Windows Insiders running Build 14971 of Windows 10 in the Fast Ring can now look for the "Windows Holographic First Run" app to check to see if their PCs are up to the task of running Windows Holographic. It won't detect your VR headset yet, but at least you'll be able to see if your computer will be compatible.
For the unfamiliar, Windows Holographic is the 3D shell that the HoloLens runs, made available to all Windows 10 devices by connecting a compatible virtual reality headset. Instead of the full mixed reality experience you can have with a HoloLens, you'll experience the same environment in a virtual space that you can customize for yourself.
With the latest build of Windows 10, Microsoft has quietly given insider's their first look at Windows Holographic. Just look for the iconless "Windows Holographic First Run" app in the latest Windows 10 Insider Preview.
You'll immediately see the initial minimum requirements check. Compared to VR gaming, Windows Holographic has fairly reasonable system requirements:
- 4 GB Memory
- USB 3.0
- A DirectX 12 Compatible GPU
- 4 CPU Cores (Though, my dual-core 6th gen. Intel CPU with Hyperthreading support—which shows up as 4 cores in Task Manager—passed this test just fine.)
Afterward, you'll be able to prepare your room and set up your headset. However, as the first run app is still in development, so it won't actually detect any VR headsets just yet. Hopefully this will start working in next week's build.
If you have an HTC Vive and are already in the Windows Insider program, you're one step closer to using Windows Holographic. If not, you can join the Windows Insider Program, though it may take a day or two after joining the Fast Ring for you to be able to download the latest build of Windows 10. If you don't have a VR headset, or don't want to spend $700 on a Vive, new Windows Holographic headsets will be launching early next year for around $300.
For those who would rather not run beta builds of Windows 10 (which can be buggy), Windows Holographic will be launching around March of 2017 for free as part of the upcoming Windows 10 Creators Update.
Be sure to check back as we'll be taking a deeper look into Windows Holographic soon.