$6,000 XTAL Headset Has What VR Needs: Hands-On


Nov 7, 2016
Why so you need to wait 5years and spend $2k on graphics to run something basic on it? You can't just up the resolution nadhir. You have to take current tech into consideration. Not to mention a dual 8k res screens would cost you like 20k per screen... if they even existed at that size.


Aug 14, 2015
There is no reason for this to cost so much, other than you know from the beginning you won't sell very many. There is nothing in the specs that denote better performance other than the higher resolution, which is done with two 2560x1440 OLED smartphone panels and a custom lens which probably cost $200-$300. The fact the framerate of 70Hz reflects what most standard phone panels can achieve, and you only have 3DOF with hand tracking provided by either Leap Motion or Fingo which you can attach to any HMD for hand tracking for less than $100, makes this seem like an extremely expensive HMD that you could buy three Vive Pros for, or if you are willing to wait 90 days, several PiMax 5K + with actual controllers.

However it would be cool though if they offered their lens design as aftermarket product for other headsets.
It is an interesting tech demo, that is for sure. However I don't quite think that LeapMotion is going to be the way forward for hand tracking. Yes it is cool, and I even want to get one, but Google's new low power radar tracking would make for a much more interesting tracking solution. With embedded sensors in the headset and a tracking base on the desk you could get extremely fine full body movements. The 180 degree FOV is pretty darn impressive as well, and is something that should have been a goal since day 1.

I think that VR has a ways to go before it is really ready with everything up until now being pretty much public beta testing. That isn't to say that VR isn't fun and really cool to play with, I have a WMR system and love the heck out of it. I just think we have quite a bit in the realm of refinement before VR is everything we've ever wanted, and this makes for an interesting step in the right direction. What isn't a step in the right direction are these stand alone cell phone based "solutions" and such. I know that getting people interested in VR is a necessary step, but showing them a dumbed down experience isn't going to win many followers.

Current headsets need a price drop to get reasonable headsets into the hands of users and makers need to swing for the moon with new designs. Conservative designs aren't going to win supporters. The thing with VR is that it is all or nothing. You either have an immersive experience, or you have a fancy box you strap to your face that is just a really close 3D monitor. I can't tell you how often the controllers get in the way, or the headset slides around, or I snag my earbuds and pull them out, or I snag the headset cable. All those things break immersion. The current displays are fine as long as you aren't looking for the screen door (I never notice the screen door in games, but I do on the desktop), but everything else is cobbled together and kludgy. I know there are some solutions out there for some of these, but I travel a lot so some of them just won't work for me (hence the WMR, no tracking stations). Eventually someone will have to get it right, or VR won't survive.