Razer Supports OSVR Open Source Virtual Reality Standards with Its Hacker HMD - Niche Gamer Razer Supports OSVR Open Source Virtual Reality Standards with Its Hacker HMD - Niche Gamer

Razer Supports OSVR Open Source Virtual Reality Standards with Its Hacker HMD

PC peripherals’ Razer have announced themselves as advocates for open-source virtual reality, with a surprise showing at CES 2015.

A a Razer representative told Tom’s Hardware, developers are hesitant to support a single, proprietary standard, recognizing that to do so would be to hand over control of the VR industry to a single company. (The company being referenced is, of course, the now Facebook-owned Oculus.)

In response to this worry, Razer (alongside Ubisoft, Gearbox, Leapmotion, Sixense, and others) is supporting the OSVR, an Open Source Virtual-Reality standard, the goal of which is to provide hardware and software support for virtual reality gaming. This includes support for head-mounted displays (HMDs), game controllers, software engines, and device plug-ins across all operating systems.

Razer has designed a generic VR HMD in accordance with the OSVR standards that it calls the Hacker. The Hacker is not a prototype but a modular, customizable, configurable development tool, which has a sensor hub with integrated accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass; a 5.5″ full HD display capable of 1080p at 60 FPS; and an optics module that uses a two-lens setup for eye pressure relief and minimal distortion.

Since the headset is open-source hardware, Razer has made both the schematics and the 3D files freely available for download: people will be able to make it themselves.

Uniquely, the model uses a USB 3.0 belt box module, featured below, which significantly improves cable management over having wires connect directly to the user’s head.

razer hacker osvr open source virtual reality vr 2015-01-07 3

Those without the know-how or equipment will be able to buy the Razer’s Hacker Dev kit for just $200, which is $100 less than the Oculus currently costs. At that price, it’s unlikely that Razer will be making money from the Hacker; the team is apparently genuinely enthusiastic about an open virtual reality.

Razer expects the headset to begin shipping by June.

CES isn’t usually a hub for gaming news, but Razer’s presence this year has made the event newsworthy, gaming-wise. Apart from the OSVR endeavor, Razer also unveiled the results of its collaboration with Google, the new Forge TV console.

Dimi Gronnings


With over ten years' experience as an editor, Dimi is Niche Gamer's Managing Editor. He has indefinitely put a legal career on hold in favor of a life of video games: priorities.