Microsoft is set for an all-out assault on the VR market with its range of Windows Mixed Reality headsets from a variety of OEMs, launching in 2 weeks time on the 17th October, coinciding with the release of Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.
While some analysts have been guarded about their expectations for the performance of the platform, SuperData’s VP of research and strategy Stephanie Llamas believes success, at least in the short term, is virtually guaranteed.
“Microsoft has a great shot at being a prime competitor to the Oculus and Vive,” Llamas told MCV. “They have brand recognition and marketing on their side, along with a range of price tags to suit different consumer budgets ($400-$500).”
She also felt Microsoft was able to address a larger market, which should mean more sales.
“They also are functional (albeit not fully) on PC with lower-end specs than what’s required for their competitors. Plus, they have impressive IP behind them, including Halo, and will work with SteamVR, so content won’t be lacking. Because of this, we expect the Holographic headsets to outsell Oculus two-to-one and ship 10 percent -15 percent more than Vive this Q4.”
Llamas, however, warned that Microsoft’s unusual Windows Mixed Reality nomenclature may leave consumers disillusioned and confused, leading to a later backlash.
“However, there may be confusion around the names Mixed Reality and Virtual Reality. These headsets offer Virtual Reality experiences – not what the industry would consider Mixed Reality (e.g., the Hololens). So consumers may actually expect something different or more advanced from Rift and Vive, which will cause confusion and disappointment – a major marketing issue that could fracture consumer expectations for the entire industry as a result.”
While Microsoft has made much of the confusing Mixed Reality claims, their marketing rightly emphasises the actual advantage their headsets have – easy setup and usage via inside-out tracking, which solves some of the practical pain points plaguing in other VR headsets.
See an example of Microsoft’s marketing below.
Do our readers think Microsoft will get it right this time? Let us know below.