Showing us that the Lawnmower Man future is ever alive in the minds of tech developers and gamers, E3 this year has dedicated a lot of attention to virtual reality. Whether it’s Oculus’s pre-E3 showing of its Touch controllers and cloth-covered consumer headset, or Sony’s Morpheus (which took up much of its booth on the show floor), there’s been a lot of VR news. StarVR, however, a project from Starbreeze studios, has the potential to blow all of them away.
StarVR was born from Starbreeze’s purchase of InfinitEye, which previously discussed the potential for ridiculously high resolution set-ups in VR. At that time, it was conceptual more than actual, but the actual realization is now what the guys at Starbreeze claim to have made. Their StarVR headset is an HMD that is capable of a 5,120 x 1,440 pixel resolution and an even more ridiculous 210-degree viewing angle.
This is far in excess of what Oculus, Sony, or even HTC are offering, so it’s raising some speculative eyebrows from developers and consumers alike. Still, this isn’t just a concept image. There’s real footage of the hardware in question and it’s being demoed on the show floor as we speak.
Each headset is said to feature twin 5.5″ QHD displays, which help deliver not only the high resolution but the viewing angle as well. This should offer a display big enough to cover a user’s peripheral vision and even full eye movement. We’re also told it will operate at a 90Hz refresh rate, which is great for those that are worried about nausea.
What it won’t be great for is people’s PCs. High frame rates are mandatory for VR to avoid motion sickness and Oculus’ recommended specs for its much more pedestrian CV1 (2,160 x 1,200 resolution, 90Hz) is said to require at least a current gen. i5 CPU and a GTX 970/AMD 290 or better.
Even if Starbreeze releases this headset to consumers in a timely fashion, it will be very, very difficult to run games at comfortable frame rates at that resolution. Doing so will likely be very expensive in comparison to its competitors’ products as well, and mass-market appeal is therefore going to be difficult to obtain. And as Techspot points out, this is a headset that’s been described as heavy, suffers problems with ghosting, and can run into calibration issues.
Still, show of hands — who wants one?