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Razer debuts open-source VR platform, headset and game dev kit

Razer unveiled a new VR headset at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas today as part of an industry-spanning initiative to create an open-source virtual reality game development platform: OSVR.

Razer unveiled a new VR headset at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas today as part of an industry-spanning initiative to develop an open-source virtual reality game development platform.

The company is calling the platform OSVR (Open-Source Virtual Reality), and it currently runs on Windows, Linux and Android -- it's not a standalone operating system.

Developers can freely muck with OSVR within the constraints of an Apache 2.0 open-source license, though Razer claims this open-source software is in a "pre-release phase" (a public release is coming "soon") and developers must currently request access via the OSVR website

What makes OSVR especially intriguing to game developers is its promise of a plugin system that supports game engines (like Unreal 4 and Unity 3D) as well as VR hardware (like the Oculus DK2 headset) and peripherals (like the LeapMotion sensor).

Razer is also shipping its own VR headset -- a $200 "OSVR Hacker Dev Kit" -- to the public in June to jumpstart development on the platform. The company is currently making the SDK for this upcoming OSVR HDK hardware available on a limited basis to interested developers; you can learn more over on Razer's OSVR forum

And if you don't like the cut of Razer's VR specs, you can try your hand at crafting your own -- Razer is making the design schematics, drawings and component lists used to build the OSVR HDK headset available for download via the OSVR website if you're willing to sign an agreement.

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