With all of the hype around VR, it’s easy to forget Microsoft’s push into augmented reality (AR). Today, the company is launching HoloLens pre-orders in a bunch of new countries, including Australia, France, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand and the UK. In (not so) good old British Sterling, the headset will set you back an eye-watering £2,719, while the enterprise-ready “Commercial Suite” version costs £4,529. Microsoft says the first units will ship in late November — that way, you can wow your friends and family with some tabletop-projected Minecraft over Christmas.
HoloLens has been a slow burn for Microsoft. The company kicked off pre-orders in the US and Canada on February 29th, with the first deliveries starting a month later. The use-cases are massive, but the high cost of entry has limited the hardware to deep-pocketed developers. That could change, however, if Microsoft develops HoloLens as a platform. At Computex in June, the company opened up its “Windows Holographic” initiative to third parties, enabling devices that can run both AR and VR “mixed reality.” Similar to Google Daydream, this could kick-start a wider ecosystem of HoloLens-style headsets, increasing sales and developer interest.