Oculus Rift and HTC Vive have strong competition
This year we don’t have any big story about either Oculus or HTC releasing a new headset. But we have something else it’s Microsoft’s entering the world with Windows 10 Mixed Reality devices. They are said to be cheaper and easy to use as compared to Oculus Rift or Vive. All thanks to HoloLens’ 3D tracking technology, Acer has shown us what an inexpensive VR headset looks like. Samsung too is in it with its high-end HMD Odyssey.
The difference between two headsets is quite clear. Acer brings a pretty good headset for users with glossy-blue plastic visor. But the body isn’t strong it can tear apart if tumbled on the floor plus the cheap foam used around the eyepiece is not good. The only thing that saves it is the faux leather cushioning on the top and rear portions of the headband.
On the other hand, Samsung’s HMD Odyssey, is outstanding it overpowers Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. It too is made of plastic but with of a much higher quality that make it look classy and sturdy. Not only this the built-in AKG headphones are amazing giving the device feel of a high-end audio gear. As opposed to Acer Samsung’s headset is much heavier but the cushioning it offers around eyes and headband makes it comfortable to wear.
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When we talk about them both are world apart. Acer follows Microsoft’s design similar to HP. With a decent thumbstick and touchpad it has trigger and grip buttons essential to have a VR experience. On the other hand Samsung’s controller has a similar layout with curved handles that are more comfortable to hold.
Setting It Up
Even when it is just the startup for Microsoft into the VR headset they are very easy to set up. The only thing that you need is a powerful system with system requirements like a fourth-generation Intel processor and an NVIDIA GTX 960 GPU. By plugging in a HDMI and USB 3.0 cables you’re all set. Unlike Oculus Rift and HTC Vive which requires additional things for setup and movement detection. Mixed Reality headsets use built-in sensors to track movement.
Once the headset is plugged in, Windows will automatically launch Mixed Reality Portal that checks your hardware configuration to ensure it can run VR. Also pairing motion controllers like Bluetooth device is very simple, just hit the pairing button under battery cover, select the controller system settings and all is done. Lastly, Acer’s Mixed Reality Portal offers two options to use the headset: sitting and standing. If you choose the latter, you need to setup a virtual border by holding the headset and walking around the room to avoid any hindrance.
You will be able to notice the virtual difference between both HMD Odyssey have brighter colors and the complete environment appears much sharper as opposed to Mixed Reality headsets.
Pricing And Competition
Acer’s Mixed Reality headset are the first VR sets we get from Microsoft and the look makes it evident. Initially it was a $300 model but with the Acer headset with controllers it costs $400 whereas Samsung’s HMD Odyssey combo goes for $500. There’s only a difference of $100 between the two.
Obviously, the actual competition is with Oculus Rift and HTC Vive but with Rift going down to $400 with its Touch Controllers, it seems hard for Windows Mixed Reality to stand by.
|Acer Windows Mixed Reality Headset||Samsung HDM Odyssey|
|Display: 1440 X 1440 per eye (2880 X 1440 combined), LCD, 90Hz||Display: 1440 X 1600 per eye (2880 X 1600 combined), AMOLED, 90Hz|
|Screen Size: 2.9 inch||Screen Size: 3.5 inch|
|Field View: 95 degrees||Field View: 110 degrees|
|Sensors: Accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, and proximity sensor||Sensors: Accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, proximity sensor, and IPD sensor
|Audio 3.5mm combo jack||Integrated AKG headphones, in-built microphone array
|Size: 195.8 mm (W) X 94.8 mm (L) X 106.59 mm (H)||Size: 202 mm (W) X 131.5 mm (L) X 111 mm (H)|
|Release Date: October 17, 2017||Release Date: November 6, 2017
|Weight: 350 gms||Weight: 645 gms|
|Price: $299 standalone, $399 with controllers.||Price: $499 with controllers
Samsung and Acer both have their parts to play so we cannot judge which one is better. It’s up to the user to decide which headset he would prefer over Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Samsung’s headset is better in quality but it weighs too much while Microsoft’s Mixed Reality headset is less expensive weighs less and has all the essential features that one looks for.