Everyone has been rather excited at the news of the Oculus Quest. A proper 6DoF, all-in-one mobile VR headset seems like the perfect product to help get the VR market where it deserves to be. While Oculus has already announced the product, the actual release of the Quest is still some time away. With only a vague “coming in 2019” to tide us over.
While the Quest is the first 6DoF mobile headset of its kind to be announced, it seems it won’t be the first you can actually buy. That honor is now likely to go to the Shadow VR. A new headset by Shadow Creator, using the HTC Wave open platform.
Not a Shadow of a Doubt
It’s called the Shadow VR and is certainly no quick cash in on the anticipation for the Quest, Under the hood the Shadow headset is very respectable indeed. It uses the same Snapdragon 835 chipset found in the Vive Focus and yesteryear’s flagship smartphones, unburdened by the need to also act as a smartphone and undoubtedly running with far fewer thermal limitations.
The display is a 1440p panel and thanks to this and the optics you’ll get a very nice 110 degree field of view. Shadow Creator is also including inside-out tracking technology. The breakthrough approach to VR motion tracking that makes a 6DoF mobile headset feasible in the first place. To complete the package Shadow have also created and included 6DoF controllers, which goes along with the inside-out tracking.
All in the Family
Thanks to the open platform that HTC has provided, we can expect more and more Vive Focus compatible headsets will be showing up in due time. In fact, the Shadow VR isn’t the first announced Wave-based headset. That honor goes to the Pico Neo, but it too hasn’t beaten the Shadow to release. Right now the Shadow VR headset as been available since November 11 for the reasonable price of $399. The Pico Neo is only available to business clients at this point.
Time will tell if the headsets like the Shadow will eat into the early sales of the Oculus Quest. In the end what it really comes down to are the app libraries. HTC is offering a substantial amount of software through Wave, but then again the Oculus store has grown much as well. The sales figures in the coming months will make for interesting reading.