Windows will soon start downloading less for its updates

Launching the developer program is part of Microsoft's overall push to get developers to build apps for Windows Mixed Reality devices, including the Acer headset, plus other devices from ASUS, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and 3Glasses.

Microsoft of late has been making a push to game developers in hopes that they might start investing in the company's Mixed Reality.

That idea is not new: Sony's PlayStation VR headset is being powered by the company's PlayStation 4 game console, and the combination of gaming and VR has proven to be a powerful one. Where the company's HoloLens developer kit has a narrow field of view that makes it tough to see even an entire application window at once, much less an entire Windows desktop, that wasn't a problem with Microsoft's VR-style rig. The software giant said the headset would start shipping to development partners later this month.

Microsoft has now made it so computers will only download the missing bits, a.k.a the new features or functionalities, or changes made to the operating system. Since these are mixed reality headsets - which means they'll combine virtual reality and augmented reality - they are fundamentally different from HoloLense.

But these new more affordable Windows mixed reality headsets, like Acer's, don't see the real world quite the way you'd expect. Inside-out tracking makes them more self-contained than HoloLens, but you'll still need to have the new headsets hooked up to a PC. Kipman added that VR headsets like Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are also capable of mixed reality. Developers who decide to pay up would then gain access to the Xbox developer kit and submit their games for retail.

The Xbox Live Creators Program will also allow developers to publish games for Xbox Scorpio when the console launches. It has built-in audio out and a 3.5mm mic jack, and you can connect it to your PC via a single HDMI 2.0 cable (for the display) and a USB 3.0 cable (for data).

Eric Walston, a member of Microsoft's Xbox Advanced Computing Group, provided a few more tidbits about how Game Mode will "focus the existing hardware on providing the best possible gaming experience".

  • Essie Rivera