An Xbox One VR headset is seemingly a permanent fixture on the web rumour mill but now Microsoft has confirmed that mixed reality gaming is coming for the games platform.

Last year, the Redmond software giant announced plans to launch VR headsets capable of mixed reality with the Windows 10 Creators Update. At GDC 2017 this week, that project has been renamed Windows Mixed Reality, and the first development kits will start shipping out this month. An Acer headset was revealed at the San Francisco gaming conference, which is available to developers this month for $299.


But, while the prospect of PC-powered headsets powered by Windows 10 is exciting, it’s not as exciting as the news that mixed reality is coming to the Xbox platform. In a blog post announcing the Acer headset, Microsoft’s Alex Kipman said:

“We’re also excited to share that Windows Mixed Reality experiences will light up on other devices over time, beyond desktop and Microsoft HoloLens. Our plan is to bring mixed reality content to the Xbox One family of devices, including Project Scorpio, in 2018.”

Project Scorpio, in case you didn’t know, is the codename for the next Xbox One model, capable of true 4K gaming, high-end virtual reality and HDR content. Microsoft is, of course, playing catch up to rival Sony in the VR stakes – the Japanese company’s VR headset has already sold around a million units.

Microsoft is keen to use the phrase mixed reality, rather than describing the headset as AR or VR but, in the original Windows 10 headset announcements last year, the VR label was used. It looks as if Microsoft is attempting to differentiate its headsets away from the likes of PSVR, HTC Vive and Oculus Rift – i.e. flat-out VR devices – and instead incorporate elements from its HoloLens project to make it a more rounded virtual experience.

Back to the Acer headset that is kickstarting this whole party and the kits that devs can get their hands on include the headset itself, access to Windows 10 Insider preview builds and the software development kit (SDK).

The headset features two high-resolution liquid crystal, 1440 x 1400 displays, a 90 Hz (native) refresh rate, built-in audio out and microphone, single cable with HDMI 2.0 (display) and USB 3.0 (data) for connectivity.

ASUS, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and 3Glasses are all working on their Windows Mixed Reality devices, so it’s definitely a case of watch this space.

Paul Lamkin is the editor-in-chief of Wareable.com – the authority on the best smartwatches, latest fitness trackers and more.

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