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Microsoft unveils its own motion controllers for Windows 10 VR

The controllers are coming "this holiday," and will come packed in with Acer's headset for $399.

Windows 10 VR/mixed reality controllers have a familiar look.

VR needs good controllers. The Oculus Rift has a pair. The HTC Vive has a pair. Microsoft's upcoming VR and "mixed reality" headsets will have them, too: here's what they look like.

Announced at Microsoft's Build developer conference, the motion controllers will work without external tracking sensors, offering "precise and responsive tracking of movement in your field of view using the sensors in your headset," according to Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Microsoft's Windows and Devices Group.

The company says the controllers will aim for easy-to-use setup. They will be sold alongside a variety of different Windows VR (or, per Microsoft, mixed reality) headsets later this year -- "this holiday," in Microsoft's words. Acer's low-cost entry-level headset will come with the controllers packed in in a $399 bundle. (That's roughly £310 or AU$540 converted.)


The Microsoft controllers, bundled with the Acer headset.


The controllers -- which we haven't used -- look a lot like the Oculus Touch controllers mixed with Vive controllers at first glance, with a thumb stick like the Touch, a touchpad like the Vive and a wand-like design with a tracking ring on the end.

These controllers won't work with the HoloLens, Microsoft confirmed, but they'll be a needed replacement to the plain Xbox controller used in existing demos of Windows mixed reality headsets. And, if Microsoft wants to fill its upcoming Windows VR app store with lots of popular games, making the controllers similar to the competition is a wise idea.

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