Game developer Starbreeze has announced a new partnership with consumer electronics firm Acer to further the development of its high FOV, high resolution VR headset, StarVR.
Starbreeze made a sizeable splash at E3 last summer when the unveiled StarVR, their 210 degree, high resolution VR headset born from project InfinitEye. Coupled with a dedicated VR experience based on their Walking Dead franchise, the headset received quite a bit of attention. Since then however, things have gone a little quiet.
A new release from the company today announces a partnership between Acer, one of the world’s largest computer manufacturers, and Starbreeze to “cooperate on the design, manufacturing, promotion, marketing and sales of the StarVR HMD to the professional- and location-based entertainment market.” From the outside, the partnership sounds similar to the cooperation between HTC and Valve on the recently launched Vive headset.
As noted in the release, the companies are positioning the StarVR headset as an enterprise focused device rather than a competitor to consumer VR headsets like the Rift and Vive. Such positioning will likely entail a premium price point for the headset, likely in excess of $1,000.
“Acer is thrilled to join forces with Starbreeze in bringing the StarVR head-mounted display to the market,” said Jason Chen, Acer Corporate President and CEO. “We are devoting R&D resources across multiple aspects of the VR ecosystem for a coherent and high-quality experience, while just last month Acer announced powerful desktops and notebooks fully-ready for StarVR. Starbreeze and Acer share the same goal of delivering best-in-class VR applications, and we look forward to unlocking new VR possibilities together with this partnership.”
With the likely premium pricing comes an unmatched field of view and resolution. StarVR uses two full-size 5.5-inch displays, pushing the resolution to 5120×1440 and the field of view to 210 degrees horizontally.
Of course, the on-paper specs rarely tell the whole story when it comes to VR headsets; in our hands-on with StarVR back at E3 2015 we appreciated the massive field of view, but with it comes complex optical challenges which make it difficult to achieve a clear and undistorted view, not to mention hurdles in weight and bulk. Still, the company’s first pass seemed surprisingly mature—no doubt thanks to the experience brought by the InfinitEye team—and the Acer partnership will hopefully help Starbreeze leap the remaining hurdles to market-readiness.