ASUS has been teasing us with details of its Windows Mixed Reality headset, but now is ready to let folks try it for themselves. At IFA 2017, we were also able to spend a decent amount of time using the Windows Mixed Reality controllers that will ship with it. The short version of it all is that both devices have no business being this good, and it bodes very well for the future of the platform.
Most of the technology inside the headset is common across all of the manufacturers, but ASUS has worked hard to make its offering unique where it can. For instance, the company used a polygonal-art covering for the visor, ensuring that it looks much nicer than, say, Acer’s View Master-esque offering. Similarly, ASUS’ headset feels much lighter than its rivals, and the company included an antimicrobial cushion on the inside.
The headset, like its brothers, has inside-out tracking, which uses the two front-mounted cameras to track the controllers. That makes it significantly cheaper than Vive or Rift handsets, which require additional peripherals for tracking. Before testing, my concern was that the cheaper technology would compromise the accuracy and reliability of the controllers. That concern was misplaced, and the system actually works really rather well.