider it "new", its just an upspec'd revision of the same APU arch. The old one struggled to do 720p with a decent framerate in many games so 4x as powerful doesn't really impress me.

I don't think people should buy an Xbox One X with VR in mind.
 
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20. Re: MS's Virtual Reality Sets This Year Aug 29, 2017, 09:27 HoSpanky
 
DangerDog wrote on Aug 29, 2017, 05:30:
Watched some youtube videos reviewing the developer kits, seems the HP is nicer than the Acer with regards to comfort, lots of issues with the quality of the VR image.

This could kill off VR completely if the experience is poor, manufacturing defects aside it seems like they're aiming this device at first time VR users. It might be good enough to give a short thrill to minecraft players but will anyone stick with this device for the long haul or will people just return it wishing they could afford a "real" VR headset?

Multiple headset vendors with no hard set design specifications other than the display resolution and lenses? All of the headsets should be sold with the motion controllers from a developer point of view, now they're going to cause problems with regards to the type of games you make.

You'd think they'd have learned the "include he motion controllers!" lesson from Oculus, but apparently in their race to the bottom, these headsets are gonna be super barebones. Image quality has been considered quite good, according to the recent previews on various VR sites.
 
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19. Re: MS's Virtual Reality Sets This Year Aug 29, 2017, 05:30 DangerDog
 
Watched some youtube videos reviewing the developer kits, seems the HP is nicer than the Acer with regards to comfort, lots of issues with the quality of the VR image.

This could kill off VR completely if the experience is poor, manufacturing defects aside it seems like they're aiming this device at first time VR users. It might be good enough to give a short thrill to minecraft players but will anyone stick with this device for the long haul or will people just return it wishing they could afford a "real" VR headset?

Multiple headset vendors with no hard set design specifications other than the display resolution and lenses? All of the headsets should be sold with the motion controllers from a developer point of view, now they're going to cause problems with regards to the type of games you make.
 
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18. Re: MS's Virtual Reality Sets This Year Aug 28, 2017, 22:56 Creston
 
jdreyer wrote on Aug 28, 2017, 17:51:
Creston wrote on Aug 28, 2017, 17:00:
BEWARE Microsoft and new hardware. Their track record with new hardware is abysmal.

Not true. Their mice and keyboards have been good. I still use a MS split keyboard on one of my Rigs. And their joysticks were great back in the day. Surface Pro gets great reviews. Lastly the Zune was good hardware, just had a crappy market.

Mice and keyboards, jeez, whatever, but their joysticks took a little while to get going (remember the wonderful bug where Windows 98 and the Sidewinder didn't work together?), and the Surface was a giant piece of fucking garbage until the 4th iteration. Go read up on some of the Surface 2 and Surface 3 problems. Some of which STILL aren't fixed.

Add into that the 360 RROD fiasco, their initial cordless phone venture, that garbage speaker set they released in the late 90s (which had a fun bug where it instantly set volume either to minimum or to maximum at random), the fucking KINECT, and I'm telling you, be careful to put money into Microsoft's new hardware ventures, especially if it seems the price point is way too good to be true.
 
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17. Re: Morning Tech Bits Aug 28, 2017, 22:15 Mordecai Walfish
 
CJ_Parker wrote on Aug 28, 2017, 18:45:
jdreyer wrote on Aug 28, 2017, 17:51:
And their joysticks were great back in the day.

C'mon. That was 15+ years ago . It is also typical for them that they always discontinue their decent products. Sidewinder was an awesome product line all around (the sticks but also the incredible GameVoice). IntelliExplorer mice were decent for gaming, too, but their current mice suck.

Still got the Sidewinder Strategic Commander going strong and it's actually quite useful in some (RTS-style) games. Somebody made windows 7 drivers for it thankfully, which work for all functions and allow for remapping and binding keyboard/mouse commands. I felt pretty fortunate to have found that driver, as MS never really supported it after release.
 
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16. Re: MS's Virtual Reality Sets This Year Aug 28, 2017, 19:29 RedEye9
 
jdreyer wrote on Aug 28, 2017, 17:51:
Creston wrote on Aug 28, 2017, 17:00:
BEWARE Microsoft and new hardware. Their track record with new hardware is abysmal.

Not true. Their mice and keyboards have been good. I still use a MS split keyboard on one of my Rigs. And their joysticks were great back in the day. Surface Pro gets great reviews. Lastly the Zune was good hardware, just had a crappy market.
Let's not start sucking Microsoft's hog just yet
Consumer Reports say don't buy
bloody backlight bleed
Of course the best part's of the story is in the forum comments.
And some of the charts are off the hook.
 
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15. Re: MS's Virtual Reality Sets This Year Aug 28, 2017, 18:45 CJ_Parker
 
jdreyer wrote on Aug 28, 2017, 17:51:
And their joysticks were great back in the day.

C'mon. That was 15+ years ago . It is also typical for them that they always discontinue their decent products. Sidewinder was an awesome product line all around (the sticks but also the incredible GameVoice). IntelliExplorer mice were decent for gaming, too, but their current mice suck.

The Shitbox is a low quality trash product because the price wars are forcing the console makers to put the lowest quality, cheapest of the cheap components into it. I'm betting they are even negging with the screw makers to get a half cent off per one million screws.
It all comes down to who is better at hiding the fact that you are effectively buying a super low quality cheap-ass trash potato toaster and Microsoft certainly isn't the winner in that regard.
 
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14. Re: Origin Access Free This Week Aug 28, 2017, 18:17 {PH}88fingers
 
jdreyer wrote on Aug 28, 2017, 17:51:
Creston wrote on Aug 28, 2017, 17:00:
BEWARE Microsoft and new hardware. Their track record with new hardware is abysmal.

Not true. Their mice and keyboards have been good. I still use a MS split keyboard on one of my Rigs. And their joysticks were great back in the day. Surface Pro gets great reviews. Lastly the Zune was good hardware, just had a crappy market.

Surface Pro 4 here, had the 2 as well. can confirm good shit.
 
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13. Re: MS's Virtual Reality Sets This Year Aug 28, 2017, 17:51 jdreyer
 
Creston wrote on Aug 28, 2017, 17:00:
BEWARE Microsoft and new hardware. Their track record with new hardware is abysmal.

Not true. Their mice and keyboards have been good. I still use a MS split keyboard on one of my Rigs. And their joysticks were great back in the day. Surface Pro gets great reviews. Lastly the Zune was good hardware, just had a crappy market.
 
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12. Re: MS's Virtual Reality Sets This Year Aug 28, 2017, 17:00 Creston
 
BEWARE Microsoft and new hardware. Their track record with new hardware is abysmal.
 
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11. Re: MS's Virtual Reality Sets This Year Aug 28, 2017, 16:39 jdreyer
 
Verno wrote on Aug 28, 2017, 14:07:
Might also explain why they put such a powerful GPU in the new XBox.

Powerful? Looking at the specs, I would put it near a GeForce 1060.

I'm not expecting 4k miracles from the new Xbox. It's going to be a lot of checkerboard upscaling and tradeoffs again. We'll be lucky to get 4k/30fps with high visual toggles. The odd well optimized game might shoot for more or dial down other stuff.

Anyways back to VR, I think this is great. VR needed price drops to let it attain some critical mass. This will let people get a feel for things without committing half a pay check.
New GPU 4X more powerful than original XB1, according to specs. Maybe not top of the line, but a huge leap in 4 years.
 
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10. Re: MS's Virtual Reality Sets This Year Aug 28, 2017, 16:19 Verno
 
Flo wrote on Aug 28, 2017, 15:31:
Isn't it more like a 1070?

No. Ignoring the silly TERAFLOPS stuff, it's basically a 480/580/1060 equivalent with 12GB of memory for some reason. Just an upgraded APU, the same one they have in the PS4/XBox Whatever.

Expect the new Xbox to basically output the equivalent of Medium graphical settings at 4k/30fps in AAA games. Heavily optimized games or less resource intensive stuff will do more.

IMO the only impressive part of it is the price considering its SFF and has a Bluray drive, assuming anyone still actually uses discs. A similar spec PC would be like a grand. Of course I wouldn't buy something that modest in power in the first place but that's neither here nor there.
 
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9. Re: MS's Virtual Reality Sets This Year Aug 28, 2017, 16:09 CJ_Parker
 
No it isn't. The only GPU that AMD has that comes somewhat close to a 1070 is Vega and they won't put that in a Shitbox because it will literally be extremely more shittier than it already is. It would draw power like no tomorrow and sound like a jet is taking off in your living room. Granted, it is not beyond Microsoft to sell such garbage to people. The original X360 had similar traits.

Anyway, the GPU inside the XboneX POS is more like a 480 (so sub-1060 level). Here...

For a GPU comparison, the Xbox One X falls just shy of AMD’s Polaris-based RX 480 card, a card that we called “the only mid-range card that matters” in our Editor’s Choice distinguished review.
 
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8. Re: MS's Virtual Reality Sets This Year Aug 28, 2017, 15:31 Flo
 
Verno wrote on Aug 28, 2017, 14:07:
Might also explain why they put such a powerful GPU in the new XBox.

Powerful? Looking at the specs, I would put it near a GeForce 1060.

I'm not expecting 4k miracles from the new Xbox. It's going to be a lot of checkerboard upscaling and tradeoffs again. We'll be lucky to get 4k/30fps with high visual toggles. The odd well optimized game might shoot for more or dial down other stuff.

Anyways back to VR, I think this is great. VR needed price drops to let it attain some critical mass. This will let people get a feel for things without committing half a pay check.
Isn't it more like a 1070?
 
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7. Re: MS's Virtual Reality Sets This Year Aug 28, 2017, 15:18 Avus
 
There are some surprises, including word that these will support Valve's SteamVR games...

I am not surprised by this. Even MS knew how unpopular their Windows Store/"exclusive" games are. It will be suicide for MS to "UNNECESSARY" make this VR display as Win10 exclusive.

If I am MS, I will even make it support in OSX as Apple still not care about VR and "serious" gaming on their Mac computers.
 
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6. Re: MS's Virtual Reality Sets This Year Aug 28, 2017, 14:07 Verno
 
Might also explain why they put such a powerful GPU in the new XBox.

Powerful? Looking at the specs, I would put it near a GeForce 1060.

I'm not expecting 4k miracles from the new Xbox. It's going to be a lot of checkerboard upscaling and tradeoffs again. We'll be lucky to get 4k/30fps with high visual toggles. The odd well optimized game might shoot for more or dial down other stuff.

Anyways back to VR, I think this is great. VR needed price drops to let it attain some critical mass. This will let people get a feel for things without committing half a pay check.
 
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5. Re: MS's Virtual Reality Sets This Year Aug 28, 2017, 13:47 jdreyer
 
The Half Elf wrote on Aug 28, 2017, 13:30:
And this is why Microsoft was waiting on the Xbox One X.

Might also explain why they put such a powerful GPU in the new XBox.
 
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4. Re: MS's Virtual Reality Sets This Year Aug 28, 2017, 13:30 The Half Elf
 
And this is why Microsoft was waiting on the Xbox One X.  
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3. Re: MS's Virtual Reality Sets This Year Aug 28, 2017, 13:06 HoSpanky
 
jdreyer wrote on Aug 28, 2017, 12:30:
Another entrant in this market is a good thing. Hopefully it will drive innovation up and prices down.

Another 4 entrants, technically. Four companies have these headsets launching by the end of the year. Steam support wasn't really known until today, though. That's a huge deal.
 
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2. Re: MS's Virtual Reality Sets This Year Aug 28, 2017, 12:54 Cutter
 
MS seriously expects people to pay for this when they should be paying people for all the data mining they do? Lol!

 
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