Samsung released their new version of Gear VR at World Mobile Congress 2017 (MWC 2017), where its rival LG is out of the way. Dominating the PC virtual world, HTC Vive developed its own headset along with hand-tracking controller. But now, LG is the next company to bring out their SteamVR platform at the Game Developers Conference (GDC 2017). The headset is created by involving the use of SteamVR Tracking technology and OpenVR API, features that can bring about the same Steam-powered content ecosystem as the Vive. The appearance of a new competitor brings new challenges to both Samsung and HTC.
LG’s system is similar to the Vive in terms of using the same SteamVR platform, including the room-scale technology. The headset, however, brings more features than any other headsets out there. LG’s VR goggles can flip up without removing the whole thing. This feature allows game developers who are constantly jumping in and out of VR when developing games. It looks a lot like PlayStation VR with similar plastic headstrap and lock mechanism. The prototype is now relying on a separate pair of headphones, which we hope to have it intact once the consumer version rolls out.
The headset is a 3.64-inch diagonal OLED display with 1440×1280 resolution per eye, a refresh rate of 90 Hz and a 110-degree field of vision, with convex and non-Fresnel lens. It beats both Vive (1080×1200 pixels) and Rift in terms of resolutions, but otherwise they are neck and neck. It is obvious LG isn’t messing around in this round of development.
While HTC Vive’s controllers have round and circular ends, LG’s are morphed into elongated pentagons. The touchpad has been moved to the wand, as people were often to press it by accident on the Vive’s controllers. The handheld controllers are a little lighter and flimsier than the standard Vive’s. Both controller and headset were tracked by two corner-mounted, LG-made Lighthouse tracking boxes, identical to that of HTC’s.
LG’s assistant research engineer, Richard Taylor, said that the headset will be priced similarly to its competitors, the Vive and Oculus Rift, estimated around $700-$800. LG plans to have its headset out by the end of 2017, having the designs unconfirmed.
Related article: Meet the new HTC Vive controller for your Oculus Rift
Check out the demo video below: