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Microsoft’s first VR development kits are available for preorder, will ship this summer

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HP Mixed Reality development kit

Microsoft is opening preorders today for the first Windows Mixed Reality development kits. The virtual reality headsets from HP and Acer are supposed to ship this summer, and can be found in the Microsoft Store. Acer’s kit will cost $299, while HP’s version — seen above — will sell for $329.

While “mixed reality” often refers to augmented reality glasses like Microsoft’s HoloLens, both these products essentially seem like VR headsets. Like all Windows Mixed Reality (formerly Windows Holographic) headsets, though, the development kits use internal tracking sensors, which removes the need for external cameras or markers. Based on our previous tests, they’ll run on Windows 10 PCs with some fairly low specs — far more modest than the VR-ready standard for the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. We still don’t know all the details about the actual development kits, although Acer’s headset has a very decent 1440 x 1440 resolution per eye.

HP and Acer both showed off non-functioning Windows Mixed Reality headsets at CES, alongside three other Microsoft partners: 3Glasses, Dell, and Lenovo. Microsoft later announced that it would start shipping Acer development kits in March, which obviously doesn’t seem to have happened. We still don’t have an exact date for these devices, but letting people place orders is always a good sign.