Acer and Starbreeze Join StarVR Headset Project
The head-mounted display of StarVR will first target the entertainment industry and theme parks. A consumer version might be offered later on.
The designing, building, marketing, and promoting of the upcoming StarVR headset will be done by Acer in collaboration with Starbreeze, and the headset will be used in theme parks and in the entertainment industry. The two companies will, however, also have a joint-venture agreement on this.
Starbreeze Partners Up with Acer for StarVR Headset Project
The coming together of the two companies is aimed at developing the StarVR headset, which is a head-mounted display that Starbreeze has had in the pipeline for over a year so as to make VR services available to a wider range of customers in entertainment facilities dedicated to virtual reality around the world.
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Early designs of the intended product have been showcased at gaming events by Starbreeze over the past year since French company Infinite Eye was acquired by the company. Infinite Eye originally created the StarVR HMD concept, Starbreeze shared, and it was acquired alongside its Engineering team. Starbreeze announced its pursuance of the StarCade initiative all in a bid to broaden its VR headset strategy in January. The initiative aims to create and build interactive virtual reality entertainment centers where customers can go to immerse themselves in premium VR experiences.
“Since our launch in June 2015, we have had an amazing start with StarVR,” Bo Andersson Klint, CEO of Starbreeze, said in a statement. “By partnering with Acer, we shift gears yet again to firmly position us as the leader in top-end VR experiences. Acer is an excellent, experienced, and prominent hardware partner that will accelerate us in realizing and producing a high-definition, high-fidelity VR headset.”
Klint also said that their company had “been working with a clear road map for our VR strategy from day one, and [we] are now about to realize one of the first major collaborations we set out to achieve. The future for StarVR is now set and extremely exciting.”
At the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in June 2015, Starbreeze showed off its StarVR headset plans when it demonstrated it. Maeva Sponbergs, a spokesperson for Starbreeze, responded to eWeek via e-mail, addressing inquiries about how public demos have given small groups of consumers a chance to try out the early version of the headsets, including on a tour last fall for Overkill’s The Walking Dead video game. “We have built several headsets that had been used by consumers on that tour,” she wrote in her response. “All early headsets built so far have been internally created units.”
The deal they have with Acer is “pending completion” and also pending the approval of the board of each company. She said, “We still have to have discussions to close the contract. No specifications or pricing information has yet been announced about the future StarVR headset.”
According to Sponbergs, while the entertainment industry and amusement parks will be the first to get the device, there is the possibility that a consumer version will be available too.
President and CEO of Acer, Jason Chen, said in a statement that his company is “thrilled to join forces with Starbreeze in bringing the StarVR head-mounted display to the market.” Chen shared that they are “devoting R&D resources across multiple aspects of the VR ecosystem for a coherent and high-quality experience.”
Acer unveiled a renewed line of products with a wide range of new notebooks, gaming machines and a new Chromebook in a high level launch event. The devices launched included the Predator 17 X gaming notebook and a Predator G1 desktop machine, which are both aimed at gaming and VR enthusiasts.
New entrants are continuously contributing to the growth of the VR headset market.
Last fall, Samsung’s $100 Gear VR headset went on sale. The headset allows users to see video games and movies in a more immersive new ways according to an eWeek story published earlier. The Samsung’s GearVR is a consumer version of the Oculus Rift VR headset.
VR game play on PlayStation is expected to be improved when Sony’s PlayStation VR headset gets released in October.