Razer Details Open Source Virtual Reality Headset

Published: June 20, 2016 10:30 AM /


Open Source Virtual Reality Headset Hacker Development Kit 2

Gaming peripheral manufacturer Razer has released some specifics about their Open Source Virtual Reality headset according to PCWorld.

The Open Source Virtual Reality Hacker Development Kit 2 has specifications similar to the consumer version of the Oculus Rift but at a price point of $400. The previous HDK had hardware comparable to the Oculus Rift Development Kit 2.

The OSVR HDK2 lacks any built-in headphones and has an appearance similar to the development kit versions of other virtual reality headsets. The dual displays operate at a resolution of 2160 x 1200 via low-persistence OLED screens with a refresh rate of 90Hz. The resolution and refresh rate of the displays are comparable to both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive as shown in this comparison from Digital Trends.

Razer recommends a minimum of either a GeForce GTX 970 or an AMD R9 290. This is also largely in line with the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, although the Vive has a slightly lower requirement on the AMD side with a recommendation of a Radeon R9 280.

The Open Source Virtual Reality headset sports custom lenses as opposed to the Fresnel lenses seen in the Rift. The HDK2 also supports position tracking via an included infrared camera in a setup similar to the Oculus Rift. If you're inclined to tinker, you have the option to open up the OSVR HDK2 and swap out parts to your heart's desire.

Razer is in talks with Valve and other companies selling VR software to ensure compatability.

If you're interested in the Open Source Virtual Reality HDK2 headset you can purchase it (or one of the earlier models) direct from Razer.

Quick Take

I was a bit disappointed to see VR headsets come out costing as much as they did. Don't get me wrong - I think they're worth every penny - but I found it striking that there wasn't a more budget-friendly option for people who wanted to dip their toe into the ever-growing ocean of VR offerings. Razer stepped up to the plate and are going with open-source principles to boot. However, this ends, more competition is always a good thing.

Do you think Razer's Open Source Virtual Reality headset can compete against the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift? Do you think it's worth its asking price compared to the prices and features of its competitors in VR? Let us know in the comments below!

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