This hack will let you use your Windows Mixed Reality headset on your poor old PC

When Microsoft teased their Windows Mixed Reality headsets we were under the impression the devices would work even on low-end PCs with integrated graphics.

Somewhere along the line, the specs morphed to require Core i7 processors and DX12 graphics cards.

If you happen to have one of the super-cheap $300 headsets and want to try it out on your equally cheap PC or laptop, there is a registry edit available which will let you bypass the minimum hardware spec checks and least give you a taste of the experience.

Here are the steps:

  1. Open the Registry Editor and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Holographic\FirstRun (you can paste that into the address bar at the top).
  2. Create a new DWORD (32-bit) value (either via Edit or context menu) and give it a name of AllowFailedSystemChecks.
  3. Double-click that value and set its data to 1.
  4. Restart Mixed Reality Portal and click Next on the hardware check screen you were previously stuck at.

Of course, the minimum specs are there for a reason, presumably to guarantee adequate performance, which is important when things like lag can give you vertigo and nausea, so use the hack at your own risk.

For everyone else, here are the minimum specs below.

System Recommendations for App Developers

Processor

  • Desktop: Intel Desktop Core i7 (6+ Core) OR AMD Ryzen 7 1700 (6 Core, 12 threads)

GPU

  • Desktop: NVIDIA GTX 980/1060, AMD Radeon RX 480 (2GB) equivalent or greater DX12 and WDDM 2.2 capable GPU
  • Drivers: Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) 2.2
  • Thermal Design Power: 15W or greater

Display

  • Headset connectors: 1x available graphics display port for headset (HDMI 1.4 or DisplayPort 1.2 for 60Hz headsets, HDMI 2.0 or DisplayPort 1.2 for 90Hz headsets)
  • Resolution: SVGA (800×600) or greater
  • Bit depth: 32 bits of color per pixel

Memory: 16 GB of RAM or greater

Storage: >10 GB additional free space

Connectivity

  • 1x available USB port for headset (USB 3.0 Type-A). USB must supply a minimum of 900mA.
  • Bluetooth 4.0 (for accessory connectivity)

You can order a headset (when back in stock)  here.

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