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Oculus Rift vs. StarVR: The Beginning of the VR Wars - Stocks in the News

Zacks Research Staff

Roughly one week ago, here at Zacks, we covered the premier of Facebook’s (FB) Oculus Rift. From its deal with Microsoft allowing the headset to stream Xbox One games to having limited competition, the Oculus Rift appeared to be a prime candidate to seize the virtual reality gaming market.


However, recently at E3, Swedish video game producer Starbreeze Studios unveiled its plans for its new virtual reality headset called the StarVR. The promotional video from their website is extremely promising.



Gamers have to be giddy after watching this video because this VR headset looks simply amazing. Let’s breakdown what makes the StarVR headset a bonafide opponent to the Oculus Rift.


The Technology


“People say ‘immersive’ all the time,” says Starbreeze producer Tyler Sparks. “But they don’t really understand what that means. This is immersive. When you’re in there, the things you hear, see, it’s almost indistinguishable from reality. Which is a little intimidating!”


Figure 1: Panoramic View of Headsets

Mr. Sparks is not exaggerating. The Oculus Rift has a 100-degree field of view, which simply does not compare to the StarVR’s 210-degree field of view, almost completely emulating human peripherals. Mr. Sparks is also referring to the intimidating experience from the upcoming Overkill/505 Games production The Walking Dead, where users use an interactive shotgun to survive in the post-apocalyptic zombie world.


Figure 2: StarVR Specs

This immersive panoramic view is paired up with impressive resolution as well. Starbreeze is labeling the StarVR as a “5K” headset. The headset consists of two 5.5-inch displays each packing a 2560×1440 resolution. That is a combined definition of 5120×1440, which is technically a lower total pixel count than 4K, yet is still absolutely stunning resolution.

Forbes reported a few days ago that the StarVR has committed to supporting the Steam OpenVR framework. “That’s a wise choice,” the article reads, “as you can be assured Valve is positioning themselves to be a leader in both VR design and publishing. The VR landscape will still inevitably become fragmented, but it’s great to see Starbreeze siding with a key player.”


Starbreeze’s CEO Bo Andersson Klint states that “Starbreeze’s vision is to become a leader in the entertainment industry by delivering world class experiences. The landscape of entertainment is transforming and we strongly believe VR will be a big part of the story of our industry going forward. Our StarVR aims at bringing the next generation entertainment experiences to reality.”


What This Means for the Oculus Rift and the VR Market


The gaming community may be in for a potential Microsoft (MSFT) vs. Sony (SNE) type of battle for virtual reality supremacy, where Sony’s (SNE) Project Morpheus plays the role of Nintendo (NTDOY).


Pricing is going to be very important since users will need to also pay for powerful gaming computers just to use the headsets. That’s unless a person already owns a computer with the capability to run the operating systems of the headsets.


Along with streaming video games via the internet, if the StarVR, Oculus Rift, and the other VR headsets deliver on their high expectations (especially the promise of the StarVR), humanity will be entering alternate 3-dimentional worlds in the comfort of their living rooms soon enough.

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