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.

Scott Stein Editor at Large
I started with CNET reviewing laptops in 2009. Now I explore wearable tech, VR/AR, tablets, gaming and future/emerging trends in our changing world. Other obsessions include magic, immersive theater, puzzles, board games, cooking, improv and the New York Jets. My background includes an MFA in theater which I apply to thinking about immersive experiences of the future.
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  • Nearly 20 years writing about tech, and over a decade reviewing wearable tech, VR, and AR products and apps
Scott Stein

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.

Watch this: Microsoft introduces VR motion controllers for Windows 10