The Samsung Odyssey VR headset developed for Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality platform has been made available for pre-orders earlier this week, however, according to an official statement provided by a company representative to The Verge, the device will not be available in Europe. It will be launched in the United States where the product can now be pre-purchased for the price of $499, and will reportedly ship to other markets including China, Hong Kong, Brazil, and the company’s homeland of South Korea.
Microsoft launched the Windows Mixed Reality platform earlier this week along with four head-mounted displays developed by Acer, Dell, HP, and Lenovo, respectively. All of these HMDs are now available for purchase at prices ranging from $399 to $449, whereas the Samsung HMD Odyssey carries a higher pre-order price tag and is expected to ship on November 6th. Samsung wasn’t clear about the reasons why the Odyssey won’t be launching in Europe, and as of this writing, it’s not entirely clear if the company will eventually change its mind in this regard. This might come as disappointing news for AR and VR enthusiasts in Europe looking forward to acquiring what some consider to be the best Windows Mixed Reality solution to date. Compared to devices developed by Microsoft’s four other partners, the Samsung HMD Odyssey promises a higher-resolution AMOLED display and built-in AKG headphones backed by dual-array microphones. While Microsoft’s product description mentions a single AMOLED panel with a resolution of 2,880 x 1,600, Samsung’s official spec sheet describes two 3.5-inch AMOLED panels, each carrying a resolution of 1,440 x 1,600, which technically adds up to a 2,880 x 1,600 viewing experience.
In terms of technical prowess, the Samsung HMD Odyssey has been previously compared with one of the two premium VR headsets currently on the market, specifically the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, though one advantage over Facebook’s VR solution is that the Odyssey can determine the user’s location without relying on external sensors, using an inside-out positional tracking technology. Samsung may share more details on its product’s global availability before it starts shipping in early November but consumers on the Old Continent apparently won’t be able to purchase the headset for the time being.