Windows Mixed Reality HMDs
By Zach Dixon
Talk to Zach if you want to try one, he has a Lenovo Explorer.
Microsoft, in partnership with several hardware manufacturers, has released a line of virtual reality headsets. They all utilize inside-out tracking and feature SteamVR compatibility through an official plugin. Performance requirements are much lower than other headsets, though those minimum requirements don't correspond to running SteamVR applications, for which the requirements are roughly equivalent to the Vive or Rift.
Inside-out tracking is based on Microsoft Hololens technology. It determines the HMD's position within an environment using a pair of cameras which simultaneously localize the headset and map the room. Controllers are tracked by the cameras using lights on the controllers.
Intel Core i5 7200U (7th generation mobile) or better
Integrated Intel® HD Graphics 620, NVIDIA MX150/965M equivalent or better - must support DX12
8 GB RAM or more
HDMI 1.4, DisplayPort 1.2 or newer
1x USB 3.0 (Type A or Type C)
NVIDIA GTX 960/1050 , AMD RX 460/560 equivalent or better
Intel Core i5 4590 , AMD Ryzen 5 1400 3.4Ghz equivalent or better
There are six variants of WMR headsets. Most of them are roughly equivalent, except the Samsung Odyssey which is a more premium device.
Acer Headset / Dell Visor / HP Headset / Lenovo Explorer
Resolution: 2880 x 1440
Refresh rate: Up to 90Hz
Field of view: Up to 105°
3.5mm audio jack
Samsung HMD Odyssey
Resolution: 2880 x 1600
Refresh rate: Up to 90Hz
Field of view: Up to 110°
Integrated headphones, Dual array mics
Getting WMR Working on Non-Compatible PCs
Windows Mixed Reality devices can be run on Windows 10 PCs which don't meet the minimum requirements through a registry key edit. To do this, follow the steps below. Note that performance will likely be significantly impacted, and customer support is likely to be minimal. Note: This seems to have been broken for some people by a new Windows update. If that is the case, try also enabling Developer Mode in Windows Update Settings.
Run WMR setup as normal until it no longer allows you to continue due to hardware requirements.
Open the Registry Editor.
Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Holographic
Right click on the right pane, and create a new DWORD 32 Bit.
Name it AllowFailedSystemChecks.
Double click the new key, and set its value to 1.
Reopen the WMR portal and continue setup.