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Posted November 9, 2016 by Adam Ghiggino in Feature
 
 

PAX AUS 2016: Razer Showcases OSVR and more at PAX


You couldn’t walk down a single block in the exhibition hall of PAX Australia this year without seeing some kind of VR technology on display, and Razer was no exception, hosting their own OSVR platform with a HDK2 headset. OSVR, of course, stands for Open Source VR Gaming – open source software that connects different brands of VR hardware together to form a cohesive ecosystem that allows hardware manufacturers to come up with the best VR technology they can think of without restrictions. The idea is that OSVR provides a platform for small or independent developers, whether they be software or hardware, to gain access to all the content shared by the open source community.

During E3, Razer launched a $5 million developer fund and have received hundreds of applicants, with the first 12 titles already selected and even more to come, which they anticipate will open the ecosystem for both players and devs.

The demo at Razer’s booth was simple, but exciting, placing you in the body of a repairbot in a dropship during some futuristic war. While the headband was a little tight for my fat head, the resolution of the headset was impressive – while there were still visible pixels, the screen-door effect that can be seen on other headsets was reduced somewhat, thanks to a film placed on the screen in the HDK2 headset, along with special lenses that are intended to decrease distortion.

The HDK2 headset itself is aimed at developers and enthusiasts, with a resolution of 1080×1200 per eye at 90hz and retailing for about AU $650. Like OSVR, the device is open source and modular, meaning that if you want to open it up and improve it yourself, you’re more than welcome to.

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On the other side of the booth, Razer was also showing off their Razer Broadcaster Suite, aimed at gamers who want to start their streaming their own gameplay, whether it’s for amateur or professional purposes. The pro-quality Seiren microphone and relatively miniscule Ripsaw capture card are just two pieces of the puzzle – what’s really impressive is the Razer Stargazer webcam. With two lenses and an IR sensor, the camera is built similarly to the Xbox Kinect, with an added bonus for streamers – on the fly matte-ing without the need to key in a green screen. What that means is it can remove the background surrounding a talent as they broadcast, actively identifying what counts as background and what does not. It’s a great way for people without the tools to set-up their own chroma key to get started in streaming.

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Of course, Razer’s range of laptops, mice and keyboards were available for testing and play by the passing populace, but perhaps the most noticeable among these was the Razer Ornate Chroma – Razer’s first foray into hybridising mechanical and membrane-style keyboards. Noting that switching to a fully mechanical keyboard can feel a little weird to those unfamiliar with them, the Ornate Chroma was designed to bring the best of both worlds into one keyboard – with customisable LED lighting and a pretty sweet leather wrist-rest as well.

To check out Razer’s full suite of hardware, head to their official website.


Adam Ghiggino

 
Owner, Executive Editor of Rocket Chainsaw. I also edit TV, films and make average pancakes.


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