With the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) now in full swing, videogame hardware company Razer has made one of the first surprise virtual reality (VR) reveals. The company, alongside VR specialist Sensics and a number of others, has announced an Open-Source Virtual Reality (OSVR) ecosystem, designed to help improve and enhance development of VR experiences. Not only that but Razer has announced a brand new VR head-mounted display (HMD) to support the initiative, named the OSVR Hacker Dev Kit. The device is looking to launch later this year. A video of the HMD can be seen below.
The OSVR service will aim to make VR development accessible from both a software and hardware perspective. This includes support for popular engines such as Unity 3D and Unreal Engine 4 as well as integration with device plugins from Razer itself as well as the likes of Bosch. Support for hardware from Sixense, the company behind the STEM motion controller system, and Leap Motion with its hand-tracking technology is also to be included. Crucially, the kit is designed to support development for a number of VR HMDs including Oculus Rift’s second development kit (DK2) and even Vrvana’s Totem HMD.
The most intriguing part of this announcement is undoubtedly the OSVR Hacker Dev Kit, which is designed to be affordable and open source. That last part means that anyone can download 3D files for the device from the OSVR website and assemble their own VR HMD using the schematics. The download reveals that the OSVR Hacker Dev Kit uses a 5.5-inch, 1080p, 60Hz display that offers a field of view (FOV) of 100 degrees. Should developers prefer to purchase a kit instead of assembling one then take note that Razer will release it in June 2015 for $199.99 USD.
“Gaming is moving towards the virtual reality platform and this poses huge benefits and challenges to gamers at every level,” Razer co-founder and CEO Min-Liang Tan said of the announcement. “OSVR brings game developers, gamers and hardware manufacturers together to solve those challenges and make virtual reality gaming a reality for the masses.”
Anyone interested in seeing the OSVR Hacker Dev Kit can find it at the Razer Booth, South Hall 3 at Booth #31132 in the Las Vegas Convention Center during CES this week. VRFocus will continue to follow the kit, reporting back with any further updates on it.