Samsung Enters Windows Mixed Reality Lineup With Its HMD Odyssey VR Headset

With its HMD Odyssey headset, Samsung has officially joined Microsoft's growing cache of mixed reality devices under the Windows Mixed Reality lineup.

At $499, the HMD Odyssey is a tad more expensive than most third-party virtual reality headsets around and one of the pricier products in the entire Windows Mixed Reality collection thus far. Still, users get what they pay for, because unlike most other options, its two 3.5-inch AMOLED displays — with a 1,440 x 1,600 resolution apiece — are nothing short of gorgeous. Oh — it also has a refresh rate of 90 to 60 hertz, which ensures smooth gameplay.

Samsung HMD Odyssey: Stunning Visuals And Audio

The stunning image quality comes with stunning audio as well thanks to the built-in AKG headphones, so expect this to offer a full-fledged VR experience at around the same price as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, factoring on their now-discounted prices. The result of its gorgeous displays is sharp and crystal-clear visuals — a significant requirement of VR content, because otherwise the immersion and illusion is ruined.

Engadget took it for a test drive. Running around a virtual Machu Picchu, it almost felt like the real thing. Early impressions say it does great with regard to color reproduction, and that it has no screen door effect — a result of lower-resolution displays — present on lower-quality headsets. What's also great about the HMD Odyssey is that it features a 110-degree field of view instead of 95, which means visuals feel more immersive and life-like.

The headset itself is pretty bulky, perhaps even bulkier than the Oculus Rift, and it weighs nearly double than Acer's mixed reality headset. There are two cameras on the front for six degrees of freedom, and all the usual suspects — proximity sensor, IPD sensor, some physical controls — are there. Plus, it can be used while wearing glasses, which makes it even more user-friendly.

SteamVR Games Support

As with the rest of the headsets included in the Windows Mixed Reality lineup, the HMD Odyssey is designed for Microsoft's VR platform. But back in August, the company said that in addition to standard Windows Mixed Reality games, SteamVR titles would also be supported. Microsoft explained that a bit more in detail in its announcement, saying developers can now start previewing SteamVR games using Windows Mixed Reality headsets. Regular consumers can expect it as a preview not later than the holiday season.

The Samsung HMD Odyssey is now available for preorder, shipping Nov. 6.

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