Asus is the last of Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality launch partners to actually launch a headset, but finally the day has come. Asus’ dryly named Windows Mixed Reality Headset HC102 is now available in the US for $429 — a price that makes it among the more expensive options. Other companies’ headsets get as low as $299; although Asus’ option comes with two motion controllers, which make up for the higher price.
Asus’ headset is mostly set apart by its, uh, unique look, which seems to be what would happen if you tried to bring Samsung’s Galaxy S5 wallpaper into the real world. Specs are on par with other Mixed Reality headsets launched last year: 1440 x 1440 per eye resolution, 105-degree field of view, and a built-in headphone jack and sensors, so you don’t have rely on external ones.
Despite the name, Windows Mixed Reality isn’t “mixed” in any way. For the time being, it’s just regular virtual reality. The distinction from something like the Oculus Rift or PSVR is that Microsoft designed the platform so that the headsets just need to be connected to a computer to work; they don’t need additional sensors or cameras for tracking, which ought to make them easier to get started with. The platform was announced last year, and the initial batch of headsets rolled out in the fall.