It’s day two at E3, and we are pleased to say that it has been just as exciting as day one. Today, we had an opportunity to meet with Andrew from AntVR to discuss their cross platform, open-source virtual reality headset.
Some of you may be asking, “why another VR headset?” We already have Oculus, Samsung Gear, Project Morpheus, and Microsoft’s HoloLens (AR), which are already taking the gaming and VR world by storm. While the AntVR may seem similar to these other headsets, there are some differences that really differentiate it from its competition.
AntVR is the only headset that is compatible on a number of different platforms. Currently, the headset is compatible with PC, Xbox, PlayStation, Android, and Blu-ray. This is a major selling point for the AntVR as other headsets are only compatible with games developed specifically for the headset built. For example Oculus is only compatible with games developed specifically for it. Project Morpheus can only be used on the PS4 and Microsoft’s HoloLens will only be compatible with Windows 10 devices. For those users who play a number of different platforms, you will be able to enjoy a VR headset that can be used across all the different platforms you have.
AntVR can connect to your console, PC or mobile device via HDMI cable. AntVR does have a wireless headset that utilizes WHDI, a relatively new wireless technology that provides HD video wireless to the headset. AntVR has indicated that they have been able to use WHDI while maintaining latency of less than 1 milisecond.
The headset has a 1920×1080 HD display and utilizes an aspherical lens (Oculus uses spherical) which provides less distortion and allows you to see pictures in a standard ratio. This ensures that every pixel remains in sharp focus. The headset also gives you a 100-degree diagonal field of view which is 10 degrees more than the Project Morpheus VR headset.
Along with the headset comes a transformable controller. Yes, the controller actually transforms but don’t expect Optimus Prime to appear. Because of the built-in 9-axis gyro, the controller can be used as a gun, joystick, lightsaber, standard controller or a steering wheel.
We had a chance to give the AntVR headset a try in a couple of capacities. The first demo we tried was simply a tech demo. We were able to look around in a variety of environments to test the VR headset. While it was definitely impressive, I did notice a bit more latency than my experience using the Oculus Rift. It’s worth noting that AntVR is still in the early stages of development and items such as latency are likely to improve prior to launching as a consumer product.
We also had a chance to try out the headset and the controller to compete in a Counter Strike-esk first person shooter. It was impressive to be able to look around, control the direction of the gun using the motion control, and use the joystick to move. There is definitely a learning curve associated with using motion controls in tandem with a control stick that’s location is different than the normal gamepad control stick. I noticed a challenge in orienting myself using the control stick in both my experience today with AntVR as well as yesterday in my demo with the PPgun. As the technology catches on, so will our muscle memory and the experience will only improve. Overall, it was an enjoyable experience; even if I was the loser in the match.
What are you thoughts? Do you think that the AntVR will be able to compete with Oculus, Samsung, and Microsoft? let us know what you think in the comment section below.