A leaked announcement captured by Reddit confirms that pre-orders for Microsoft Hololens augmented reality development kits are scheduled to go live today and cost $3,000.
So far, 2016 is poised to be the year that introduces virtual reality to a mainstream audience with devices like the Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR, and HTC Vive all competing for consumer attention. With Oculus hitting the market first thanks to pre-orders going live over two months ago, Microsoft has started the process of getting its Hololens augmented reality technology in the hands of developers. An official blog post revealed the information ahead of the official announcement has since been removed but not before a Reddit user was able to capture the details.
After setting the Hololens development kit price at $3,000 five months ago during a Windows 10 event in New York City, Microsoft has confirmed that pre-orders for the hardware are going live later today. The hardware is scheduled to ship at the end of the month and come with three games to help showcase the augmented reality, an enhanced version of Skype, and additional apps to assist in creating games.
The first of the three games is Young Conker, a title that was previously rumored a few weeks ago. The game, of course, stars everyone’s favorite foul mouthed squirrel and gameplay changes based on the type of room you’re in, creating an entirely new experience. Fragments is a story focused crime drama where players interact with characters who are present in the room with you to solve an event that happened in your space. Finally, RoboRaid, formerly Project X-Ray, has players fighting off aliens who burst through the walls of the room you’re in.
There’s no denying that at a $3,000 price tag, Hololens is not intended for a mainstream audience quite yet as compared to a much cheaper device like Oculus Rift. Even the Rift suffered through controversy after announcing that the device would be $599, as the average fan was expecting a price that was a bit less than that. While the PlayStation VR device is rumored to be lower, it’ll be interesting to see the reaction once Sony confirms the price point.
While there is still a lot of details that fans are not quite aware of at this moment, Hololens made quite a splash with fans last year at E3, as Microsoft showed off a very impressive tech demo involving the insanely popular game, Minecraft. During the event, the demonstrator was able to interact with the 3D virtual world laid out in front of them through arm and hand motions, voice commands, and head movements. Considering the huge fanbase a game like Minecraft has, this could be a massive selling point for many, provided the price tag for the consumer version doesn’t break the bank.
Are you someone who is looking forward to virtual and augmented reality? Is there a sweet spot in terms of price point which would make you buy into these products? Let us know your thoughts down below.
Microsoft’s HoloLens is currently without an official release date.