MeganeX, the SteamVR-compatible headset from Panasonic’s Shiftall, made its big debut back at CES 2020, and after years of iterations shown at various trade shows, the company says it’s finally nearing launch.

Shiftall is set to sell two flavors of MeganeX, a consumer version priced at $1,699 and a Business Edition, the pricing of which is still to be determined.

MeganeX includes the option to use both inside-out roomscale tracking and SteamVR base stations (1.0 and 2.0), providing 2,560 × 2,560 per eye via two independent 1.3-inch micro OLED displays, which were built by Kopin. Owing to its slim profile are the headsets pancake lenses, which were created by parent company Panasonic.

Image courtesy Shiftall

Although it includes onboard processing thanks to a Snapdragon XR1, it cannot operate in standalone mode (re: only tethered PC VR). The wing-like attachable module seen above on the consumer version is for SteamVR base stations.

“These [two headsets] will deliver the world’s highest level of viewing experience and black expression that only OLED can provide,” the company says in a press statement. “A folding frame with built-in speakers makes it easy to carry around. It supports 6DoF and lets you enjoy a variety of SteamVR-enabled VR applications.”

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The consumer version, which offers a wider IPD over the Business Edition at a range of 56-72mm, includes a glasses adapter to accommodate bespectacled users of all sorts. The Business Edition however includes built-in diopter adjustments for near-sighted users, supporting a range of up to -7D, which comes as an addition to the platform’s glasses adapter.

Both the consumer and enterprise version are said to go on sale around April or March of this year, with the consumer version set to launch direct on Shiftall’s website. Check out the specs for both versions below:

MeganeX Specs

Image courtesy Shiftall

We have boots on the ground at CES 2023 in Las Vegas this year, so check back for all the latest AR/VR news this week as we get knee deep in emerging tech on the tradeshow floor.

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  • Jeff is beck

    All these expensive headsets and hardly any good vr games to play

    • preeeeeach

    • ViRGiN

      So, PCVR is dead, and has been for couple of years.
      But half life alyx! you can play it for the next 15 years! and i’m sure beat saber will get dozens of soundtracks too. PCVR has never been in better spot, and with new graphic cards we will finally get good games LMAO

    • Runesr2

      Moss Book 2?
      Hubris?
      Wanderer?
      Red Matter 2?
      Alyx Levitation and 20 other mods?
      Half-Life 2 VR Mod?
      Green Hell VR?
      Vox Machinae singleplayer?
      Lonn?
      Ultrawings 2?
      Kayak VR Mirage?

      – and these are just from 2022, all available on Steam. There are tons of awesome VR games.

      • Jeff is beck

        Is like you guys just copy and paste the same list

        • NL_VR

          You played everything to death?

          • ViRGiN

            Not everyone has to complete 150% of the game, nor everyone is working 16 hours a day to not have time to play VR games throughout the years.

      • pasfish111

        Most Games are only interesting if you are very new to VR :D …Guys like me who are already 7 years in VR wait since years for real AAA highend VR. Most Games in your list are only VR Ports, Mods, short tech expirences or Indy games. We have seen already too much of that kind :-/

    • Anonyneko

      There’s VRChat, who needs anything else?

      • Jeff is beck

        Weaboo detected

      • Clownworld14

        not everyone is a social butterfly, I fire up vr just to play pavlov sometimes with its many custom gamemodes. everything else gets boring fairly rapid.

  • I am so fed up with headsets that push the outer limits of weight and feature sets while putting themselves squarely outside the consumer range. Swear Im gonna design a SteamVR headset that’s open source, 3D printable and sub 200-dollar.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Good luck, not gonna happen unless you go for really crappy screens and electronics.

  • Cooolone

    Got to admit the name sound like shitfail

    • John Grimoldy

      Horrible name. I saw it as shitfall, but tomayto/tomahto.

    • Charles

      MeganeX? I have an ex named Megan…

      Shitfall sure has a way with picking ridiculous names.

      Joking aside, this seems like an interesting headset.

      • Jistuce

        “Megane” means glasses in japanese. That’s almost certainly the thought going through Panasonic’s head.

        “Glasses X” isn’t exactly a great name, though. Sounds like Racer X’s optometrist.

        • Charles

          Haha, interesting. Well, my ex named Megan wore big nerdy glasses, and was into anime, so that’s kind of ironic.

          • Jistuce

            It was fate, all leading to this very moment.

          • Charles

            Haha, for sure.

  • Cl

    Can’t connect wireless to PC? I was interested until I saw that.

    • knuckles625

      Good catch but that’s really odd, isn’t it? I can’t believe it company would further niche out their prospective pcvr market.

      Also, how does the business edition handle that? No business is going to have random consumer GPU’s in their computers, they’ll have the enterprise cards with enterprise drivers. Wonder if it’ll be an issue like how WindowsMR was early on

      • ViRGiN

        It’s not meganex fault.
        AMD is ABSOLUTETLY IRRELEVANT. YET ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF ILLUSION OF CHOICE. no matter what benchmarks says, AMD is fucking dead and obsolete, always has been. Nvidia is the leader in graphics for eternity, just like Meta is the only VR/XR in the world.

        • Cl

          I use amd gpu. Nvidia is better in raytracing and that’s it. AMD is actually better in raster, other than the $1600 4090. AFAIK there is no raytracing in VR

          • ViRGiN

            it doesn’t matter what AMD is “better” at – the market unanimously oped for Nvidia. There is no competition at all. AMD is not competing. It would love to.
            Just like nobody is making steamvr accessories, nobody is supporting AMD cause nobody uses it.

          • Cl

            Yeah, no.

          • ViRGiN

            Yeah, yeah.

          • Cl

            Following up on this, it turns out amd 7000 series are having issues with VR. So I’m returning my amd gpu and bought a 4080 =/

        • Anonyneko

          If AMD was irrelevant, it wouldn’t have been in every PlayStation and Xbox produced in the last two generations.

          While it has a comparatively small market share in PC gaming, it’s still in the double digits. For classic gaming without the newer proprietary bells and whistles RDNA cards are a good choice. It’s when it comes to productivity, ray tracing, sadly VR, and AI, that these cards struggle compared to the Geforces of the world. In those areas, yes, AMD is very much on the back foot. But most people only need a GPU for classic flat gaming.

          • ViRGiN

            AMD is irrelevant for PC sphere – that’s what we are talking about huh?
            You never have to update drivers etc on PS or Xbox. It simply works. Devs HAVE TO support it, you can’t get an xbox with nvidia card can you? On PC market you do have the ‘choice’ – but it’s an illusion of one. You can choose right, or wrong. No in between.

    • Sven Viking

      Seems like kind of a waste to have an XR1 chip in there and not allow for optional WiFi streaming at least.

    • A headset that small from a small company was never going to wirelessly connect to PC in the first place even with an XR1 installed, but aight.

      Weird with the Nvidia only gpus though.

  • Tommy

    News Flash! No one wants to pay $1k+ for a headset. Stop making enterprise headsets and actually develope for consumers.

    • MeowMix

      Consumer prices require subsidies. Either you get substandard hardware ppl will whine about, or they will want to make money back in other ways, such as software sales through their exclusive storefront (Playstation, Meta).

      The problem with PCVR is the storefront is now solely controlled by Valve. So any company making a solely PCVR headset has no other means of making money other than charging a profit on the hardware. Hence why PCVR-only headsets have a bleak future.

      • Christian Schildwaechter

        Consumer prices require subsidies

        Consumer prices require subsidies or large unit sales to distribute development costs. If you buy a USD 200 midrange Android phone today, you get a faster SoC than on the Quest 2, multiple hires cameras, a 5G modem including the required, very significant license fees, and it is not subsidized. Even small, unknown companies can offer them generating profits from hardware alone because these phones are mostly based on standard configurations offered by a few huge SoC providers selling hundreds of millions of these, paired with an OS provided by Google, significantly reducing development costs.

        I’m pretty sure it would be possible to build a SteamVR HMD based on a single panel display, paired with a cheap XR 1 or generic mobile SoC with the battery moved to the back of the head and minimal flash and RAM for significantly less than the production costs of the Quest 2. It could still best the MeganeX by allowing wireless streaming via WiFi and the Quest 2 by providing better weight distribution and ergonomics for longer sessions. The main problem would be that despite a lower, unsubsidized price very few people would actually buy it, as those heavily invested in PCVR will mostly go for higher end HMDs like the Index for the best experience, while the more budget oriented will probably still pick a Quest 2 or Pico 4 for the added versatility.

        Consumer prices are enabled by large mass markets. VR is a niche market with very moderate growth rates for the active user base due to low retention. And with the majority of Steam users now having using VR capable GPUs, the entry price for VR HMDs having been USD 300 for the first 18 months after Quest 2 released, and an at least respectable number of worthy VR titles plus lots of VR mods, I don’t see this changing anytime soon. The entry bar was sufficiently low, the 97% of Steam users who didn’t already jump on the train most likely just don’t care enough to do so in the future. Beyond a core group of enthusiast VR may be good for the initial WOW effect, but not enough to deal with rearranging furniture, more complex setups or solitary experiences for a more immersive experience.

        So I wouldn’t agree that a lack of subsidies or the dominance of Steam in software sales implies a bleak future of consumer PCVR. I’d say that a lack of general usefulness/attractiveness of VR is the more pressing problem. Something that was temporarily hidden on standalone VR thanks to Meta’s willingness to not only cover all R&D, marketing and operation costs in addition to subsidizing the hardware, but also paying studios to create AAA titles/ports and supporting developers.

        But even these billions in subsidies, combined with a serious shortage of PS5/Xbox Series X that sold millions of Quest 2 as substitute gifts during holiday seasons, haven’t managed to push VR usage into areas where either selling unsubsidized hardware or developing VR titles are expected to be profitable ventures. Not even the expensive AAA ports left a significant dent, contradicting that everything would improve if only there were more/better games. And now Meta no longer seems to be particularly interested in just throwing more money at it. Right now it looks like the (near term) future of consumer VR is bleak in general, and this is not mostly due to price, but due to a continued lack of interest from the genreal public.

        • Guest

          Yes, the general public hates games, really. The people creating shooting games are the problem, on many levels.

      • ViRGiN

        Everyone wanted more headsets and games, nobody wanted more stores because they already got addicted to a single one 20 years ago.

      • Andrew Jakobs

        But HTC has its own Viveport.

  • ApocalypseShadow

    Higher prices isn’t better. Jeff above is right. We need software. Better tech is fine. But if no one can afford it, what’s the point?

    • pasfish111

      I could afford it, but what should I play with it? low poly Meta games that looks already ugly on my old Vive? :-/ … Without high quality VR Games/Content VR will not break through! Hardware is nothing without Software.

      • ApocalypseShadow

        Correct. That’s why I’m hoping Sony kick-starts cross platform development at high quality with PC. And not these indie mobile developed games. Indie is fine. But it’s time for developers to put in more effort and take more risks.

        When Quest 3 comes, these developers would still need to step up their game. They might as well start pushing high quality now to get out front as leaders that consumers would look to and say, “I want their games like Capcom or Namco because they put in the work.”

        • pasfish111

          I think, that’s not enough :-/
          It needs also good VR cloudrendering/streaming for mobile HMD … I’m 100% sure VR gaming will never be mainstream without AAA VR Games. And AAA VR Games are only possible with a lot of HMD that can run AAA Content.

      • Clownworld14

        this is precisely why I dont fire up my vr index very often, theres only so much you can do till you’ve done it to death, vr needs more content asap.

  • pasfish111

    Thats 700$ too much for a naked HMD with that specks. And which mind-blowing new VR game is it worth to upgrade to such a sharp HMD? Since Meta took over I couldn’t find a single one :-/

    • NL_VR

      No you dont.

  • Jeff is beck

    Yea I’ve played them to death

    • ViRGiN

      but what about half life alyx? blade and sorcery? h3vr? you can put another 50000 hours into these.

      • Not gonna lie I own H3vr and haven’t really touched it in ages. The lack of real hand models just puts me off every time I try to play it. I love all the customizable guns though, just wish there was more than hot dogs to shoot at.

        • ViRGiN

          Yeah it’s super crap, game of a single feature, never really improved at core, with huge fanboy base and autistic developer at the front.

      • pasfish111

        ? why should someone put 1000 hours in a 3 years old linear singleplayer shooter? or in a 5 year old sandbox without real game content? :D

        • ViRGiN

          cause that was sarcasm, and that’s what most pcvr users are doing anyway.

          • pasfish111

            Good! Sadly I was not 100% sure, because there are guy around who really think/do wired stuff :D – most of them are new Quest unseres ^^

  • ViRGiN

    Good price for a PCVR headset.
    Ya’ll wanted race to the top, now shell out your money you valve shills.

    • Cless

      No offense but consumer wise… its just a couple hundred bucks more expensive than your highly praised Meta Pro… and image quality wise, it flat out murders it.
      The meta pro sitting on an old 1920×1080 LCD vs 2.5k HDR OLEDs…
      And yes, I’m still mad the Pro didn’t have those displays, there literally have no excuse not to anymore, same thing with the depth camera, it would have made a big difference for devs trying to do new cool stuff.

      • ViRGiN

        Display is just one part of the set. If you want it, you can get it. And where did I praise Meta Pro? Once again you’re projecting. I have already summarized my thought on it some 2 months ago.

        You literally have nothing good to say about this meganex other than 2.5k HDR OLED.

        • Cless

          Yeah, that´s fair. But the only thing I care about a headset is its visuals, at least when I´m buying it for myself!
          And I was convinced you were saying positive things about it when you told me you bought one, I am certain about that at least! How is it going by the way, I don’t think you gave me a follow up about if you were liking it or not hands on.

          • ViRGiN

            It’s a great gaming headset. Nothing Professional to do with it; virtual monitors workflow is not ready for anything more than writing a document in big font, its not comfortable for work, takes long time to recharge, and suffers immensly for vr developing by not having a flip up display. having to take it on and off doesnt make it better than quest 2 for real productivity. there is no real software to even work with windows. vrdesktop doesnt even support multiple monitors at once, immersed looks like shit and cant be used for pcvr, and meta havent released anything for windows yet afaik.
            other than that, the visuals are great, light gap on sides is not as immersion breaking, fov is increased, better audio better controllers, pretty much better everything but not worth the price, especially at 1800 euros vs 1500 dollars.

          • Cless

            I can only agree with you, that was my experience as well. Again, if we could have had some extra toys in it, devs might have done some more interesting stuff with them.

            On the other hand, these Panasonic ones will be something that just brings in the same kind of customers that bought things from Varjo, and maybe a couple more, but nothing big, sadly.

            Interesting its up there, but it seems for the time being the best bang for the buck headset will be the PSVR2

          • ViRGiN

            I can live with the wire, but lack of any built in audio is borderline unacceptable. Paired with no amazing imo games announced so far, I’m not into PSVR2 market right now.
            Quest 3 aka Quest Pro lite without eye/face tracking but with pancake lenses and new processor is what excites me more.

          • Cless

            We can agree on that too.
            I hope the Quest 3 touches some interesting poles most people can agree were needed.

            If PSVR2 was open to work on PC, it would be a different story, but relying on 3rd party people hacking it, if that’s even possible… it would be a hard sell for me.
            Unless it gets a TON of support, which Sony might do if numbers go up fast enough the day it goes for sale…

        • Anonyneko

          It’s also very compact. It’s a big deal. I thought I can live with the chonkiness of the current headsets, but this is one of the reasons why I game in VR much less than I wanted to.

  • Dorothy Jean Thompson

    Not wireless? It’s 2023! Smh.

    • ViRGiN

      Yeah. Why they didn”t partner with Valve, who has solved wireless issue back in 2017 is beyond me. Why Valve never released its solution is also mysterious – probably they decided they tech is so good, it’s best not to use it cause everyone else will copy them lol.

  • “a consumer version priced at $1,699”

  • ViRGiN

    Or I can determine that this is not a genre I want to play regardless of how ‘awesome’ it is, or the game is being dogshit, unpolished mess.

    Acting like there is actual stuff to play that can be majorly agreed upon on average is an insanity. Gamers aren’t getting into PCVR. They have bazillion times better games. And modded flat games are just a cope mechanism for PCVR refugees who realized PCVR games are shit, and are now playing flat games in 3DTV screen mode with their ol’ reliable xbox controller.

  • poltevo

    I’m glad they didn’t put in a diopter adjustment function, but even the necessity to buy additional prescription lenses is a pain. It is better to have a larger headset that accommodates glasses.

    The only interesting that about this headset – and a big part of the cost – is the micro OLED screen. I doubt that will even be impressive, but we will see.

    • Cless

      Why are you glad they didn´t put a diopter adjustment function exactly…?

  • Mike EY

    Feel like I would pay an extra $1000 on top of the price to get rid of the angry eyebrows on top.

  • Naruto Uzumaki

    don t warry guys there is 1 solution crawl back to Zuck kiss hes feat and say sorry because we tried to abandon meta

  • KennyStetson

    It’s not that there isn’t anything to play. It’s that there isn’t anything GOOD to play. The only truly great VR game on that list that isn’t a flatscreen mod is Alyx. If they were flatscreen-only games they would be pretty much forgotten. No I’m not a VR hater — I love VR, spend all of my money on it and play almost exclusively flatscreen to VR mods because 95% of VR-only games are crap.

    • NL_VR

      I dont agree the 4 first games on the list are really good and on the top of VR games

  • KennyStetson

    I would legit consider this if it had eye tracking/foveated rendering and a decent field of view

  • pasfish111

    I think have not a single mobile low poly game ( ok, superhot VR is kind of low poly but in a good way ) –> So i have got (thx to Meta and it’s invest of billions int to mobile VR) nearly no new VR Content since 3 years :-/ … so why should I pay 1700$ for a good new VR HMD? I see no VR software/game on the horizon that would be worth it.

    • NL_VR

      No, I dont think anyone should pay $1700 for a headset to play games

      • pasfish111

        yes, I think naked PCVR Headset (no processor, ram, memory, tracking cams, akku needed) should be way cheaper! or have way better screen-technology

  • The design is neat… but… not wowed on stats or price. If you’re rich, this is certain something to put up on a wall and marvel at.. before you go back to your Quest Pro or something better.

    • Cless

      Someone using the quest pro over this, is making some seriously bad judgement calls. But I mean, they bought a Quest Pro to begin with, so that should say something already.

  • Dany Bonin

    There is 2 things that put me off. Does the headset support motion smooting, a must for certain games like vtol vr, and is the cable lengh really only 3m?