Move over Sony, because Project Morpheus won’t be the only competition in town the Oculus Rift has to watch out for.
The Oculus Rift may have pushed VR technology closer to the perfect virtual immersion experience, but its creation also created something else: a new competitive field. While we already know Sony is now totally on the VR bandwagon with their own Project Morpheus, there’s actually another upcoming competitor. Introducing the ANTVR Kit, the virtual reality kit that might just create a whole new genre for VR gaming.
From a glance, the ANTVR Kit looks like an ordinary VR headset that is combined with a fancy light gun. Well, for the most part it is, but we’ll talk about that big ass gun later. The VR headset has a resolution of 1920×1080, which is auto-corrected for standard 4:3 resolution in each eye. It also has a viewing angle of 100 degrees, which is enhanced with a pair of aspherical lens to prevent distortions in the user’s field of vision (that might cause dizziness and further disorientation).
For its immersive VR experience, it boasts its nine-axis Inertial Measurement Unit, for tracking both your head’s position and movement. The space inside the headset is actually large enough so you can still wear the headset even if you’re wearing a pair of glasses. It also has a glance window, which are basically slits at the bottom of the VR headset to keep you in touch with the real world when needed.
As for the blaster/gun unit, it obviously has its default use in most FPS games, but what’s innovative and slightly gimmicky about this unit is its detachable handle. By default, it can be used like a Wiimote, but you can open the handle from the inside to reveal a regular game controller. An introduction video even demonstrates how to use the handle like a grenade by popping it out of the gun and doing a throwing motion with it (which hopefully won’t send the handle flying across the living room).
The ANTVR Kit is open-source, with its developers encouraging other developers to toy with the unit’s SDK and U2B modules to come up with more variations and concepts to the design’s hardware and software. It is also cross-platform, potentially compatible with most mainstream gaming platforms such as Android, Xbox, Playstation and PC.
But perhaps the most important part of the ANTVR Kit is that it is undeniably a lot cheaper. For as minimum as $300, pledgers on Kickstarter can have the ANTVR beta standard headset, complete with a bunch of other accessories and even a carry bag. The developers hope to complete the $200,000 goal by the end of June. However, with more than $100,000 already pledged to the project within just the first week, it’s more than likely that they would meet their goal far ahead of their schedule.