Razer Is Making Their Own VR Headset to Compete With Vive and Rift

At E3 this year, Razer has revealed new virtual reality headset coming out in July that will take advantage of their open source platform (OSVR), to bring a more affordable VR option to gamers, while opening up more possibilities for developers.  It supports not only games designed from the OSVR, but also is compatible with Steam VR games that are playable with regular controllers:

HDK

Razer and Sensics, co-founders and organizers of Open Source Virtual Reality (OSVR), the largest open source virtual reality consortium in the world, today unveiled the latest Hacker Development Kit, the HDK 2.  The HDK 2 features an upgraded display for a visual experience on par with the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.

The HDK 2 is equipped with custom designed lenses for clearer more vibrant images and a 90hz low-persistence OLED dual-display with a total resolution of 2160×1200. It also includes unique IQE (Image Quality Enhancer) technology for a reduced screen door effect. Capable of displaying VR experiences at 90 frames-per-second, the HDK 2 hardware specifications are comparable to the best virtual reality headsets available now. 

Unlike other current generation HMDs, the HDK 2 will be available at $399 and will ship in July. The HDK 1.4 will continue to be available at $299.

“The HDK 2 allows us to meet the needs of VR fans and gamers and provide developers with affordable open-source hardware to innovate with,” says Christopher Mitchel, OSVR Lead, Razer. “With the HDK 2 being able to deliver a visual experience on par with industry leaders, we will now be able to represent hardware agnostic VR media and games in all their glory for future headsets to adopt through the open source ecosystem.”

“We are on a mission to democratize VR by offering open, affordable, high-performance software and hardware solutions with nearly-universal device and game engine compatibility,” says Yuval Boger, CEO of Sensics and co-founder of OSVR. “Powered by the effort of the core Sensics and Razer engineering teams, participation of OSVR partners and contributions from VR enthusiasts worldwide, we look forward to sharing new and exciting capabilities.”

On top of the new headset, they’ve also announced a new fund for developers to help encourage game designers to embrace the VR platform without as much fear: 

Organizers of Open Source Virtual Reality (OSVR), the largest open source virtual reality consortium in the world, today announced the OSVR Developer Fund—a content accelerator program led by Razer that avails $5 million to the developer community. The fund encourages developers to support the OSVR ecosystem – an open source ecosystem that allows VR content to work across the board with all VR hardware, giving VR fans and developers more choice without worrying about DRM policies or other restrictive measures.

All in all, it’s a neat idea and shows that Razer is ready to embrace the next big thing in the gaming industry.  Are you about ready to jump in?

-Jordan