Samsung Odyssey Virtual Reality Headset Announced for Windows

Samsung has unveiled a virtual reality rig designed for use with Windows PCs.

HMD Odyssey joins previously announced VR headsets and hand controllers from Dell, HP, Lenovo, Acer and Asus to form the launch hardware line-up for Microsoft’s new Mixed Reality platform.

Unlike earlier PC-based VR kit, the new products are able to track their wearers’ movements in a room without requiring additional external sensors.

But experts have questioned whether the market will support so many brands.

Until now, HTC’s Vive and Facebook’s Oculus Rift have had most of the market in high-end PC-based VR headsets to themselves. But the two firms had only sold a combined total of just over one million headsets by the end of June, according to SuperData Research.

Both have cut their prices in recent months in an attempt to stimulate demand.

By contrast, Samsung’s more basic Gear VR – which works with some of its smartphones – had sold more than eight million units, according to the same market research.

Halo VR
Microsoft hosted an event in San Francisco to mark the release of a new version of Windows 10 on 17 October that supports new virtual and augmented reality capabilities.

Samsung’s headset was pitched as a premium way to experience VR, thanks to it featuring higher-resolution OLED (organic light-emitting diode) displays than the other new kit. It also has a slightly wider field-of-view and integrated headphones.

However, its $499 (£425) price makes it more expensive and it will go on sale a month later in November.

Other announcements included :
Microsoft has acquired AltSpaceVR, a virtual reality-based social media platform. It had announced its closure earlier in the year only to reverse the decision without explanation later.
The release of Halo Recruit, a “brief” VR experience set in the firm’s sci-fi video game world. It will be given away free later this month.

Microsoft is also developing an AR-based headset that does not require a separate PC called the HoloLens. But a prototype sold to developers costs £2,719 and there was no update as to when it will get a mass-market release.

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