Razer Chief Executive and co-founder Min-Liang Tan has stated his company’s intent to dominate China’s rapidly growing virtual reality market, with new products built around the OSVR platform, tailored to the region launching next month.

See Also:  Razer Announces $199 ‘Hacker Dev Kit’ VR Headset as Part of OSVR Initiative
See Also: Razer Announces $199 ‘Hacker Dev Kit’ VR Headset as Part of OSVR Initiative

Razer, along with VR specialists Sensics, is the driving force behind the Open Source Virtual Reality movement, launched during CES 2015 along with the platform’s flagship VR headset, the Hacker Development Kit (HDK). The idea behind OSVR is to encourage a free-flowing exchange of ideas by providing standardised software and hardware interfaces upon which enthusiasts and businesses alike can help the VR system evolve. That’s the theory at least.

Now, CEO and Co-founder of Razer, Min-Liang Tan, has gone on record saying that they have the fledgling Chinese virtual reality market, predicted by iiMedia to be worth 55 Billion Yuan (over $8bn USD) by 2020, firmly in their sights, and intend to dominate it. In an interview with the South China Morning Post Tan said that “We are going to make OSVR the de facto platform in China for virtual reality.”

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The statement is being followed next month with Razer unveiling their new Chinese focused VR product line-up at the country’s ChinaJoy Expo, to be held at Shanghai New International Expo Center through July 28-31. Razer’s Tan seems confident that these new devices will give them the initiative in the territory saying “China and Asia will be huge growth drivers for us.”

OSVR’s current flagship HDK, now on version 1.4, sells for $299.99 and offers an OLED display and positional tracking. But OSVR have recently begun teasing that they may reveal new hardware at next week’s E3 Expo, as well as a possible new software related initiative, at next week’s E3 Expo in LA.

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If Razer are to bring OSVR to China in a big way, it’ll have to be well priced, with high-end VR from the likes of HTC and Oculus expected to have a hard time gaining traction in a market currently dominated by mobile-centric solutions. Lisa Cosmas Hanson of Niko Partners, who describe themselves as “The Leader in Asian Games Market Intelligence”, says “Chinese gamers are extremely price sensitive, and therefore the higher priced products will have a tough time, but will be in high demand among a smaller subset of the gaming population,” and continues “We are forecasting flat growth for game consoles, and it is difficult to imagine that the availability of PlayStation VR would change that much.”

Overall though, Hanson is optimistic about the prospects for virtual reality in China and says that this optimism is shared by the powers that be in China, “The Chinese government sees VR as such a prominent segment that this year’s ChinaJoy conference will have special VR section,” Hanson says. “VR is very hot in China now.”

Road to VR will be at E3 in LA next week bringing you updates on this and anything else VR related from the show floor.


Disclosure: At the time of publishing, Razer is running advertisements on Road to VR

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  • DaKangaroo

    I say good luck to them!

    OSVR is a great idea and if the VR market needs anything right now, it needs a universal open source standard for VR devices, like HMDs, Gloves, Eye trackers, etc. If OSVR can achieve that, and make VR devices as universal as TVs, computer mice, gamepads, etc, that will be a huge boost to VR!

    When there’s one standard, no one is competing on platforms, everyone is just competing on quality and price. Small players can enter the market with smaller cheaper devices without the impossible challenge of competing against a propriety platform, while big players can focus on targeting the bigger end of the market with better quality hardware. And developers can confident target the open standard and know that they don’t have to worry about compatibility. Consumers can buy any device knowing with confidence that they will be able to enjoy all content without restrictions.

    VR enthusiasts benefit as well, the lack of compatibility problems means the market can grow at a rapid pace, because new hardware makers can enter the market with ease with new hardware for more options and competitive price points, able to sell to customers immediately because they don’t have to compete against an existing standard. Lower prices through increased competition draws in new consumers with lower or higher budgets, which in turn creates larger potential markets for game & software developers, encouraging them to develop for VR. More content means more reasons for users to buy VR hardware, which means more encouragement for hardware makers to enter the market. Snowball effect!

    The rapid adoption of first gen VR tech would establish consumer desire for increased immersion and better VR devices, such as new methods of locomotion, feedback, etc. With an established consumer market for such VR devices, industry would be more willing to invest in bringing new devices to the market to satisfy that urge. Thus we begin the never ending journey of generation after generation of increasingly more immersive VR tech, until we reach the inevitable result of full immersion at some point in the future.

    Or companies like Valve, Sony and Facebook can compete over exclusives, and kill the VR market due to fragmentation. Or worse still, one company could emerge as the king of a monopoly on the VR market, killing innovation in the first generation, again killing the VR market before it even has a chance to catch on.

    If OSVR is a success, everyone, from big companies like HTC, Valve, Oculus, Facebook, Google, to small companies and indie startups, to game developers, to gamers and people like us, we *all* win.

    If Razor can get OSVR established as the defacto standard across China, that’s a HUGE market, which would solidify OSVR’s base so there’s no chance of it slipping into irrelevance overnight, and give it a strong footing to stand on as it attempts to penetrate the western markets.

    Good luck Razor!

    • Mark Kiernan

      Good comment!

      • Badelhas

        Your comment was nice also!

    • DiGiCT Ltd

      HTC vive is not locked down, the aplication can be locked down because of roomscale, which other dont support yet or at least not that good due lack of hardware, the same for the tracked motion controllers.
      Valve already made SteamVR sdk/api and thats opensource as well it support as well rift as well as vive.
      The device lock down is pointed to the story of Oculus with blocking the revive by checking you really got a rift connected.
      If it is about prices yes OSVR already did something good about ti, all the technical data on how to make the HMD is on their site to make yourself by assemble yourself so you can make it cheap or even cheaper by trying cheaper components.

      China’s real problem is that the reality is very simple, most people with a good income make $300-$600 usd per month, there is the issue.
      Those rich stories you seen over the net are just very rare people, most people live in poverty below income of $200 usd a month.
      Asking someone to pay $2.000 for a VR is the issue, the price is painfull although they realy like the VR.
      The other part of it is many people live in appartments smaller as a total size 100 square meter also because of costs.
      Razor only can make it happen if they can make it really cheap.

      Also gogole made their standard by lauch of DayDream, this might be more successfull in China, one because of the price, second becuase you still have a value phone which can do other stufff too and 3rd many Chinese travel a lot long distances so it would enjoy them even during travel.

      I am a foreigner in China 8 years, also developing apps including VR.
      For Chinese market my focus will be a DayDream version as based on my forecast it will be the most benefitial here, although i hope razor can pull it off too.
      Currently most of my orders for apps come in are for AR apps which just run on current phones and pads, because it does not require high prices hardware to enjoy, for VR the “HOT” here is also mostly VR video to get cinema scale screens trough a simple cardbox design.
      VR video does not require much 3D rendering, the same for 360 videos they dont need high end to enjoy.

  • jlschmugge

    OSVR could very well hit the sweet spot in Western markets as well. If they stay under $400 bucks, it is way more attractive than Rift or Vive, even if it isn’t as high of quality. With the open source hardware, I also imagine a piece meal system that caters to a budget and choice of fidelity level. Fits the philosophy of the PC market very well.

  • sirlance

    Add room scale and they’ll be fine….