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Magic Leap's headset will cost you what a premium computer does

The startup won't detail pricing until it releases Magic Leap One later this year, but expect to pay about as much as you would for a high-end desktop.

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Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz (center) and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver (right) announce a partnership bringing pro-basketball experiences to Magic Leap's mixed-reality headsets. 

Joan E. Solsman/CNET

Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz said the mixed-reality startup's headset will cost about as much as a high-end desktop computer when it's released later this year, the first in what will be multiple products from the company.

"It's a premium computer so we're pricing it that way," Abovitz said Tuesday at the Code Media conference in Huntington Beach, California. 

Magic Leap is a secretive startup building a mixed-reality headset that overlays digital creations on top of the natural world you see around you. The company's top-secret stance -- it has shown its product to a handful of people who it permitted to talk about it public -- only seemed to stoke hype around the company, which has raised more than $2 billion in funding from big-name investors like Google

In December, however, Magic Leap released photos of its first product, Magic Leap One, and said it would be releasing it this year. 

Abovitz said Tuesday the company is aiming to produce an even higher-end product than Magic Leap One in addition to a mass-market device that will be priced in the "higher-than-tablet zone."

He also announced a partnership with the NBA, with an eye to produce experiences that could let you watch a miniaturized arena of players run the court in front of you, as seven virtual TV screens surround you playing the game from different angles. You could re-experience highlights like "a twirl dunk that smashes the backboard" as though it's happening in front of you, Abovitz said as he described the possibilities for the app. 

"I think you'll see that in the next two years," he said. 

To tout the app, Magic Leap played a video of retired basketball great Shaquille O'Neal watching himself in mixed reality with Magic Leap One goggles.

"When I actually saw it, it made me feel like I had a twin brother -- the most beautiful tall black guy," he said in the clip. 

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