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Razer Unveils OSVR Headset

Game peripheral maker Razer announces the OSVR Hacker Dev Kit, a USD$199.99 headset with support for OSVR, which stands for Open-Source Virtual Reality, a new entry in the burgeoning VR space. Here's word on OSVR: "Built from the ground up to bring the best Virtual Reality gaming experience to the gaming world, OSVR is the one platform where all aspects of the industry – input devices, games, and output – are unified, collaborating and innovating to take Virtual Reality gaming into the next frontier." Here's more on Razer's participation and their new headsets:

Razer is part of the Open-Source Virtual Reality (OSVR) ecosystem, a new standard in VR gaming to push the VR gaming experience forward and supporting the venture with the OSVR Hacker Dev Kit, a virtual reality device and open-source software that enables programming for any variety of VR technology.

WHAT IS OSVR?
OSVR™ stands for Open Source Virtual Reality. It is an ecosystem designed from the ground up to set an open standard for Virtual Reality input devices, games and output with the sole goal of providing the best possible game experience in the Virtual Reality space. Supported by Industry Leaders and focused on gaming, the OSVR framework rallies gamers worldwide together to push the boundaries of VR-Gaming.

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18. Re: Razer Unveils OSVR Headset Jan 7, 2015, 07:32 gray
 
VR wont be using panels in the future, they are a stop gap until momentum is gained to produce more tailored technology.  
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17. Re: Razer Unveils OSVR Headset Jan 6, 2015, 22:26 Aero
 
BIGtrouble77 wrote on Jan 6, 2015, 19:49:
I'm a bit uncomfortable with VR in general because I already get sick from standard FPS' on my 27" monitor. I keep thinking my body will get used to it, but I just don't play games enough to get over this hump. This tech looks amazing, but if it exacerbates my issue I'll hate it.

If it's done right, it might be possible that it could even solve your problem. Obviously I have no idea what your particular problem is, but an idealized VR setup would be very much like natural vision. In theory, it should be more natural and possibly not as sick-inducing as looking at a screen.

I don't know a sure-fire way to test this, but finding a 3D game that allows you to adjust the FOV within wide margins could help you test it. See if you can find find a FOV that is more comfortable to look at. The "realistic" FOV would be in the neighborhood of the arc of your vision taken up by your screen from where you're sitting--probably somewhere typically between 15 and 30 degrees depending... so it's like you're looking out a window rather than through a fish-eye lens which is what most 3D games are like. Though not a useful FOV for most games, if that doesn't make you feel ill, you'd probably be okay with VR.

Likewise, some people feel ill playing a game with an FOV that is too small. This is probably a more complicated situation. At a guess, I'd say they are good at zoning out their surroundings and can interpret what's on the screen as though it were their entire field of vision, projecting their sense of visual awareness entirely into the virtual picture. Therefore when the FOV is too small, it feels entirely unnatural and makes them feel ill (sort of like trying to walk around all day wearing blinders, or toilet-paper roll goggles). Again, VR would probably sort this out.

Of course, it could also be the somatosensory/inner ear disconnect with the virtual world that could be the problem too, in which case I'd guess VR would be that much worse than a screen. You can test this (to an extent) by playing games either with the lights on or the lights off and see which is worse. If it's worse with them off, it's more likely (though not guaranteed) this is the case. On the bright side, if this is the case for you, there is a good chance taking some dramamine could help alleviate the problem.

And, certainly of course, it could be a combination of these possibilities or, or course, something else entirely.

Personally, though I don't (usually) have motion sickness related to video games, I do tend toward the situation that prefers a lower field of view (though it doesn't make me physically sick, I find the higher FOVs that many peopler prefer... like 90 degrees, to be uncomfortable. Depending on what sort of game it is, I find 60-75 degrees (vertical, I believe) ideal for FPS games. In flight and racing sims, I like to go lower (I can go as low as I like (down to the "natural" FOV anyways) without discomfort, it's only the smaller FOV and therefore limited visibility becoming a hindrance that forces me to find a higher a happy medium.

I guess, after all that rambling, my point is that if and when you buy a VR headset, if you can't just try someone else's first, make sure there is a good return policy. That's what I'll be doing for sure. I learned my lesson many years before, when I bought som shutter 3D glasses, the sort that needed a CRT display. Cool as they were, the combination of the flicker and (at that time) hacked-in wonky stereo 3D implementations meant I'd be totally mentally exhausted after about a half hour of use. After a couple weeks of trying to get used to it, they ended up in a box in the basement where they still are to this day (I suppose, in the off chance I ever own a CRT monitor again).

And my final point, only somewhat related, is that *all of this* is exactly why every single game should always have and adjustable FOV. At least within reason. Everyone is different. Hell, I had a girlfriend once that literally could not perceive 3D graphics--it was all flat shapes to her. She acted as though this was a matter of pride. I wasn't foolish enough to tell her my own opinion, which was that she must have a remarkably feeble visual cortex.

edit (ignoring obvious grammar mistakes above, and for yet more ramblosity... too much coffee I guess):

This is a reason I hope the return policies are very generous (since most people won't be able to go to a friend or a showroom and try one out, and that probably wouldn't but it anyways). When I first got a TrackIR, I thought I'd never get used to it, and it was a mental strain and disorienting at first. Even after a week or two of determined practice, though the disorientation wasn't as bad, an hour long session with it would leave me mentally drained. However, soon after that, it just suddenly clicked and became perfectly natural and now I could never play a flight-sim or a space-sim without it. I can use it for hours with no strain at all (and I even find myself involuntarily making minor jerking motions with my head trying to look around when watching a video of someone play ED or DCS without a TrackIR). For me, it was the single greatest leap in virtual immersion since 3D accelerators. If I only had 10 minutes to try it or a few days or even a week to make up my mind about returning it, I may well have missed out on all that.

This comment was edited on Jan 6, 2015, 22:56.
 
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16. Re: Razer Unveils OSVR Headset Jan 6, 2015, 21:35 jdreyer
 
Consoles will build VR into their next gen consoles, but those won't come out for 5 more years at least. It takes them a long, long time to copy PC trends. Took them a decade to get into FPSs. Ditto for MMOs.  
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The only thing that flat-earthers have to fear is sphere itself.
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15. Re: Razer Unveils OSVR Headset Jan 6, 2015, 20:56 Aero
 
Seems the entire VR industry is dependent on what the tablet/slabphone market is doing, at least until they get enough volume to make building custom panels a thing. I suspect, given the way eyes work, a uniform density matrix of pixels probably isn't ideal for VR anyways so the only option is overkill. 2048x1536 and 2560x1600 7" panels are relatively common already, but they only do 60Hz as far as I know.

What we're going to need to do is convince people that they need a 2560x1600 120Hz tablet. Maybe Apple will push refresh rates as the next big thing once (and I think we're already at that point) we hit severe diminishing returns on resolution increases. LCD TVs are already making 240Hz refresh rates a major bullet point in their advertising (though probably the 240Hz is through some trickery and it's really more like 120Hz).

I also see quite a few 5" 2560x1440 panels. If you could manage the optics so you had one for each eye, that would be pretty good, though again, nobody cares about the refresh rate of their phone display.

Anyways, as I see it, badass VR headsets are entirely inevitable at this point. It's just that I want it now, or at least this year. And yes certainly (at least hopefully, though unfortunately), we're probably going to need some new video cards. Those resolutions and having to maintain a minimum of 85 fps going to be rough.

Either way, I am totally stoked to see what happens over the next couple years. I can't really say I have a lot of respect for Razor's hardware (and certainly not their firmware), but sooner or later, VR will explode, and I wouldn't mind being spoiled for choice.

ed: Marginally improved grammar.

edit2:

Okay, I know this is a really, really horrible thing to bring up here... but what we need is the consoles to get hip to VR. The current generation of consoles is obviously in no way up to the challenge, and they probably are expected to have a lifetime of 10 years. Maybe with some luck, and all the super badass stuff happening over in the PC arena, Sony and Microsoft will feel obligated, sooner rather than later, to release a VR based console. They'll invest a billion dollars, and build fabs to churn out bespoke VR LCD/OLED/whatever tech. With them in competition, and the resources they could bring to the table, we could maybe even see displays designed from square one to go into VR headsets. I have no idea what that would look like, but maybe they'd be curved 21:9, high refresh rate, variable pixel density displays or whatever (no idea what I'm on about, just you know, a display that would only be useful for VR).

I can only imagine it would sell. Imagine if you were a tired, not-entirely-engaged parent (ie just like about half of them are now), and all you had to do was plop a VR helmet on your kid, put him in the corner, and enjoy the game/soap opera/infidelity/whatever for hours while they were totally engrossed in VR and thus oblivious to the outside world.

This comment was edited on Jan 6, 2015, 21:21.
 
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14. Re: Razer Unveils OSVR Headset Jan 6, 2015, 19:49 BIGtrouble77
 
I'm a bit uncomfortable with VR in general because I already get sick from standard FPS' on my 27" monitor. I keep thinking my body will get used to it, but I just don't play games enough to get over this hump. This tech looks amazing, but if it exacerbates my issue I'll hate it.  
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13. Re: Razer Unveils OSVR Headset Jan 6, 2015, 18:37 jdreyer
 
Quboid wrote on Jan 6, 2015, 16:25:
Called it!

Those specs do seem a bit low, I wonder if they're rushing to beat the Oculus Rift to market. I hope the Rift is 2560x1440 @ 75hz at least.

What Mr. Luckey said:
Luckey wouldn't be pinned down on the specifics of those consumer specs, but he said to expect a jump in resolution above the DK2, similar to the 720p to 1080p jump we saw between the first development kits (DK1) and DK2. Luckey also teased improvements to 90Hz "or higher" refresh rate (up from 75Hz in DK2) and lowered weight and size for the consumer headset.
Seems pretty certain that OR CV1 will be 1440P and 90hz. You'll need a pretty beefy graphics card to run that.
 
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12. Re: Razer Unveils OSVR Headset Jan 6, 2015, 17:33 DangerDog
 
gsilver wrote on Jan 6, 2015, 13:39:
Open software standards and a bunch of hardware different vendors catering to different levels of customer expectations is probably the best way to go with VR, so I'm all for this.


Not from a developers point of view it isn't.
 
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11. Re: Razer Unveils OSVR Headset Jan 6, 2015, 16:29 Fantaz
 
4K would be nice, better than 1440p.  
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10. Re: Razer Unveils OSVR Headset Jan 6, 2015, 16:25 Quboid
 
Called it!

Those specs do seem a bit low, I wonder if they're rushing to beat the Oculus Rift to market. I hope the Rift is 2560x1440 @ 75hz at least.
 
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"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke
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9. Re: Razer Unveils OSVR Headset Jan 6, 2015, 16:15 bigspender
 
jdreyer wrote on Jan 6, 2015, 14:43:
gsilver wrote on Jan 6, 2015, 13:39:
Open software standards and a bunch of hardware different vendors catering to different levels of customer expectations is probably the best way to go with VR, so I'm all for this.

The question is, can they get it right?

I think this is my biggest concern: that a bunch of copycatters try to cash in and release subpar products that make people hurl, giving the product a bad name and crushing an nascent industry.
spot on. it seems like VR has to be tuned just right for it to work comfortably, nobody has been able to do it, not nintendo and not even oculus has perfected it. So I foresee that this kit will just make people feel sick and it could quite possibly tarnish VR.
 
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8. Re: Razer Unveils OSVR Headset Jan 6, 2015, 15:04 Vio
 
1080x1920 FHD resolution with 60fps and 401ppi
You need a panel with more than 1080p if your going to give each eye a good resolution to look at, and more than a 60hz/60fps display panel to get the latency down. The suspected CV1 panel is going to be 80hz, better than the 60hz, but still lacking in terms of getting to that magical 8ms latency target where VR sickness ceases. At least they will be able to give a 1280x1080p experience per eye, the combined experience should be more than sufficient. Only that latency...

I don't know if CV1 will get it low enough to avoid VR sickness unless they employ some clever tricks. Will probably need 200hz panels to make 8ms latency a reality. It would be interesting to see if 3rd parties make "upgrade" kits for CV1 once it is released with higher hz panels as they become available.
 
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7. Re: Razer Unveils OSVR Headset Jan 6, 2015, 15:02 Scud
 
Of course most of the features won't work unless you're running Synapse.  
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6. Re: Razer Unveils OSVR Headset Jan 6, 2015, 14:43 jdreyer
 
gsilver wrote on Jan 6, 2015, 13:39:
Open software standards and a bunch of hardware different vendors catering to different levels of customer expectations is probably the best way to go with VR, so I'm all for this.

The question is, can they get it right?

I think this is my biggest concern: that a bunch of copycatters try to cash in and release subpar products that make people hurl, giving the product a bad name and crushing an nascent industry.
 
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The only thing that flat-earthers have to fear is sphere itself.
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5. Re: Razer Unveils OSVR Headset Jan 6, 2015, 14:41 jdreyer
 
BobBob wrote on Jan 6, 2015, 12:54:
Soon to be purchased by Myspace?

By Microsoft. For $5 billion.
 
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4. Re: Razer Unveils OSVR Headset Jan 6, 2015, 13:39 gsilver
 
Open software standards and a bunch of hardware different vendors catering to different levels of customer expectations is probably the best way to go with VR, so I'm all for this.

The question is, can they get it right?

DK2 is extremely impressive, but at the same time, far from where VR needs to be. Hopefully we'll see what CV1 looks like this year.
 
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3. Re: Razer Unveils OSVR Headset Jan 6, 2015, 12:54 BobBob
 
Soon to be purchased by Myspace?

This comment was edited on Jan 6, 2015, 13:04.
 
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2. Re: Razer Unveils OSVR Headset Jan 6, 2015, 12:51 Wildone
 
Sweet. Still not tired of the DK2 gettin blown away all the time by new experiences. VOX MACHINAE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  
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1. Re: Razer Unveils OSVR Headset Jan 6, 2015, 12:27 Creston
 
Competition = good.  
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