The Next@Acer event serves as an opportunity for Acer to show off new upcoming hardware and software in development with partners. Starbreeze studios’ influence continues to be peppered throughout the virtual reality industry and they took the stage during Acer’s event to show off some new content for their StarVR headset, a piece of hardware finding homes in VR arcade installations. Chairman of StarVR Bo Anderson took the stage and boasted about a few of the upgrades to StarVR over the last 6 months since its introduction including improved resolution. He then revealed a collection of new content coming to the StarVR platform in the near future.
“Through software and hardware we like to enable people,” Anderson said during the conference. “And we really would like to enable the movie industry as well.” The segment following this statement showed off a new experience that welcomes users directly into movies. On the creative end, this particular experience isn’t working on a game engine but in a VFX setup that allows filmmakers to work their movie’s assets right into a cinematic VR event. Anderson then welcomes Brooks Brown to the stage. Brown is the Global Director of VR for Starbreeze Studios, who unveiled a handful of new StarVR experiences in the works — but didn’t show any real gameplay unfortunately.
In late March 2016, we reported on Starbreeze investing $750,000 in Freeform Labs and Brown spoke briefly on that before diving into some new upcoming StarVR games. Each of the different games is being created as a partnership with different developers. With Desert Owl Games, they’re creating a game where you fight 60-story tall aliens. With Lucky Hammers, you take on the role of a gigantic cybernetic mutant ape and take down drones as you hang from a skyscraper. They’re collaborating with iNK Stories, the developers of choice-driven narrative focused game Revolution 1979, for an experience called Hero that taps into VR’s capability of being an “empathy engine”. Lastly, they’re working with Red Games for a 4-player cooperative experience called The Raft. In it, the players must work together to survive a trip down a haunted river.
Anderson pointed out that they’ve shipped development kits for StarVR to select location-based partners such as IMAX, which has been home to StarVR at least as far back as February this year in their new dedicated VR space in Los Angeles, California (Anderson said there are “more to come” during the Acer event as well). These new creations sound like a diverse collection of content to bolster the VR arcade experience.