Toward the start of 2017, I expounded on what I thought may be the year’s most imperative virtual reality innovation: following cameras that would work from inside, not outside, a VR headset. What’s more, the outcomes weren’t incredible. Relatively every back to front following framework I attempted was awkward, a large portion of them were scarcely useful, and none of them appeared to be anyplace close on a par with more customary top of the line headsets. It appeared like VR would need to make a stride back before it could push ahead. Toward the finish of 2017, there’s still no back to front headset that is as cleaned as the Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR, or HTC Vive, which utilize outside following frameworks. Be that as it may, Microsoft and Samsung have persuaded me that one may be en route.
The Samsung HMD Odyssey is one of five headsets in view of Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality stage, and not at all like the stage’s most punctual influx of advancement packs, it comes packaged with Microsoft’s movement controllers. It chips away at PCs running the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, as long as they meet the necessities that are posted here. The rundown cost is $499, which is somewhat not exactly the $599 Vive and more than the $399 Rift — making the Odyssey the most costly of Microsoft’s accomplice headsets.
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Despite all this, the core VR experience is roughly as good as the Rift or Vive — and that’s really saying something. I used it to play Fallout 4 VR, and the experience was what I would have expected from any other high-end tethered headset, with a lot less headache. I did have to redraw the boundaries multiple times, because the furniture in my test room got significantly rearranged between sessions, but that only takes a minute or two. And while Windows Mixed Reality doesn’t have a lot of exciting exclusive content, it has something arguably better: support for SteamVR, which could make it a reasonable Vive substitute for casual users. (Sadly, it still doesn’t play Rift games.)
If you’re holding off on a tethered headset because they seem uncomfortable or don’t have enough content, the Odyssey won’t be a huge improvement. It’s supposed to work with more low-end computers than other tethered headsets, but individual VR experiences still have different requirements — if your PC can’t run a graphically demanding game well on a flat screen, the same will likely be true in VR. And if you’re invested in one platform already, Windows Mixed Reality may not add a lot. But the Odyssey suggests that you can cut out some of the most irritating, onerous parts of using a VR headset, without losing serious experience quality in the process. It’s not ushering in the next generation of VR headsets, but it makes that generation feel a lot closer — just in time for 2018.