Acer, formerly a major player in computer manufacturing, has been facing a steady decline in sales the last six years. To combat this decline, the Taiwanese company is planning to make a stake in the VR market. Unlike existing developers Oculus and HTC however, Acer is planning big. Specifically, they are planning high-end premium Virtual Reality headsets, priced far above the existing headset.
In an interview with Bloomberg, CEO Jason Chen explains what pushed his company to delve into the VR market. “We don’t want declining industries anymore,” Chen said. “We need to build multiple businesses and not count on one single business.
Acer’s VR Bid
Bloomberg’s article reveals that Acer’s VR headset is designed in conjunction with Swedish game developer Starbreeze AB. The headset, called StarVR, stands out from the other for having an increased field of view and a much high resolution than its competitors. However, the increased quality comes with a similar increase in cost. StarVR is therefore not going to find it’s way into the majority of consumer’s homes. Instead, it is being designed as a premium headset sold directly to commercial buyers.
StarVR is already beginning to garner some attention for it’s intended customer base. IMAX is already working to develop what they call “premium location-based VR,” experiences. Acer further reveal that another avenue for StarVR is in theme parks.
From user experiences at E3, StarVR is certainly on track to provide high quality VR experiences. Chen reveals further into the Bloomberg interview that while businesses are the initial sales target, Acer will not stop there. “[VR headsets] are very expensive, which is why we aren’t targeting consumers first,” he says. In a few years however, when prices across the board decrease, a consumer model will be available.
There is no word yet on the pricing of StarVR. However, Bloomberg suggests that the current price tag will be in the four-digit range. When Acer finally bring the headset to the consumer market, hopefully the final price will be significantly lower.