Razer Pushes Forward with Virtual Reality
Valve’s HTC Vive and Facebook’s Oculus Rift are both available to consumers which has resulted in concerns as to whether or not their current computer will actually be able to work with the virtual reality platforms.
Piper Jaffray analyst, Gene Munster, says that only 10% of computers in the world today will be able to work with the virtual reality devices. He thinks that about 10% more of the computers in the world are able to be progressed through an AMD graphics card or Nvidia which costs another $300 or so. That means that people will need to invest in a new computer or at least a computer upgrade on top of the headsets.
Razer is a tech company that’s valued at over $1 billion dollars. The company got into virtual reality early on. Razer co founded the Open Source Virtual Reality (OSVR) program which is a virtual reality hardware and open software platform that’s made up of more than 300 companies that include Epic Games, Valve and Ubisoft among many others.
Razer even sent certain companies and game developers interested in developing content for virtual reality, their own $300 OSVR hardware development kit. Razer’s co-founder and CEO, Min-Liang Tan, said, “Presently, OSVR is positioned as a development tool with which hackers and developers of all stripes—casual gamers to students to engineers and technologists—can advance VR software and hardware without boundaries, seamlessly and collaboratively. VR has not seen practical use scenarios to-date, and the institutionalization of I/O (input/output) device form factors and functions is very much an outstanding issue, so our commitment is to offering the most open platform possible to allow the greatest innovation from wherever it might be found.”
In addition to that, Razer created Stargazer, which is a virtual reality camera that features Intel RealSense technology. The camera is set to ship in the second quarter of 2016 and is going to work with the OSVR system.
Now, Razer is giving people a different option via a hybrid laptop and desktop that will work with the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift.
The Razer Blade Stealth is $1,000 is able to be utilized while moving around and then plugged into the Razer Core desktop which costs about $400. When they’re connected, Nvidia’s graphics cards in the system will propel the VR experience.
Tan said, “For gamer-hackers, the laptop is perfectly suited for dev work with OSVR. The OSVR platform doesn’t demand enormous systems requirements, enabling the Blade to be a solution for VR development work on the go and generally. On the other end of the spectrum, Razer Core turns the Blade into a machine capable of actualizing the most graphics-intensive VR programs imaginable, and that capacity is upgradable.”
Another development was announced recently as Razer and Lenovo partnered together to form a line of new gaming computers with the goal of hitting the mass market. Tan noted that Razer is still focused on creating Razer computers for its core gaming audience and they recently launched the New Blade laptop that costs $2,000.
Tan said, “With our new direct-to-consumer approach we can sell premium products at lower prices. We expect to be one of the world’s biggest PC makers in the future.”
Razer has also been investing a lot of funds into eSports as many of their gamers enjoy watching eSports. Tan said, “Ultimately, the advent of I/O devices in concert with game architecture will determine how and when eSports and VR meet up. Eye-tracking and other sensor advents, controller ID, visual interfaces, and the like will certainly affect the way that games are played and, in fact, react to players. We’ll look forward to one or another publisher stepping up to tackle that proposition, and look forward to OSVR giving them cause to do so, soon.”