Microsoft Unveils Mixed-Reality Motion Controllers

SEATTLE — Microsoft's affordable virtual-reality platform just got a lot more advanced. Microsoft revealed its own motion controllers for Windows Mixed Reality headsets today (May 11) at its Build developer conference here, taking aim at Google's Daydream and Samsung Gear VR platforms.

The Windows Mixed Reality motion controllers won't require any external sensors or markers, such as those for the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. The headset and controllers will use inside-out tracking and allow for responsive tracking across the six degrees of motion. It features a touchpad, joystick, trigger and grab buttons. Unfortunately, it seems that Microsoft won't have the controllers available for hands-on tryouts during the show.

MORE: Here's the First Windows VR Headsets From Dell, HP and Acer

Additionally, both Acer and HP made announcements about their Windows 10 mixed-reality headsets. Acer will be selling a bundle with both its headset and the motion controllers this fall for $399. That price, including controllers, is half the price of an HTC Vive ($800) and less than the Oculus Rift bundled with touch controllers ($598). Both companies will be selling their headsets as developer kits, with pre-orders starting today (May 11). Acer's will cost $299 and HP's will cost $329.

With headsets, Microsoft set a specification that other companies have been designing around. While several companies, including Dell, Lenovo and Asus, have units in the works, we've seen the most from Acer, which has already released a developer kit. We've yet to learn if those companies will develop their own controllers with Microsoft's guidance or if this will be the final hardware.