The field of virtual reality is booming, with big names like HTC and even Alphabet working hard to make the new technology mainstream in the near future. Naturally, this means that everybody who's anybody is developing, buying, partnering with or otherwise finding something to hop on the VR train with. Acer, known for its TravelMate laptops, budget Android phones and Predator gaming lineup, is going the partner route. Specifically, they've finalized an arrangement that sees them shacking up with Swedish game developer Starbreeze, famous for hits like Syndicate and The Darkness. The plan is to create a joint venture that the two will funnel cash into as needed, with the goal being to create an ultra high-end VR headset for a limited release later this year and mass production in 2017.
The joint venture will be in the form of a full-on company, to be known as Acer Starbreeze Corporation. The venture will be focused on the creation of the StarVR headset, which will be helped along in production by a partnership with IMAX. The headset itself will boast a 210 degree horizontal display, with quad displays in each eye for a total resolution of 5120 x 1440. Allegedly, this will be enough to allow users to look around and alleviate the "black box" effect common in VR. Rather than using a low-res solution like Microsoft's SparseLightVR or using a depth of field trick like a solution dreamed up by University of Columbia researchers, Acer and Starbreeze have chosen to take the high road and emulate actual human vision about as closely as possible without resorting to a circular, full-face display.
The StarVR system will be targeting high-end uses, mostly "location-based", as it's referred to in the press release. The headsets will be popping up in theaters, at video game arcades and in training simulations. The press release did not mention a target price for the headset, only saying that the joint corporation will have about $25 million to play with during development. The high-end headset will be available in limited quantities at some point in 2016, with a wider rollout in 2017, though whether that will simply mean more locations or if it means that consumers will be able to buy it was not announced.