Microsoft has announced a new set of motion controllers for its Windows Mixed Reality VR headsets. The controllers will be fully tracked by sensors in the headset, instead of by external cameras or markers. They’re supposed to go on sale this holiday season, with Acer selling a $399 headset bundle that includes them.
Windows Mixed Reality controllers look similar to those of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. There’s a ring of LEDs at one end for tracking, then a panel with a round trackpad, analog stick, and menu button. On the body, there’s a Windows button and a side grip trigger. Unlike the Vive, where the tracking rings are laid flat like cupholders, Microsoft’s controllers have a vertically placed ring. It makes sense for something that’s tracked by sensors on your face, instead of towers placed around a room.
This is one of the first controller designs we’ve seen that’s based on inside-out tracking. It’s part of Microsoft’s plan for virtual and augmented reality systems that can be set up anywhere, without the need for dedicated “VR rooms.”