It has been barely 5 months since Windows Mixed Reality headsets were launched into a somewhat expectant market.
The headsets promised low prices, ease of setup and support for lower-spec PCs which would easily expand the small VR headset market.
Instead, the nearly identical headsets launched by a large number of OEMs have been met with a shrug by the market, with Microsoft currently struggling to maintain a 5% market share according to Steam’s data.
In response, we have already seen deep price cuts, with the $449 HP Windows Mixed Reality Headset now available for $222 on Amazon and the Dell Visor only $253.
The Register also reports that UK’s largest electronics retailer, Currys, has removed Windows Mixed Reality headsets from their shelves while retaining the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift devices.
They also report that developers are not seeing interest in the headset, with few requests to port their software to the platform. In fact, developers were seeing more pressure to develop for standalone VR headsets such as the Oculus Go.
They quote a developer as saying:
“Our stuff ports [to the Windows Mixed Reality platform] with no problems. But no one has approached us to do anything with it. There are already two strong players [Oculus and Vive] in the marketplace and a lot of new work is actually going on mobile VR and cheaper platforms like Oculus Go.”
Possible explanations for the slow uptake of Windows Mixed Reality of course abound, ranging from the confusing name, not bringing anything new to the market, being very late to the market and my personal preferred explanation – that the lower hardware requirements still being too high for most casual users, who are using 2-year-old laptops rather than desktops.
Whatever the explanation, it seems unlikely that any of these factors will change over the next year, which raises the question (with echoes of Windows Phone) – how long will the newly ruthless Microsoft keep this struggling product on the market?
What do our readers think are the reasons for the slow uptake of Windows Mixed Reality? Let us know below.