Starbreeze has struck a partnership with Acer to manufacture the StarVR headset and this is exciting news. Acer’s move is a much-anticipated one and in entering the virtual reality space, the company is following in the steps of Sony, Oculus, Samsung and HTC. Also, in light of Acer’s experience both in the PC and the smartphone market, the partnership is seen as very favorable for the Sweden-based game studio.
Last year Starbreeze, the game developers that created Payday 2, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons and The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Day announced the StarVR headset. The headset, set to be developed by InfinitEye, a company bought by Starbreeze, is to be used for arcade games and to be used at its own game arcade. Dubbed StarCade, Starbreeze’s project is based in Los Angeles and is expected to open its doors late spring or, most likely, in summer.
Although virtual reality is something that excites many, the new headset will likely not be sold on the mass market. Instead, it appears that the StarVR headset will be marketed to business customers, to be used at fairs and exhibitions.
Currently, the virtual reality market is expanding at a steady pace. By the end of the year, the number of VR headsets shipments is estimated to reach 6.3 billion. Moreover, China is expected to dominate the market in terms of shipments of VR headsets. As for the longer-term forecasts, market intelligence company Canalys is estimating that VR headset shipments will reach an impressive 70 billion units by 2020.
With such attractive prospects, the question on many people’s minds is whether computer manufacturers such as Lenovo, Dell and HP will also step in the virtual reality sector, eager to grab a share of the pie.
The Taiwan-based giant is expected to become deeply involved at all stages in the creation of the headset, from the design phase to manufacture and promotion. The StarVR will feature a field of view of 210 degrees, at a resolution of 5120 x 1440 pixels, something rivals at HTC and Oculus cannot currently provide. Therefore, buzz around the new Starbreeze- Acer partnership is certainly justified. However, at the moment there is no word on when the StarVR will be available.
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