Razer eyes an open source future for virtual reality with OSVR

Even now, years after Oculus VR first made waves on Kickstarter, virtual reality continues to be a buzzy, in-development prospect that delights CES attendees every year. The show’s 2015 edition is no different, with all manner of comers stepping up to share their own take on fully immersive head-mounted displays. Razer’s entry into the space is absolutely no surprise, but the company’s execution certainly is: “The Android of VR,” according to co-founder and CEO Min-Liang Tan.

Meet OSVR, Razer’s long-in-development VR platform. It’s the product of more than four years of development effort, but you shouldn’t view it as an Oculus Rift competitor. OSVR is open source, with hardware and software design — the products of the company’s multi-year effort — available for everyone to play with.

Available at: Razer Store

In order to understand what OSVR is, it’s important to know what it isn’t. Razer hasn’t developed an operating system; the software and hardware is built to work with Android, Linux, and Windows. It’s also not a single headset or a line of HMDs; Razer has and will sell a headset of its own design, but anyone is free to download the plans and build one independently.

OSVR-Hacker-Dev-Kit-4

And again: OSVR isn’t an Oculus competitor. The software is built to play as nice with the Rift (and other headsets) as it will with Razer’s own unit and those built off of Razer’s specs. The focus of OSVR is entirely on gaming, Tan tells us, and it’ll be supported by plugins for everything from input devices to game engines.

That’s not a vague promise of support, either. Razer is already working with a diverse assortment of industry figures: Game developers like Techland (Dying Light) and Gearbox Software (Borderlands series); game engine gatekeepers like Unreal and Unity; and input device manufacturers like Leapmotion and Sixense.

Razer expects to launch its VR initiative in June 2015. The OSVR Hacker Dev Kit is priced at $200 — though again, tech-oriented tinkerers can download all the info they need to build their own — and the company will start taking pre-orders at CES.

We’ll be getting a firsthand look at the headset and chatting with Razer about OSVR at the show, so stay tuned for more details soon.

Emerging Tech

Why wait? Here are some CES 2019 gadgets you can buy right now

Companies come to CES to wow us with their cutting edge technology, but only a few products are slated to hit the market right away. Here is our list of the best CES 2019 tech you can buy right now.
Deals

Here are 20 portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

If you're looking for portable tech to keep you charged up while on the go (or for some great small gift ideas), we've rounded up 20 must-have gadgets. You'll find everything from a mini gaming controller to a folding Bluetooth keyboard.
Virtual Reality

Think virtual reality is just for games? These awesome apps will change your mind

Virtual reality isn't all about gaming. Swim with turtles, paint in 3D, and immerse yourself in some unique experiences the platform has to offer with our curated list of the best VR apps.
Deals

From Air to Pro, here are the best MacBook deals for January 2019

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.
Computing

You could be gaming on AMD’s Navi graphics card before the end of the summer

If you're waiting for a new graphics card from AMD that doesn't cost $700, you may have to wait for Navi. But that card may not be far away, with new rumors suggesting we could see a July launch.
Gaming

Sharing your best gameplay moments is quick and easy on the Xbox One

The current generation of consoles make it easier than ever to share your gaming highlights with the world. Here's a quick guide on how you can record a gameplay video on Xbox One.
Gaming

Blizzard’s latest hiring spree is likely for the unannounced ‘Diablo 4’

Activision Blizzard is hiring for more than a dozen positions on unannounced Diablo projects. Some of the roles are likely for the unannounced Diablo 4, the next mainline entry in the series.
Gaming

Everything we know about 'Red Dead Online', including the new mode Gun Rush

Red Dead Online will gradually rolled out to Red Dead Redemption 2 players via a beta. We've got all the details about the beta's suite of competitive and cooperative modes, as well as what to expect going forward.
Gaming

Xbox One X vs. PS4 Pro: Which console is more powerful?

Far from cooling down, the console wars are only getting more intense. We compare Microsoft's Xbox One X to Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro to help you decide which premium console is right for you.
Gaming

Fortnite V-Bucks being used by criminals for money laundering on dark web

Criminals are using Fortnite's V-Bucks for money laundering schemes on the dark web. Epic Games, apparently, is not doing enough to prevent the game from being used for the illegal activity.
Gaming

Relive the 8-bit gaming era with the best NES emulators for Android and PC

For years prior to the release of the NES Classic, emulators have offered a means to every NES game ever created without needing the console. Here are the best NES emulators for Android and PC.
Gaming

Mortal Kombat 11 Kollector’s Edition comes with a life-size Scorpion mask

The Mortal Kombat 11 Kollector's Edition will come with a human-sized replica of the mask of Scorpion, one of the most iconic fighters of the series. NetherRealm Studios has also announced the game's preorder bonuses.
Gaming

Xbox app lets you access your console while away from home. Here's how

Microsoft's Xbox allows you to access your profile information and launch media content directly from your mobile device. Check out our quick guide on how to connect your smartphone to an Xbox One.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!