Razer Unveils New And Improved OSVR HDK 2 At E3 2016, And It's $200 Cheaper Than Oculus Rift


A new and improved open-source virtual reality (OSVR) headset just made its debut at E3 2016, and it's definitely more impressive than its predecessor.

OSVR is a promising initiative that hit the scene early last year and the latest headset to join the fray now aims to challenge the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. Founded by gaming hardware company Razer and VR company Sensics, this initiative aims to create an open standard for virtual reality hardware and software.

The new OSVR gadget is called HDK 2, short for "hacker development kit," and is priced at $399.99. Set to launch in July, the HDK 2 costs $100 more than the previous HDK 1, which will continue to sell at $299.99.

For the extra dollars, however, the HDK 2 does pack some noteworthy improvements. First of all, the new OSVR gadget rocks two OLED screens as opposed to the previous version's single screen, and the resolution is also higher at 2,160 x 1,200, with a refresh rate set at 90 Hz.

That resolution could bring it on par with the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, for instance, while the $399.99 price tag makes it $200 cheaper than the Rift and $400 cheaper than the Vive.

According to the description on the OSVR website, the HDK 2 dual-display technology with 2,160 x 1,200 resolution - translating to 1,080 x 1,200 per eye - at 90 fps will maximize VR immersion and, along with custom designed optics, will deliver clear and vibrant visuals that will "blow you away at every turn."

The OSVR ecosystem will also ensure that various types of hardware from different brands are supported, so that users will get to choose from a wide range of controller options.

"The HDK supports a wide range of content technologies through the OSVR ecosystem including - OSVR and SteamVR experiences," adds the description.

The HDK 2 also comes with an improved IR tracking system that relies on a series of infrared LEDs within the headset, similar to the Oculus Rift. At the same time, the HDK 2 retains the adjustable lens system that made the original headset stand out from the crowd, allowing users to individually adjust the lens per eye so that it fits a wide range of prescription glasses.

All in all, the HDK 2 sounds pretty great and quite promising, but then again, so did its predecessor, which proved to be better in theory than in practice. It remains to be seen whether the HDK 2 is as good as it seems on paper, but it's definitely a neat upgrade.

To get a better idea of what the OSVR HDK initiative brings to the table, check out the video below.

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