Normally, when you fail at a Kickstarter campaign, it’s the end of the road for you. Sometimes, however, either because of not taking the hint or really believing, companies will continue with their dream. This is the case with MVR Global, a British VR company. Even though they failed their Kickstarter, they have carried on with their goal of releasing a cross-platform VR headset in 2017.
Who is MVR Global?
MVR Global was founded by brothers Sachin and Samir Patel in 2012. In 2015 they were joined by Koonal Patel and Sachin Varland. In 2016, MVR Global published a Kickstarter campaign for their product, the MVR Ascend. It promises a great deal, mainly that it is cross-platform. Cross-platform, as in everything from mobile to PC, to consoles are supported with the headset. How the headset can achieve this isn’t clear, but according to their main site and Kickstarter page they have patent-pending technology which enables this cross-play. The Kickstarter also promised to include specialised controllers of your choice.
MVR Global promised a lot in their kickstart, but they only managed to raise £15,000, about 10% of their goal. Their last update reads: “In just over an hour our Kickstarter campaign will end. Unfortunately, it did not go the way we wanted, and we are quite disappointed and surprised at the result, especially considering the good press reviews we had.
“There are some factors we feel contributed to this outcome, but to dwell on these issues would only make this situation harder to contemplate. So we are not going to dwell on this, we are not going to let this Kickstarter campaign drag us down, and we will endeavour to bring the Ascend to market. We all know that Kickstarter in no way represents the views of the whole consumer universe, and so do professional investors. We have some these investors lined up that believe in the product as much as we do and we are confident that we will find others and with their combined help, bring the MVR Ascend to reality (pun intended!)”
What is MVR Ascend
Thanks to eleventh-hour investors, it seems that we will see the MVR Ascend on the market. So what exactly does it do? It’s a headset which doesn’t look too different from existing models. The obvious difference is a lack of a cable, which was a major selling point. There is also a flip-up front to slide your smartphone into. In fact, that is how you do all of your VR entertainment with this headset. When you’re not using your phone, MVR has their own special screen which streams from whichever source you choose. If you have an iPhone, you need to use this screen, because MVR Global’s app is not compatible with that phone at this time.
There are also built-in headphones, rather than having to awkwardly slot your own over the top. Whether the headphones are any good is unknown, but you can’t swap them. MVR also have this interesting sensor which they promise mimics any input you select. However, the patent for this technology is still awaiting approval.
One final promise to note is that MVR says that all current XBox and PS4 games can be played in VR. Now, this is a bit of a cheat, because it involves the mapping of the right analogue stick to your head. However, it’s probable that when real VR titles start pouring in the MVR can support these as well.
MVR Global put the price of their product on Kickstarter at S$357 for the headset with a PS4 controller. For the Xbox 1 Controller, the price was put at S$484. The price bump is down to the inclusion of MVR’s streaming screen because you can stream PS4 content to your Android phone. If you wanted both controllers, the price was an amazing S$700, which comes with two controllers and ships worldwide. By contrast, the HTC Vive is still sitting at over S$1300. Currently, the headsets are not available for pre-order, but you can sign up on their website here.