Razer's OSVR HDK 2 goes head-to-head with Vive, Oculus Rift

June 14, 2016 // 9:27 a.m.

Tags: #htc-vive #oculus-rift #oculus-vr #open-hardware #open-source #osvr #razer #sensics #virtual-reality #vive #vr

Razer has reaffirmed its intention to directly compete with Oculus VR and HTC in the virtual reality arena, unveiling a new variant of its open-source OSVR hardware matching its rivals' specifications.

The OSVR Hacker Development Kit 2, Razer and partner Sensics have jointly announced, boasts a dual-OLED display system featuring 90Hz refresh, low persistence, and an overall resolution of 2,160 x 1,200 - the latter matching the popular Oculus Rift and HTC Vive headsets. As well as a specification overhaul, the OSVR HDK 2 is claimed to include what Razer calls 'Image Quality Enhancer (ICE) technology,' which it has yet to fully detail but claims can reduce the screen-door effect which plagued early-model virtual reality hardware.

'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,' claimed Christopher Mitchel, OSVR lead at 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.'

As well as boasting its open-source credentials, the OSVR HDK 2 has another trick up its sleeve: affordability. Razer claims the device, which it must be remembered is a development kit rather than the fully-fledged retail boxed models of its rivals, will be available from next month priced at $399 (around £282 excluding taxes), with the original lower-resolution HDK to remain on sale at $299.

At the same time, Razer also announced a $5 million fund to tempt developers into adding OSVR support into their games and applications. Available to anyone from indie developers to large studios, the fund will provide guaranteed income in the form of a bulk purchase of game keys which Razer will resell and the promise of marketing and promotional support up to and including potential bundling with future OSVR hardware.
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