Razer Reveals Open-Source VR Headset, the OSVR

$200 device to ship in June; Open software platform supports numerous engines and middleware.

52 Comments
An exploded-view of Razer's new OSVR headset - Further images can be found below
An exploded-view of Razer's new OSVR headset - Further images can be found below

Gaming tech firm Razer has revealed its answer to the Oculus Rift--a $200 virtual reality headset with head-tracking capabilities and a 1080x1920 display.

Known as the OSVR headset, the open-source dev kit can work with "all VR devices, including the Oculus DK 2," meaning that engines and software built with Oculus in mind are theoretically supported.

Razer says the OSVR will be released, at least as a dev kit, in June 2015. It carries two 5.5-inch displays, as well as a 100-degree field-of-view, and internal sensors for head tracking (accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass).

That would align it closely with the Oculus Rift in terms of specs, though the Facebook-owned headset in its most recent incarnation features a seven-inch display.

Razer is also partnering with a host of companies to create an open-source VR ecosystem, which it says will allow developers to freely create code for the headset, which can work across many operating systems, including Windows, Android, and Linux.

It is also supports key game engines such as Unity and Unreal Engine 4, as well as device plugins from the likes of Bosch and Razer, along with middleware from companies such as Sixense and LeapMotion.

"Gaming is moving towards the virtual reality platform and this poses huge benefits and challenges to gamers at every level," said Razer chief executive Min-Liang Tan.

"OSVR brings game developers, gamers, and hardware manufacturers together to solve those challenges and make virtual reality gaming a reality for the masses."

Further information for developers and consumers is available on the OSVR website.

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Avatar image for jthotty
jthotty

I appreciate that they would like to use this as a open source and get others to make their product better for free. However, you have to make the standard and THEN make it open source so people can tinker with it. This is going to break faster faster then my Razer Headset, Keyboard, and mouse (seriously).

Avatar image for stev69
stev69

This sounds like a compatibility headache before its even out of the box.

Avatar image for liquorandgunfun
LiquorandGunFun

it has my interests, but i wouldnt run out and preorder one or buy it on launch, but i will keep tabs.

Avatar image for SweatySasquatch
SweatySasquatch

Everything that I've ever owned by Razor has only lasted a couple of months, so no thanks.

Avatar image for Dark_Wr4ith
Dark_Wr4ith

The price is nice and the specs are okay. I guess if people are on a budget the lack of positional tracking might not be too much of an issue. I'd want to see it in action though before I form any strong opinions.

Avatar image for spikepigeo
spikepigeo

"1080x1920 display"


So we're going to be playing everything in portrait?


Typos and jokes aside, this is a good thing. Competition is always good.

Avatar image for Zloth2
Zloth2

<< LINK REMOVED >> Yeah, well, it's good for prices. It can screw things up pretty bad if we get a "standards war" where game A works with Rift, game B works with this, and game C works with some other VR solution. Then we have a decade of hell while they fight over which standard is "best." Sometimes its better to have one clear winner at first then get competition after a couple of years. (Like the Hayes modem standard and Epison printer standard, instead of going through something like the VCR/Betamax war.)

Avatar image for spikepigeo
spikepigeo

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> This is true. Hopefully Rift will be dominant at first, then other companies will fire back with better features.

Avatar image for cratecruncher
cratecruncher

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Perhaps that point was going through the mind of the owner when he decided to hitch up with Zuckerbucks. If I were a developer making a game I know which horse I'd bet on. With their resources, I would be surprised if every entrant didn't line up with whatever Oculus decides. It seems clear to me who would win a standards fight.

Avatar image for third_twin
third_twin

No positional tracking, and 1080p / 60fps. Ill wait for the Oculus Rift CV1 thanks.

Avatar image for elheber
elheber

"Hi, we at Razer want a more accessible and universal VR kit so that there aren't so many different kits on the market...so we are putting another kit on the market."


XKCD said it best in their "Standards" comic. Posting a link puts my comment in eternal "pending" so please look it up, for justice.

Avatar image for elheber
elheber

"Hi, we at Razer want a more accessible and universal VR kit so that there aren't so many different kits on the market... so we are putting another kit on the market."


XKCD said it best here:

<< LINK REMOVED >>

Avatar image for C-THREE
C-THREE

interesting. but if Oculus adds that hand tracking tech to the Rift then it's over.

Avatar image for elheber
elheber

I'm waiting for one with built-in headphones, front/downward facing mo-cap cameras for hand tracking AND positional tracking, and a screen that extends outside of one's natural field of view (i.e. you can still see your own nose, cheeks and brow). Until then, I'll settle for the Oculus consumer model.

Avatar image for cratecruncher
cratecruncher

I like having another competitor to choose from. If they really want to make their headset open source make the design of the components open source. Let me upgrade my screens and lenses in a couple of years when better specs are affordable. It worked for the PC thanks to IBM back in the '70s and we're still enjoying component standards today.

Avatar image for hystavito
hystavito

<< LINK REMOVED >> That's a lot of extra engineering and such though, and most users don't really want it. I get you, the open nature of the PC platform is responsible for much of the tech in our lives today.

At least the software is open, which is very important. Despite people like Bleszinski's hate for VR being "just a peripheral, ugh" I think that's actually what it should be :).

Avatar image for cratecruncher
cratecruncher

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Perhaps it wouldn't be practical but they are doing a modular project for the cell phone called Project Ara. VR headsets aren't too much different than a cell phone.



Avatar image for metallunar
Metallunar

So they are just making the hardware and letting the rest of the world do free programming for them.

Avatar image for jinzo9988
jinzo9988

"the open-source dev kit can work with "all VR devices, including the Oculus DK 2," meaning that engines and software built with Oculus in mind are theoretically supported."

That I like. I don't like the thought of so many of these things being out in the market and you constantly have to worry about what game supports which device. That gives anybody that isn't Oculus a shot at surviving through the whole VR thing. We've yet to see if there will be any compatibility problems like that so I'm not really sure that it's anything to worry about at this point, but the worst thing you can do is make each device proprietary and force developers to pick and choose which specific devices to support. All that does is screw the consumers.

Avatar image for Xristophoros
Xristophoros

this market is getting very saturated long before the tech has even lived up to expectations. now we have the oculus, morpheus, samsung's headset and the osvr. even microsoft is rumoured to be working on one... this tech is either going to take off and make a splash on the world, or fail miserably and be put in the closet for years before being revealed again. i don't think the tech is quite there yet as there is still too much input lag... also, consoles don't have enough power to keep the fps at 60 while also performing impressive visuals in the graphics department. if vr fails on consoles it will also fail on pc. the pc market on its own cannot successfully carry vr and make it mainstream.

Avatar image for cratecruncher
cratecruncher

<< LINK REMOVED >> The pc market is about half of global game sales and growing. Consoles had their day but their business model is a rip off and consumers are starting to realize it. I'm skeptical about the current generation of consoles even being able to support VR with such anemic hardware specs. VR as realized on the next year's more powerful pc specs will only hasten the demise of console gaming. I'm an expert on such things and my forecasting is infallible ;-).

Avatar image for ninjaroach81
ninjaroach81

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Not sure where you got that the PC market is half of global game sales, since, from what I see, it's more about 5%...


<< LINK REMOVED >>


(check the chart on the right "Global Software by Platform")

Avatar image for Xristophoros
Xristophoros

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> according to that source, you're correct, but bare in mind those totals only factor in physical retail games. vgchartz doesn't take into consideration digital sales. steam numbers are not being considered and that changes things, a lot. certainly pc sales are not 50% of the pie but perhaps 20%. at any rate, my argument still stands.

Avatar image for cryofax
cryofax

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> PC Game sales surpassed Consoles back in April and looks to continue... << LINK REMOVED >>

Avatar image for Xristophoros
Xristophoros

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> we were discussing total game (software) sales. the article from forbes looks to be discussing hardware and software sales combined? it is not even made clear but it sounds that way. interesting read nonetheless.

Avatar image for cratecruncher
cratecruncher

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >>

Avatar image for cratecruncher
cratecruncher

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Total market $44Billion in 2014. PC is $22Billion. $22/$44 = 0.5 (or 50% of market).

Avatar image for Stardust7
Stardust7

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> It's worth mentioning that most western kids nowdays don't care about consoles as before...they prefer PC games like minecraft, LOL, elder scroll, and waste their time watching those "youtubers" crap...My guess is that in the future consoles will be a niche market ...unfortunately.

Avatar image for ninjaroach81
ninjaroach81

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> I don't disagree with your argument, mearly the fact that << LINK REMOVED >> claims that the PC market represents half of the gaming market share. Even taking Steam numbers into account, 20% would still probably be very optimistic (even 15% could be a stretch).


Now, I'm not trying to knock PC gaming; hell, I used to exclusively play PC games for a time. The vast majority of the market doesn't have the patience PC gaming requires (in terms of building/upgrading the system and checking system requirements) when it's a hell of a lot easier to pick up any game off of the shelf for your console of choice and know that it's going to work in the hardware you have at home.

Avatar image for Xristophoros
Xristophoros

<< LINK REMOVED >> true. we will never have hard numbers for digital sales but seeing as how quickly steam is growing in its userbase (100 million active accounts), 15%+ looks like a fair number. i play almost exclusively on console and spare my pc for indie titles for the most part. i like the convenience factor of consoles as well. but yea, vr surely will not survive with the pc market alone and needs all branches of the gaming and even film industries involved if it is to be widely adopted. there is no doubt in my mind about that.

Avatar image for ninjaroach81
ninjaroach81

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Agreed, the PC market alone can't guarantee VR success; honestly, I don't think VR will be any more than niche product; there might eventually be some really cool applications for it, but, for mainstream gaming, I just don't think it's going to really take off.

And one last thing about the market share thing and then I'm done with that; don't forget that all the current consoles are also capable of digital sales, which can skew the market numbers as well. 15% for PC gaming might be realistic, but that's about the top end.

Avatar image for Xristophoros
Xristophoros

<< LINK REMOVED >> some good points. i partly agree with you. however, for vr to become a mainstream success, it needs all the help it can get and that includes finding an audience on consoles as most trends start at that level. also, vr will fail if it is only marketed to core gamers. we need it to be adopted by even casual users who primarily use a pc for facebook and browser games as well as the millions of android and ios users. we also need the movie companies in on this. i would love to watch a film using a vr headset. it will be quite the immersive experience :D

Avatar image for elheber
elheber

The specs I'm currently looking for is the response time (both motion and display), FOV, resolution, and weight. In that order. However, << LINK REMOVED >> below pointed out that this doesn't mention positional tracking, which is already a huge step backward.


Competition is good, yes... but this thing barely qualifies as competition.

Avatar image for plind12
plind12

Resolution is too low. 1080p is too low for VR headsets based on my experience with the Oculus DK2. The screndoor is far too visible although the pentile layout is part of the reason on the Dk2. Even if it weren't pentile the screendoor would still be too much.

Avatar image for klarkash-ton
klarkash-ton

They mentioned head tracking but not positional tracking, which was hopefully just an oversight by the marketing people rather than an actual missing feature. Otherwise, this thing will sit squarely between the Oculus DK1 and DK2, and nowhere near the Oculus CV1. It might be cheaper, but why not just spend another ~$100 and get the good one?

Avatar image for Sl4cka
Sl4cka

GS: "Razer Reveals Its Oculus Rift Rival, the OSVR"

Razer: "Tan says he's not trying to compete with Oculus"

Avatar image for crushbrain
crushbrain

How can gaming be "moving toward VR"? No one has even tested the market place yet. It will be the customer who decides whether this is any good or not.

Avatar image for Xristophoros
Xristophoros

<< LINK REMOVED >> yea all this hype is premature. it may become a fad for a few years like the wii and then be forgotten.

Avatar image for Gamerno6666
Gamerno6666

FLOP.

Avatar image for elreddiablo
elreddiablo

is VR ever coming out?. not this dev kit BS. one that I can buy on a game store

Avatar image for deactivated-58a78a043e9d4

<< LINK REMOVED >> Oculus wants to release their CV1 by the end of this year.

Avatar image for elreddiablo
elreddiablo

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> cool. give me time to make a good pc that can run it. thank you pongley

Avatar image for gajbutler
gajbutler

Razer succk.

Avatar image for wookiegr
wookiegr

Bandwagon VR is what they should call it.

Avatar image for nameaprice
nameaprice

neat

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