Microsoft held an event today in San Francisco dedicated to its Windows Mixed Reality platform, where Kinect and HoloLens mastermind Alex Kipman showed off some impressive live demos and unveiled a new headset and motion controller combo from Samsung.
In a separate press demo room following the presentation, we were able to experience the new hardware, called Samsung Odyssey, running a virtual reality Halo experience, Halo Recruit, to showcase the platform’s underlying technology.
From my admittedly brief experience using the Odyssey running the full version of Halo Recruit, I can say that Microsoft and Samsung have managed to design and develop something that feels nearly identical in image and software quality, as well as comfort, to the Oculus Rift.
Odyssey is even priced and packaged similarly, with built-in headphones and motion controllers built to Microsoft’s specs that resemble a cross between Oculus Touch and the HTC Vive controllers.
The whole thing will cost $499 starting November 6th, while Halo Recruit launches on October 17th with Microsoft’s Fall Creators Update.
Of course, Oculus pretty much dominates the virtual reality market, with a growing library of existing games and cinematic experiences on top of the financial and technical support of its owner, Facebook.