If you're going to strap a virtual reality headset to your head, you want to feel like you're truly immersed in the environment, not like you're just watching content in a headset. Starbreeze and Acer have formed a joint venture to bring a better VR experience to the masses with its StarVR head-mounted display.
At least initially, the two companies will focus on theme parks and other location-based entertainment venues instead of the home market. Starbreeze had previously announced that it would be opening a VR arcade called StarCade in Los Angeles by this summer.
The Star VR's secrete weapon? The headset boasts a unique 210-degree field of view. This makes the viewing area considerably wider than the 110-degree view of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. By making your peripheral vision a part of the action, StarVR strives to make virtual reality feel real.
StarVR achieves its advantage over the competition by combining two quad HD displays for a total of 2560 x 1440 pixels for each eye, or a total of 5K resolution. The company's headset also incorporates position tracking using gyroscopes, accelerometers and magentometers along with real-time data processing.
Our friends at sister site Tom's Hardware had a chance to go hands-on with a StarVR prototype in October, and the upshot was that it felt like the future. "The effect of having the screen so close is quite impressive," said Kevin Carbotte. "I tried as hard as I could to make out the edges of the screen, but I was unable to. With the display on, your are fully immersed in the game."
According to the press release that announced this partnership, both Acer and Starbreeze will "cooperate on the design, manufacturing, promotion, marketing and sales of the StarVR HMD to the professional- and location-based entertainment market." But Acer will help bring the headset to market faster using its hardware expertise.
Starbreeze isn't just about hardware. The company also publishes VR games, including Payday 2 (a co-op bank robbing game) and it will make the upcoming John Wick VR shooter, plus a title based on the The Walking Dead.
Eventually, Acer and Starbreeze may try to bring StarVR to our homes. According to Gartner (via Bloomberg), sales with grow over 20 times over the next five years. But there's still a ton of people who have never tried virtual reality, which is why it's smart to start by introducing users to the best possible experience — to get them hooked.