The OSVR HDK 2: a $400 VR headset with Rift & Vive-like specs


Oh, and it’s coming out next month. Surprise!

Razer and Sensics have teamed up to announce the Hacker Development Kit 2, or HDK 2, virtual reality headset.

The HDK 2 is part of the companies’ Open Source Virtual Reality consortium, which aims to “democratise” VR and allow for developers to more easily make games that work on multiple VR platforms, as Christopher Mitchell, Razer’s OSVR lead, explains:

The HDK 2 allows us to meet the needs of VR fans and gamers and provide developers with affordable open-source hardware to innovate with. With the HDK 2 being able to deliver a visual experience on par with industry leaders, we will now be able to represent hardware agnostic VR media and games in all their glory for future headsets to adopt through the open source ecosystem.

The HDK 2 itself has specs that are on-par with the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift, featuring the same resolution (2160×1200), refresh rate (90Hz), and field of view (110 degrees) as both other devices. It also includes image-enhancing technology, which Razer claims will help reduce that annoying screen door effect that plagues a lot of VR devices.

While it doesn’t come with dedicated controllers like the Vive, it will be compatible with any hardware that’s made to work with OSVR (such as Neurodigital Technologies’ Gloveone motion tracking gloves), plus any standard PC game controller.

The most important thing, though, is that the HDK 2 will be much cheaper than either the Rift or the Vive, being priced at $399 when it is released only next month (July 2016). That’s still the price of a brand new console, but it’s less likely to be sell-your-kidneys expensive for those who’ve been eager to give VR a try.

Maybe the wait for affordable, enthusiast-grade VR isn’t as far away as we may have thought? You can see pictures of the HDK 2, plus a specs comparison chart to the Rift and the Vive, in the gallery below.