It’s finally happened; you can pick up a decent PC VR headset for less than $100, though there’s a bit of a catch.
Lenovo’s Explorer headset, which is part of Microsoft’s ‘Mixed Reality’ line of Windows-based devices, is down to just $99 on B&H right now (and it’s in stock at the time of writing). For a headset that offers solid inside-out positional tracking (meaning it doesn’t require extra sensors like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive) with a 2880 x 1440 resolution, that’s a really good deal. Heck, we quite liked the headset when it was priced at $450.
With a Lenovo headset, you can runs apps from both Microsoft’s own Mixed Reality ecosystem as well as SteamVR games, provided you’ve got a PC powerful enough to run them.
The issue, though, is that this is just for the headset. It doesn’t include the six degree of freedom (6DOF) motion controllers that are essential to access many VR apps on both the Microsoft Store and SteamVR. Worse yet, Microsoft still doesn’t offer a standalone set of controllers to buy separately and the bundle with the headset and controllers is still priced at $399. You might be able to find a pair of motion controllers on eBay or something, though otherwise you’ll only be able to use a more traditional gamepad.
Now if we could just convince Lenovo to drop the lovely Mirage Solo standalone headset to the same price…