During a panel at the 2017 Game Developers Conference, Jinjing Sha, VP of Operations for Chinese virtual reality company Hypereal, discussed the many ways his organization is working to attract more users to VR. One of the most important adoption-spurring initiatives, according to Sha, is Hypereal’s efforts to reduce the minimum PC specifications required to reliably power a VR headset.
Hypereal is working on a mysterious new VR headset called the Pano that claims to be able to do room-scale and also offers hand-tracked controllers. During his speech at GDC, Ja provided a brief glimpse at this upcoming device by explaining that the company’s “PC VR solution” will have the following hardware requirements:
NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 960
AMD Radeon™ 470
Intel® Core™ i3-6100
AMD FX™ 8350
These specs are consistent with the new minimum-spec requirements that Oculus announced at last year’s OC3 developer conference. The Oculus system, however, uses proprietary systems known as Asynchronous Time Warp and Asynchronous Space Warp to reduce the processing power required to run its Rift VR headset. Sha did not reveal what Hypereal’s own method is for hitting these specs for the Pano, but he did emphasize that lowering PC specifications will also make VR more affordable.
Reducing prices is a critical part of Hypereal’s plan to increase the rate of VR adoption in China. During his talk, Sha theorized that if the price of VR headsets were to drop to “around $300 USD” we could see “a 400 percent increase in market penetration.”
Sha also believes that “rental services” and “wireless solutions” for VR headsets could be huge for getting more people interested in the technology.
Hypereal’s head of developer relations, John Gu explained the monetary situation in China further in a statement:
“Tier 1 cities in China, like Beijing and Shanghai have per capita disposable incomes of less than $700 USD per month. You don’t need to be in China to realize that for a family to spend an entire month of disposable income on a PC VR hardware is just unreasonable,. Our job is to convert unreasonable to probable”
Sha teased that Hypereal would be revealing more details about their headset on March 27, and that pre-orders will be available on that day as well. The official product launch will be in the “first week of June.”
Hypereal is based in Xuhui, China. Its stated overall goal is “to proliferate the VR experiences to the masses, with Chinese per capita GDP and disposable income significantly lower than the developed countries,” according to an official company release.
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