Monday, 26 June 2017 21:38

REVIEW: OSVR HDK2 VR Headset (Hardware)

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Virtual Reality seems to be big business these days with no signs of slowing down anytime soon. There are already a few VR headsets on the market, such as the VIVE, Oculus RIFT and PlayStation VR, the main issue with all these consumer headsets is the price, they're all pretty expensive, but Razer have bridged that gap by releasing the HDK2 headset powered by OSVR which provides VR to the masses at a budget price.

So what is OSVR? OSVR is an open source VR platform that gives you the freedom to combine different brands of head mounted displays and controllers so that players can experience VR without limits, and the OSVR HDK2 VR headset is fully OSVR supported.

Now, the HDK2 kit is more or less aimed toward the hack & developer community, but don’t let that scare you off because you are provided with the fancy new “HDK Windows Installer” which is more consumer friendly. Now, on saying that, I didn’t find the HDK2 entirely plug & play perfect. While I got everything up and running quite quickly, I did have some issues getting it to work within SteamVR itself. After a quick google search I found I needed a few files to copy over into the Steam client and away I went. Steam found the headset correctly and everything started working perfectly.



vr ready devices



Being Open Source (OSVR) the VR community such as GitHub have already started patching and modding games in SteamVR and even Oculus exclusive games. Being OSVR, you’ll even have the choice of controller combinations that’s supported such as Leap Motion, VIVE wands, RIFT motion controller, Playstation Move Controllers and of course the Razer Hydra. If you’re not ready to fork out for some motion controllers, that’s OK, there is still plenty of games on SteamVR that don’t require them.

So, what's new in the latest iteration of the OSVR HDK headset? First up, HDK2 is a large improvement over the previous 1.4 version with specs that are equal to, if not better than say the VIVE and RIFT headsets. The HDK2 display now features 2160 x 1200 441 ppi dual-display as well as improved frame rate of 90hz and is officially supported by NVIDIA. Now I have a AMD card, and I can tell you there is BETA support for AMD users which work very well. I had no issues at all once I got it up and running. The HDK2 has a dual lens design which allows you to change the focus of individual lens on the fly, a great feature for those who wear glasses.
8823085400094Also out of the box, the HDK2 comes with a small IR camera which is used for head tracking. This works by the IR camera reading the hidden LEDs in the headset faceplate. There was no calibration required and I achieved the full 360 degree tracking without any hassles at all with the headset responding to every move very well.

The headset itself I found to be very comfortable to wear. It comes with soft foam padding for around the eyes and a large adjustable strap. I did find that the lens steamed up a little, but nowhere near as bad as they do when i’m playing Playstation VR.

All in all, the OSVR HDK2 is impressive and a cheap option for those that want to start getting into VR. While you’ll still need a minimum spec’d PC for VR ready games, the HDK2 supports most VR titles and is capable of producing the same visual quality as other leading headsets. With the price coming in at half the cost of say the VIVE, those that are in the market for a VR headset, the HDK2 is a no brainer. Also, right now you can pick up the HDK2 from the Razer website for only AU$487.46 after their current 25% deal. 

Minimum Requirements

* Graphics Card: Nvidia GTX970
* CPU: 2 GHZ QUAD CORE CPU
* Memory: 2GB+ RAM
* Video Output: HDMI 1.3
* Connections: x3 USB 3.0
* OS: Windows 7 SP1 Or Newer, OS X

If you’d like to find out more about the Razer HDK2 VR headset, please visit: https://www2.razerzone.com/au-en/store/hdk2       

Additional Info

  • Review Score: 4.5 / 5.0
  • Release Date: Out Now
  • Platform: PC
  • Developer: Razer
  • Publisher: Razer
  • Genre: Hardware
  • URL: https://www2.razerzone.com/au-en/store/hdk2