On May 16, Acer and Starbreeze Studios revealed that the two companies were in talks about a manufacturing partnership for the upcoming StarVR HMD. The board of directors from both companies have since approved a joint venture that will see the two companies share resources to accelerate development of the StarVR HMD.
Acer and Starbreeze will each own 50 percent of the new company, which is provisionally named Acer Starbreeze Corporation. Acer Starbreeze Corp. will be responsible for the design, manufacturing, promotion, marketing and sales of the StarVR HMD. The company will be given $25 million in authorized capital from both Acer and Starbreeze, and the two companies said they will each add more funds as needed. Acer and Starbreeze are currently awaiting regulatory approval, but they expect to incorporate the new company in Taiwan in Q3.
We had a chance to try a StarVR HMD prototype last year, and we liked what we saw. Starbreeze wasn’t sure when the HMD would be available, though, and company representatives couldn’t comment on the target price of the device. Starbreeze was solely focused on delivering the best product possible--price notwithstanding. We still don’t know the price range (hint: it won't be cheap), but the partnership with Acer will accelerate the release schedule. Acer said it expects to ship a limited number of StarVR units this year, although full mass production won’t happen until 2017.
We don’t know if the StarVR will ever be sold for home use. Starbreeze said that it is currently targeting location-based establishments, such as VR arcades, aviation training, and automotive retail. Starbreeze also recently inked a deal with IMAX to install StarVR HMDs in a number of IMAX locations.