Mixed Reality is Microsoft's introduction into virtual reality content and hardware, providing users with a platform that blends the worlds of VR and AR to give users a more unique experience, and Samsung's Odyssey MR headset may be the headset to buy for more than a few reasons. First and foremost, the Samsung Odyssey headset is not on the cheaper side of things. It costs $499 and was launched just earlier this week, which puts it right in between offerings like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, both of which are strictly VR headsets and offer no augmented reality experiences whatsoever. That being said, the Odyssey definitely won't be targeting those looking for an inexpensive option in the world of VR, but it definitely has what it needs to entice buyers who are already prepared to spend more money.
The big thing with Odyssey is of course that it will have both augmented reality and virtual reality content for users, though at the moment there isn't a lot to go on as Microsoft only just launched the Windows Mixed Reality platform officially in the last month and there isn't a lot of apps or games available just yet. With little content for users, it will certainly take some time for things to take off for Windows MR. But, it's not all bad news here. Microsoft has already confirmed as of earlier this year that its Windows Mixed Reality platform would support Steam VR (with that capability opening up next week on Nov. 15th), and the content that's available through Steam for headsets like the Vive, save for exclusive titles. This puts any Mixed Reality headset built on Microsoft's platform in the running to be competitive with the Vive, and while options like Acer's Mixed Reality Headset will be $100 less, the Samsung Odyssey offers things like integrated 360-degree spatial audio, which comes from AKG no less, so users can no doubt expect the audio quality for content to be top-notch, which should be one thing to make it more appealing to those looking at a mixed reality headset from one of the companies offering one.
If the integrated AKG audio isn't enough to convince buyers that this might be the headset to buy, it doesn't stop there. Samsung being Samsung has fitted the Odyssey with dual 3.5-inch AMOLED displays, which means that content viewed through them by the user will come through really crisp, bright, and vivid, with the kinds of colors that you would expect to see on any of Samsung's other devices carrying an AMOLED panel. This should make content more enjoyable as it will appear more visually stunning, though this might also come down to personal preference as some users may prefer the OLED panels that some headsets use. Nevertheless, the use of AMOLED panels here will no doubt make content beautiful, and that will probably help Samsung on the price front.
In addition to the integrated audio, the Dual AMOLED displays, and other specs, not to mention the stylish design, the Samsung Odyssey also comes with two controllers for the content, just like the Vive and other Windows Mixed Reality headsets, so it's really equipped to let you dive right into content immediately after you open the package and set it up, assuming you have the PC to power it. This makes the price mentioned all that much more appealing, because for $100 less than the HTC Vive, you should be getting a pretty similar experience in terms of virtual reality offerings, plus the Steam content that Vive has access to (most of it, anyway), and it comes with integrated spatial audio, something that tends to be an additional purchase for the Vive headset if you want to use something that's actually physically attached to it instead of a separate pair of headphones. All things considered, the Odyssey just might be a better value, especially when you consider the content for the platform that will continue growing that won't be offered by the Vive or the Rift – augmented reality content. Ultimately, it will come down to what the consumer wants, whether they care about the AR content that Windows Mixed Reality will offer, and whether they might care more about some of those exclusive Steam titles that won't be available on anything but the HTC Vive. Samsung's Odyssey does certainly have an appealing aura about it, though, and it'll be interesting to see how it shakes things up.