OSVR is currently offering the HDK 2 at a 20% price reduction as part of their Academia and Developer Program. The HDK 2 is the most recent iteration of the organization’s open-source VR headset, normally priced at $399.

The OSVR HDK 2 sits in a unique position in the market, aimed towards developers of VR software and hardware, but also offering an interesting alternative to the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive for enthusiasts willing to take the risk on a not-consumer-ready device. Sharing similar display specifications to the current high-end PC VR headsets, and a positional tracking solution much like Oculus’ Constellation system, the HDK 2’s $399 price point remains competitive, even after the Rift’s recent drop to $499. As further incentive, a 20% discount is being offered to students and developers as part of the OSVR Academia and Developer Program.

By filling out the form on the OSVR website, you’ll be sent a discount code and instructions on how to complete the purchase. The site also notes that academic institutions purchasing multiple kits can receive a free HDK 1.3 (discontinued version with a single 1080p OLED panel, upgradeable to HDK 2 specs) for every two HDK 2 headsets purchased, for details the organization says to reach out to marketing@osvr.org.

OSVR HDK 2 Headset Gets Detailed Teardown – Scores High in Repairability

Launched through a collaboration between Razer and Sensics, the OSVR initiative has gained support from the likes of Intel, Nvidia, and Valve, as well as some traction within the game developer community, with over 300 games listed as supported on Steam. The goal of democratising VR is detailed by Sensics CEO and OSVR co-founder Yuval Boger here.

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The trial version of Microsoft’s Monster Truck Madness probably had something to do with it. And certainly the original Super Mario Kart and Gran Turismo. A car nut from an early age, Dominic was always drawn to racing games above all other genres. Now a seasoned driving simulation enthusiast, and former editor of Sim Racer magazine, Dominic has followed virtual reality developments with keen interest, as cockpit-based simulation is a perfect match for the technology. Conditions could hardly be more ideal, a scientist once said. Writing about simulators lead him to Road to VR, whose broad coverage of the industry revealed the bigger picture and limitless potential of the medium. Passionate about technology and a lifelong PC gamer, Dominic suffers from the ‘tweak for days’ PC gaming condition, where he plays the same section over and over at every possible combination of visual settings to find the right balance between fidelity and performance. Based within The Fens of Lincolnshire (it’s very flat), Dominic can sometimes be found marvelling at the real world’s ‘draw distance’, wishing virtual technologies would catch up.
  • Michael Davidson

    Sounds like the beginning of inventory dumping. With the Rift going for $499; $399 for this is ridiculous. I own one of the old HDK 1.3 units and it served to satiate me until I bought my Vive, but I wouldn’t wish it on anyone at this point.

    • Sponge Bob

      well of course – the new generation of HMDs is coming by Christmas
      time to dump inventory

      • Joe Black

        Let’s hope they are sold world-wide.

  • NooYawker

    What do you get? Any controllers? Lighthouses? Are they compatible with vives or oculus controllers?

  • After Oculus price drop, OSVR doesn’t seem so convenient to me…

  • Sponge Bob

    Did they fix the software install/config problems at least ?

    I bought one and had to return it – it wasn’t even beta, more like pre-alpha

  • Joe Black

    a year or two later and VR is still in early adopter mode. Not for me. Not least because I can’t even order the bloody things in my country unless I’m willing to give up manufacturer support. Too expensive to take risks even at $200.

    • flashpoint

      lol “risk” $200

      • Joe Black

        I’m not in the habit of throwing money away. And I definitely do not want the first VR headset I buy to be a dud. It would kill what enthusiasm I have remaining for the whole thing.