Windows Mixed Reality headsets see big price drops on Amazon

Now might be a good time to snag a Windows Mixed Reality headset.

If you've been waiting to get your hands on a Windows Mixed Reality headset, you may want to direct your attention to Amazon. Several of the headsets currently on the market, from manufacturers like Acer, HP, and Lenovo, are currently available (opens in new tab) at a pretty steep discount (via András Velvárt).

Here's a look at what's up for grabs:

It's worth noting that each headset is currently on sale from a third-party seller, but orders are fulfilled by Amazon. Quantities are also fairly limited. Still, these are prices that are closer to what we saw around the holidays. So if you missed those sales, these may be worth a gander.

New to Windows Mixed Reality? Here's how to get started!

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • Seen a lot of people interested in VR who will probably bite at this price. Shame it's US only.
  • Several of these ship to Denmark, and even with shipping and taxes I would still save around 40 % on the price!
  • Even if you're in the U.S. it doesn't matter. I would bite, but the graphics card market is a total disaster right now. $215 on the Visor would be great, but when a $300 video card is $650 on Newegg, I'm not bothering.
  • After Microsoft's big screw-up with the fixed IPD setting limitation, these prices should be made permanent. These headsets are not worth more than $200.
  • I assume that for the reference design MS decided on a fixed IPD range after gathering statistical information on the average distance. A lot of products are like that, they have to normalize according to the most prevalent measures. And sure, it could have included manual adjustment, but this is just the first batch and the very concept was to make them accessible for every pocket.
  • It's not like the IPD issue wasn't solved on competing products. It's also not like setting minimum standards meant the OEMs had to skip anything to be a difference-maker in the market. Microsoft didn't have to make adjustable IPD required, but that doesn't make the omission less of a dealbreaker for those affected. Especially when IPD is a term most knew nothing about pre-VR, it was extremely foolish to launch a product that doesn't act as a flexible entry point into VR. I have 0 clue what my IPD is, and I honestly dont' care to go to the eye doctor just to find out if I can purchase a WMR device.
  • IPD is NOT a fixed setting. It can be adjusted via software. Even more via registry. 
  • Yep, works well too. With an IPD of 59 (optician tested) I'm well off the default/average and it makes a huge difference. I get a headache pretty fast if I up the setting.
  • That's why I grabbed the Odyssey, I didn't want to take any risks.  To me, it's about moving the lenses to reduce distortions, not moving the pictures for better 3D feel.
  • Same here and I am glad I did. Also, did you notice it is not one of the discounted ones, That is because Sammy boy knew they built it well, Amoled, 110 FoV, Speakers included, IPD knob included, higher Resolution
  • Yup, I was following sales from Nov 1st forward waiting for some massive discount.  Decided on my new notebook for it Cyber Monday, then waited for the 12 Days of Christmas sale at the Microsoft Store and picked up my headset on WMR day.  I'm still shocked that all during that time it was more expensive to buy one off ebay than it was to buy from MS(sometimes stupidly so)
  • EXACTLY! Samsung got it right. Since my IPD is higher than the 67 max, I passed the dell headset on to someone that could use it.
  • Bought a PS VR and i regret nothing, it is awesome it even makes games that look like wouldn't take great advantage of VR look amazing like Star Child. It is a gimmick if you think that every game will be you stand up moving your arms like crazy, while those are super fun, normal games that use a normal controller are the future.
  • there is a software IPD adjustment in Windows settings.  I own the Samsung and it has a hardware IPD adjustment knob for 60-72 and to be honest, I can barely tell any different between 60 and 72. I can see the black edges creep in when I shrink it but the sharpness barely changes and I have to really look for it.
  • These VR headsets are still gimmicky.
  • Have you tried one? It's a common opinion of people who haven't experienced it. And while it's still no definitive experience, it's surprisingly good. At 200 bucks its a steal too.
  • They're not gimmicky. I agree. I tried one two years ago (Oculus Rift) and already at that time it already wasn't a gimmick. Only problem is, I don't see a USE for them which makes them a gimmick? I don't work in materials design and don't have the time to incorporate it into my practice at the moment (I can see room for it but it would take a lot of time and $$$ from my employer, neither of which are in plentiful supply). Perhaps if I didn't have my own children running around at home...
  • If you mean a use for them other than entertainment and media consumption, I guess you're right. But then again it's a new medium and it could have lots of uses that we can't think of. The same could be said about Hololens and it has a lot of applications in the industry and educational fields. VR offers both the ability of interacting with a digital world in an immersive and natural way, and the possibility of having interaction with the digital medium that's isolated from the exterior.  So basically it's your own closed-doors office, with whatever you want inside, in 3D.
  • Here's a usecase: Scan statues and other works of art in stone, and when they've eroded enough to warrant replacement, the sculptor will have as optimal a starting point as possible, and a VR headset will provide the best way to study the original.
  • They are gimmicky. However, it's a great gimmick. I don't think they leave the "niche/gimmick" label behind until they go wireless, in all honesty. It's not as bad as people might expect to deal with the wirees, but it's still a legitimate annoyance for some games. I'd be all over this if I could actually find a GPU to purchase to power it, but that's been a disaster for months with mining. I expected going into trying my cousins' Rift that I would be entertained and impressed with VR. I say that as someone who's pretty much "ho-hum" at everything in the market (neither the Wii nor Kinect impressed me, as examples). Even with an expectation VR would impress me, it overdelivered. It's got so much potential as a new gaming medium. Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes was so cool in VR that I wouldn't ever touch it outside of VR. It needs a LOT of refinement (especially regading movement in FPS titles), but it's also got so much more potential than motion-based gaming had last decade.
  • They're awesome; got a great Acer bundle a week ago, and I can't wait to get my head into it all the time!
  • yeah it's legit awesome, got the Lenovo explorer on holiday sale price of 200, the games so far have been great and I've only tapped into a few of the best. the social stuff is really the most amazing as well. best thing since nes then n64 for me and I've played games my whole life on pc/console. it's different, fresh, and works very well, when resolutions get a little higher and graphics turn up a small notch to today's pc level it will be ridiculous. even today it's about 3/4 ridiculous :-)
  • Only because there's so little software. That'll change over time. Unless, of course, Microsoft does their usual thing, advertises nothing and then gives up.
  • Yeah, basically if you're remotely interested in VR and don't get any of these, you're crazy, it's simple as that.
  • Lot of us need a machine to go with it though. My most powerful machine (other than One X) is my SB1. While I know SB1 is underpowered for this, I am still tempted to at least try. I just want it on my Xbox though, darn it.
  • That's true. My main PC is old-ish though capable, and I upgraded my GPU to a 1080 with WMR in mind. Granted, people with already powerful gaming machines will just buy one and plug it. But that's the way with PCs, so the idea is to think what you're going to be running and then reach for those specs. VR is after all visually a high resolution game (not what you see but the fact that it uses twice the resolution). So naturally it demands a hefty GPU.
  • Part of me says: If the rumors are true, all WMR headsets should work with Xbox when that finally comes, so why not buy now to get ready for that? They hinted that would be the case, but I have not seen any formal confirmation. I really, really want to jump into VR now, but I don't want to just throw away my money either. Ugh...
  • I bought an Acer bundle in December; 1000 $ for a very capable Predator and the Acer headset with controllers. That's the price of an iPhone X...
  • Yeah, unfortunately it is more about space for me than the money. (for the most part) Moved into a Tiny House, love it, but limits my cool stuff a little bit. Though I have started researching laptops that would be powerful enough to limit that issue of space. That, and I honestly just prefer my Xbox, but i am so jacked on wanting VR, i am getting close to tired of waiting for Xbox.
  • In that case it's not so much the hardware as the space needed to move around in VR, whether powered by a console or a laptop...
  • Room scale games don't really interest me, and I am researching how to use outside when I do care about a title that does. For me, it is Simulations like racing, Truck Sim, Farm Sim, etc. FPP stuff.
  • Like I said above, if you still need to buy a video card, there's a reason to skip this deal. I don't want to throw $225 at a VR headset when I still need a video card. With the way video card prices have been the last few months, there might be a new wave of headsets that improve substantially on these ones before I can find a card at a reasonable price.
  • Now the question is which one is the best
  • The Samsung which is not on sale. I have the Lenovo and the Samsung. It's not even close
  • Samsung uses oled instead of lcd for their screens. They still only run something like 1400x1400 in each lens. Still see pixels in the hp version not sure about Sammy but guessing it's similar to gear vr As far as resolution. Waiting for next gen.
  • They all have similar specs so I don't think you can really go wrong. I have the Dell, its good though a bit heavy (for me). The HP one has detachable cables which IMHO gives it more durability and future proofing.
  • WMR will be most likely abandoned just like countless others projects from MS before, not worth the investment.    
  • They'll run lots of Vive games and apps, so definitely "supported" at some level whatever MS decides...
  • Cool just like your comment. Why do you even bother commenting or reading these articles about MS products if you've already decided they are worthless?
  • Of these 4 which is best? I want a Samsung hmd
  • I tried the hp and the lenses fogged on me. Returned them but haven't tried the dell but heard they are most comfortable. Got them free with laptop during dec promo
  • The Lenovos should be best for ventilation... They also have slightly wider field of view.
  • Dell is really comfortable, yeah.
  • :))) because no one buys them...WMR is a complete FAIL!
  • According to Valve, you are very wrong.
  • Of course he is; an obvious troll...
  • It's time for Microsoft to announce VR for XB1.
  • Indeed! So far it's simply a huge missed opportunity to promote both the console AND mixed reality!
  • There aren't that many games in the store.  I'd bet most using WMR are playing mostly Steam games. Logical steps - do something to get a niche group of users (PC gamers).  Hey guys, we have a VR headset at the lowest price point (even before the current prices).  Much easier to setup as well.  You'll have access to both MS Store games and steam.  No lose situation.   Then get devs to notice this group of users and put stuff in the windows store.  Hey devs, WMR has an installed userbase of X million.  We can access steam games, but make sure to build with our platform in mind too.  Our users will be vocal if you don't. Now push that out to the masses (xbox users).        
  • That sounds like what they're doing. The WMR titles available in the Store are slowly but steadily growing. I guess that for VR devs it shouldn't be that hard to repackage a game they already have working for Vive or Oculus, thanks to the bridges and APIs Microsoft offers. Most VR games are simple enough in that they're basically graphics and the only new thing is how you view them/control them.
  • Shame that the Samsung Odyssey HMD isn't on sale. I'm still going to keep waiting.
  • This is actually great news. I would love to get one however my PC is too weak for VR at the moment. Otherwise I would get one on the spot.
  • Could the price cuts indicate a lack of interest from consumers? I can only think of 1 person that wanted a VR headset, and it was the PlayStation one. I believe VR has been dead for a while. AR is where the interest really is. Consumers can use their phone camera for AR, so the barrier to enter is much lower if not nonexistant. I'd gladly try out someone else's VR headset, but I have no desire to spend hundreds on it.
  • The thing with phone AR is that there's zero investment from the user, but the experience is nowhere near as immersive and satisfying as using a true VR headset. Same with Gear and other "smartphone" VR systems, it's just lacks the processing power to deliver a great experience. So even though xR seems to be here to stay, the quality of experience you'll get comes down to how much you're going to invest in hardware. Pretty much like everything in technology, after all.
  • The average users do not care about superior performance. They just want to have whatever people are talking about. 
  • Weird my eyes are waiting for a sale of Samsung Odyssey but no luck yet, waiting more months then...
  • WMR is like 3D TVs in terms of technology use relevance, and I anticipate a similar faith. Hololens and Google glass IMO are what could really grow as categories.