Oculus has taken up the majority of the VR news of late, though not always in a positive light thanks to parent company Facebook. It isn’t the only game in town, of course, but HTC’s Vive has mysteriously gone a bit silent. And then there’s the realm of mixed reality, where VR and AR collide. Microsoft’s HoloLens, technically an AR system, is pretty much still the biggest player and it has just announced two major updates that aim to bring its mixed reality platform to more users and more developers.
HoloLens 2 was primarily targeted at enterprise customers but just months ago opened the doors to anyone who can afford that $3,500 price tag. That said, the headset was only available in limited markets, which also limits the platform’s reach and popularity. That changes today in more ways than one.
For consumers, the HoloLens 2 will be available in 15 more countries, including Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, Austria, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Portugal, Poland, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Later this year, it will also be available in South Korea.
Microsoft is also opening the doors to more developers to make the apps and experiences that will hopefully drive the use of the HoloLens 2. A Developer Edition is now available, at least for those residing in the US. It has the same $3,500 price but also comes with $1,250 worth of developer tools, including Azure credits and a three-month Unity Pro license.
Microsoft is hoping that this expansion will help accelerate the adoption of its Windows Holographic platform among both developers and customers. Of course, pricing is going to be ah higher barrier but it is offering developers some financing options to help get them started.