You understand Galaxy. Now, meet Odyssey:

This picture is official, not like the product web page photos that leaked this morning.

Microsoft

Samsung has a brand new VR headset, however it’s designed to your Home windows PC. It may, nevertheless, be one of the best of the vacations, for those who’re okay with utilizing Home windows Blended Actuality (Microsoft’s title for its upcoming Home windows VR platform) as your VR system.

The Samsung Odyssey, simply introduced at present, is coming Nov. 6 for $499 (roughly £375 or AU$640). It initially leaked in a Microsoft product web page this morning.

The Odyssey is only one headset in a barrage of Home windows VR headsets coming this fall: Acer, Asus, Dell, HP and Lenovo all have them too. And, like these headsets, the Odyssey will work with Microsoft’s wi-fi VR controllers and VR apps within the Home windows Retailer after they launch this fall.

However the Odyssey has two issues all these different headsets do not: Samsung’s more and more sought-after AMOLED screens, and built-in headphones from audio companion AKG. The catch: it’s going to value you a bit extra.

Microsoft

AMOLED know-how typically gives far deeper blacks than the LCD panels each different PC producer is constructing into their Home windows Blended Actuality headsets, which may be fairly helpful for a practical VR expertise. Plus, Samsung’s panels seem like increased decision too — whereas each different Home windows Blended Actuality headset has a decision of 1,440×1,440 pixels per eye, Samsung’s shows will apparently provide extra vertical actual property at 1,440×1,600 pixels.

(For context, these are notably higher-res than the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, which provide simply 1,080×1,200 pixels per eye.)

The Samsung controllers look very comparable, however maybe with barely extra ergonomic grips, to different ones we have seen demoed with Microsoft VR headsets.

Microsoft

Constructed-in headphones, in the meantime, are simply plain handy for VR — you do not have to fret about cords getting tangled, or whether or not the band of your current headphones will match across the headset’s straps. We have positively most well-liked having them on the Oculus Rift, in comparison with the HTC Vive and PlayStation VR, which require you to plug in further components.

One different key distinction: Samsung’s headset would not have a flip-up, welder-mask-style visor like each different Home windows Blended Actuality headset. However for those who ask me, that is not essentially a nasty factor — since you’ve obtained that additional padding urgent in opposition to your cheeks, you needn’t cinch it as tight in opposition to your head. In a quick demo, it felt extra snug than the competitors. The screens appeared very crisp.

There’s so much we do not but learn about Samsung’s headset. Proinertech has solely tried it briefly. And it prices $499, as a lot as you’d pay for a whole Oculus Rift equipment, and greater than Microsoft’s different companions are asking for his or her Home windows Blended Actuality headsets.

To this point, we have been cautiously optimistic about Microsoft’s Home windows Blended Actuality platform. It is neat how the headset’s built-in cameras imply you needn’t mount base stations round your room. (You do with the present Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR.) However we have not but tried it below real-world circumstances, solely in small and sometimes dim rooms, and we had some monitoring points in early demos. 

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Samsung Odyssey: The premium mixed-reality headset

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Plus, like most VR platforms, we’re nonetheless ready for a killer app that’ll make us wish to purchase it. Home windows Blended Actuality headsets do have entry to the identical SteamVR library because the HTC Vive, however I am nonetheless ready for the opposite shoe to drop. 

If you would like to make use of your Home windows desktop in VR, although, it is shaping as much as be a reasonably intriguing expertise. There is a new characteristic referred to as Snap to App that permits you to immediately teleport to a snug viewing distance from home windows you pin to the partitions of your digital home, and you’ll simply ask the Cortana voice assistant to maneuver or resize home windows with voice instructions. As a result of the system can observe your gaze, you solely must say “Transfer this right here,” or “Larger” to get the system to grasp your instructions.

And if you would like to hang around with associates in a digital house, Microsoft has simply introduced that it is bought AltspaceVR — an early VR social community that almost shut down after monetary difficulties, till a mysterious benefactor got here alongside. (Plainly the benefactor was Microsoft.)

So far as the ‘s involved, Microsoft is hoping that it might make VR headsets so simple as PC screens — you simply plug one in, and it really works, with no further setup, and no fear about whether or not your pals’ units are appropriate with yours. “When you have an HP and I’ve a Dell, we’ll have the ability to play a recreation in opposition to every othe with out having to fret about it, in the identical approach we do not fear about which producer’s monitor is linked to our PC,” says Microsoft’s Greg Sullivan, a director within the firm’s Home windows and Gadgets group.

We’ll let you realize if Samsung’s headset is the one to purchase once we’ve had extra time with it this fall. 

By the best way, do not anticipate these headsets to work together with your shiny new Xbox. Microsoft will not discuss that in any respect: “Over time we’ll completely have it in Xbox, however we have now nothing to announce in that house at present,” mentioned Microsoft’s Alex Kipman.

Initially posted Oct. three at 10:14 a.m. PT. Replace at 12:41 p.m. PT:  Added additional particulars concerning the Odyssey.

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