Razer HDK 2 VR headset pre-orders open

Get the open source Vive and Rift rival soon

Razer has started taking pre-orders for its new open source HDK 2 VR headset, which debuted at E3 earlier this year.

Shipping for the latest headgear from Razer and Sensics' OSVR platform will begin on 29 July at the very tempting price of $399 – lower than the rival Oculus Rift ($599) and HTC Vive ($799) devices.

The 'Hacker Dev Kit 2' boasts a 2160 x 1200 dual OLED display, respectable 90 Hz refresh rate and 110-degree field of view – a considerable improvement over its predecessor, the 1920 x 1080 OLED, 60 Hz HDK 1.4.

The upgraded headset also features 'Image Quality Enhancement' technology for reduced screendoor effect and individual eye focus tuning for a sharp and clear picture, although no glasses are allowed.

There were encouraging talks of an IR camera being included and this has proved to be the case, giving users the addition of positional tracking. Current HDK 1.4 owners will be able to upgrade their devices to the new display, a perk of modular headsets.

Initial sales of the HDK 2 will only be available in the US and EU. However, don't fret if you live in the Asia-Pacific region, availability look set to drop there in a few weeks' time.

The Descent: Underground and Radial G: Racing Revolved games will be bundled in with pre-orders through to 28 July for a handy bonus, although this is "while supplies last".

At E3, Razer's booth demoed the Gloveone motion tracking gloves from Neurodigital.

As ever, the question is what will you be able to do on a Hacker Dev Kit? It's showing off a couple of new apps and games, none of which are very big or flashy: racing game RedOut by 34Big Things, self-explanatory Theme Park Studio by Pantera Entertainment, first person horror game The Hum: Abductions from Totwise Studios, the episodic Infinite by Project Gateway and sci-fi gallery shooter A-19 by Futuretown.

Read this: The OSVR apps, games and experiences to download

"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," said Christopher Mitchell, OSVR lead at Razer. "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."


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