Microsoft is Giving Windows 10 VR Gear a Boost with New Controllers

May 16, 2017, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Microsoft’s plan toward boosting virtual reality is constrained by its dedication to HoloLens, the ambitious augmented reality headset, which is yet to come out in its fully fledged form. But that hasn’t stopped the company from giving a leg up to the existing VR, or rather mixed reality gear compatible with Windows 10.

At the Microsoft Build Developer Conference, the company has revealed a new set of controllers for the developer-oriented VR headsets available for Windows 10. Unlike common motion controller for VR headsets, the new one from Microsoft will have its motion tracked by sensors inside the headset instead of getting them tracked through external cameras or markers.

The controller bears a design slightly different to that of Oculus Rift and HTC Vive controllers. The array of LEDs for tracking are placed at the end vertically and not flat like in Vive. We can assume that to be a more tactical decision rather than just design overhaul, considering that those are tracked by the headset and not objects placed around the room.

Beneath the LED ring is a round trackpad and analog stick along. A small menu button too finds place at the ends. The Windows button is stacked neatly along the body of the controller, and next to it is the side grip trigger.

Microsoft also guarantees an easy-to-use setup for its new controllers. The controller will also be dedicated for the VR platform, which means that it won’t be compatible with Microsoft HoloLens.

The device will mark its debut alongside the Mixed Reality VR Headset from Acer this holiday, and the bundle will be priced at $399. This will be followed by its pairing with other VR headsets for Windows 10.

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