Microsoft's first Windows 10 VR headsets get into developers' hands this month

During GDC 2017, Microsoft at last announced at the very least when its Windows 10 VR headsets would begin arriving in developers’ hands. Starting this month, Microsoft will begin shipping Acer’s Mixed Reality Development Edition headset to game and app developers.

The news comes at a pivotal time for the firm’s virtual and mixed reality ambitions, fields that are both expected to experience a boom via moves just like this.

Shown off in a bit of detail during CES 2017, we know that the headset will sport an LCD resolution of 1,440 x 1,440, amounting to 706 pixels per inch (ppi) in front of each eye. The screens refresh at a rate of 90Hz, and the headset uses a single HDMI 2.0 cable and USB 3.0 cable to drive the experience from a Windows 10 PC.

Acer's finalized version – for developers, at least

Acer's finalized version – for developers, at least

The main sell of these headsets, all of which will share very similar specs to Acer’s, is that they’ll offer tracking for both within the headset and outside of it, via various sensors and dual-array cameras. This makes not only less complicated PC VR possible, but also mixed reality experiences that Microsoft has already been well accustomed to via HoloLens.

Microsoft kicked off the availability of Acer’s Windows 10 VR headset to developers by bestowing a “golden ticket” to developers that attended its GDC 2017 keynote, good for one of those very devices “in the coming months.”

This appears to be the next baby step in Microsoft’s path to achieving its VR and AR ambitions, and is how it’s handled the burgeoning field since the start. While we shouldn’t be surprised that these headsets aren’t ready for store shelves, we do wonder whether we’ll see them in 2017 at all.

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Joe Osborne

Joe Osborne is the Senior Technology Editor at Insider Inc. His role is to leads the technology coverage team for the Business Insider Shopping team, facilitating expert reviews, comprehensive buying guides, snap deals news and more. Previously, Joe was TechRadar's US computing editor, leading reviews of everything from gaming PCs to internal components and accessories. In his spare time, Joe is a renowned Dungeons and Dragons dungeon master – and arguably the nicest man in tech.