Starbreeze and Acer announced a new capitalization plan for StarVR, the upcoming high field of view (FOV) VR headset, that will see Acer inject $5 million into the project and take a 66 percent majority control of the joint venture.

Starbreeze made quite the impression at E3 2015 when they unveiled StarVR, the 210 degree, high-resolution VR headset born from project InfinitEye. Little was known about the company’s definitive plans for the headset until Starbreeze and Acer announced a joint venture to “market and produce” StarVR. Initially announced back in early summer of 2016, the joint venture outlined a capitalization plan of up to $25 million to be shared equally between Starbreeze and Acer through capital injections on a set schedule.

According to a press release announcing the deal, $10 million has already been injected into the company in equal amounts by both Acer and Starbreeze. With the new capitalization plan, Acer is injecting $5 million more into the joint venture.

StarVR headset circa summer 2016

While no further capital injections have been agreed upon yet, the move is a decisive step by Acer to secure a greater presence in what’s popularly considered the future of VR—namely high FOV headsets with (comparatively) high-resolution displays. Pimax, the company building ‘8K’ and ‘5K’ VR headsets offering a similarly wide FOV, recently passed the $2 million crowdfunding mark on their ongoing Kickstarter campaign—nearly as much as the original Oculus Kickstarter—signaling the public’s clear interest in high FOV headsets.

SEE ALSO
5 Windows VR Headsets Now Available for Pre-Order Including Samsung Odyssey

“VR is one of Acer’s key focus areas, as we continue to make huge strides across hardware, software and content development to unlock its potential,” says Acer Chairman and CEO Jason Chen. “The increase of Acer’s stake in StarVR underlines our commitment to the industry, and we look forward to continuing to deliver best-in-class VR experiences through our successful partnership with Starbreeze and ongoing technological innovation.”

Acer recently launched their own Windows ‘Mixed Reality’ VR headset, a device based on Microsoft’s reference design provided to several other OEMs including Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Lenovo, and Samsung.

SEE ALSO
Pimax Teases 'Next Generation' Accessories for Its 8K VR Headset

Providing Acer doesn’t double down again with more capital injections, Starbreeze continues to hold StarVR-related intellectual property rights, including patents and trademarks related to InfinitEye, StarVR (headset), ePawn and the StarVR SDK (Software Development Kit). Acer also hold patents related to electrical engineering, mechanical design and ergonomics that are used in the headset. R&D and reference design for the StarVR headset will also be carried out by Starbreeze and Acer going forward.

This article may contain affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product we may receive a small commission which helps support the publication. See here for more information.


  • Adrian Jakubiak

    I`m kinda interested if they are still focused on developing HMD for buisness consumers or now they will focus on wider range of market?

    • Michael

      Unsure, but it won’t be an issue for now since Pimax is filling the market hole for true high-end VR consumer wise.

      • Adrian Jakubiak

        I`ve got mixed feelings about pimax right now, waiting for first reviews after mass deliveres. Also controlers that are presented in their video look form me reeeeeeaaaalyyyyy terrible, but if they go into knuckles as it is seen on their newest graphic ico it would be nice.

        also I`ve got a little more faith in stuff made by Acer than PiMax

        • Michael

          Reasonable, but Pimax’s controllers are Knuckles. They posted the latest design for it. They’re not doing Vive Wands, those were only prototypes.

          • Adrian Jakubiak

            Thats really greate news ;)

            theres still one question about lighthouses, are they using ver1 or ver2?

          • Rogue Transfer

            Ver2.

          • RFC_VR

            yes, it reported to be fitted with Triad / Valve’s TS4231 (Light to Digital convertor) IC’s. Their new tracking tech is very impressive in its capabilities (high bit-rate data transmission, multi-room), and could be great fit for this wide fov hmd

          • VRdeluxe

            Look into Pimax mate. They just released V3 with IPD adjustment and even better lenses. They still have 2 more prototype steps to go

        • FireAndTheVoid

          The Pimax headset is completely compatible with the Vive lighthouses, wand controllers, and knuckles controllers. I only backed the 8K headset, planning to use it with the (probably) higher quality Vive accessories.

    • If Pimax, a small Chinese company can make 2 mil from a kickstarter project in less than a month then it is clear consumers want this tech so Acer are making sure they have a foot in the door, it is another sign that VR/AR is just too risky to ignore by these companies. They are all starting to invest in it.

      It makes sense too. HMD’s have the ever increasing risk they will depreciate monitors, mobiles, computers and TV’s in the next decade.

      And to answer your question, I would bet they will definitely target consumers, it’s a huge part of Acer’s business model. An Acer Predator VR headset would be rather nice based on the StarVR design.

      • Jerald Doerr

        You my friend are 200% correct.. I just dont understand myself.. If I worked for any company that did electronics I’d be like “look at what Pimax is doing..” Thanks to Vive all anyone needs to do is make a bad ass HMD and its sold! Let everone else spend there time and money making controlers and extra add-ons.

        • I struggle with this too. I came up with two scenarios.

          #1
          Oculus/HTC currently control the market due to their stores (plus headsets) and need to milk the current gen headsets to recoup all the early R&D costs. Touch controllers took Oculus ages and now Knuckles on the Vive are taking ages too. Both these companies could, theoretically move quicker if they wanted. Vive could release a 1.5 version with knuckles and the new head-strap to give the product a boost but they are delaying, why?. They are milking us until something competitive comes along (e.g. Pimax). But that is high risk which leads me on to my second theory.

          #2
          They are monitoring Pimax, StarVR and maybe even Magic Leap if they know what it is. Apple do the same. Apple new motto comes to mind: “Don’t be first to market, be the best” which is a shame but thats how they are now. These bigger companies can see how the market is moving, the demand, the questions, the expectations etc. This time it is Pimax doing the gen 2 R&D and openly too so they just watch and “if” Pimax delivers then HTC/Oculus will have a path in place to compete, they must have as they never sit on their arses with something as potential as VR. If Pimax fail they can leapfrog them and save the day, win loyalty etc or just keep milking us and turn their sights to Windows MR devices flooding in.

  • Facts

    I heard that they are only developing for like business, military and stuff like that. I think pimax is the future pimax will sell thier high fov to consumers and pimax is 8k.

  • Andres Velasco

    The software for StarVR is more Robust than Pimix from everything have read. The distortion and FOV seem better on StarVR. Pimax could always fix its software to match, but will they?

    • Rogue Transfer

      The StarVR has worse SDE with the much lower panel resolution across the
      slightly higher FOV.

      Though both have the same input resolution of 2 x 1440p – the Pimax 8K has onboard upscaling to 2 x 2160p.

    • VR Deluxe

      Your clearly not upto date on the progress Pimax has made. all of those problems have been fixed and they still have 3 more prototype steps before production. Star VR is history

  • Lucio Lima

    Thats really greate news ;)

  • NooYawker

    For only 5 million Acer is suddenly in the VR game. Not a bad price at all.

    • They already have a VR headset out for sale right now. This move is most likely to expand their IP in the VR space, good for us consumers regardless as the knowledge will inevitably end up in higher end consumer devices they do.

      • Vaan Janne

        Starbreeze or acer ?

  • Fil

    Starbreeze greedy loosers.
    Starvr have only one road in the right future is: acer + valve = starvr vive 3. (Htc vive, lg vive 2, acer starvr vive 3).
    Acer buy all rights to starvr anf go!!!