Microsoft has announced several initiatives that should help both virtual and augmented reality applications to become more accessible to the average user. The upcoming holiday season will see the release of the first Windows 10 headsets along with some major games that will be playable on your new setup.

Let’s start with the games you will be able to play on Microsoft’s Mixed Reality platform. The big news is that Microsoft has partnered with Steam VR to bring existing titles such as Arizona Sunshine, Superhot VR and Space Pirate Trainer to Windows Mixed Reality. Other titles will be announced as we get closer to launch day.

“Working with Microsoft to include Steam VR compatibility with these devices is also a big step in growing VR as an open platform for developers and consumers. With a broad range of hardware options available from leading PC manufacturers, the Steam community will have more choice than ever to experience the amazing potential of VR,” said Joe Ludwig, a programmer at Valve.

Halo and Minecraft are also headed to VR. Minecraft VR reportedly runs at 60 frames per second on even low powered hardware. As of this writing there are not many details about the Halo game other than it is being developed by 343 Industries.

Modern virtual reality experiences have generally been enjoyed by gamers with deep pockets and that is something Microsoft seeks to change. The company has been working with hardware manufacturers to make mixed reality affordable. There will be two tiers for PC mixed reality development. The first tier allows for laptops and Windows tablets with integrated graphics chips. A PC that costs as little as $499 will be able to use those Windows 10 headsets and run applications at 60 frames per second. Those of you with beefier hardware will enjoy smoother performance of at least 90 frames per second.

Microsoft is doing away with that network of sensors. The only cables required for Windows Mixed Reality applications will be an HDMI cable and a USB 3.0 cable. This will allow for a more portable VR experience which only requires you to carry a laptop and your headset with you.

Stay tuned for more announcements regarding virtual and mixed reality applications on Windows.

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