As you settle back on the 5:40 pm train waiting to get home, there's a single thought on your mind: beating Elden Ring's Malenia, Blade of Miquella boss. You've been keeping her move set in the back of your mind all day — details stewing amongst work emails and calls as you recall the telltale signs of her attacks and contemplate the timing needed for a perfect dodge.
There's just one issue: By the time you get home, you'll only have about thirty minutes left to try and vorpal Malenia out of existence before life and responsibilities put you back in your place. "There must be a better way to use my hour-and-a-half commute", you think. But you don't want to force yourself to game on a 7-inch Steam Deck — you want the all-encompassing experience of a 120-inch TV, where you can shut out the world and actually focus on "floating like a butterfly" against Malenia's onslaught.
Did that narrative elicit a glimpse of hope in your eyes? You're not alone — 4,280 people pledged over $2.6 million on Kickstarter for the Viture One XR goggles, blowing the company's modest $20,000 starting goal out of the water in a matter of hours. To put this into perspective, the original Kickstarter for the Oculus Rift raised $2,437,429.
The Viture One promises to put a 120-inch, 1080p, 60 Hz display front and center. That's not much compared to the current best VR headsets out there, especially when you take into account the comparably-limited 43º field of view (FOV) allowed by the Viture One glasses, while the 1,800 nit capability will certainly come in handy in less obscure environments. But this isn't a VR headset, so don't let the limited FOV lock you up.
Part of the interest in the Viture One stems from the goggles themselves. The glasses weigh just 77 grams and feature an embedded directional speaker (for privacy), a control pad, color-changing film that dims or brightens (5% to 80% transparency) content based on viewing conditions, and prescription lens options. The glasses can be connected to any USB-C device that has video output and power delivery — this includes the Steam Deck, many Android phones, and compatible laptops and desktops. There's even an optional dock that lets you connect to HDMI-bound devices, such as game consoles, and ensures sustained power delivery.
The most interesting aspect of the Viture One may not be the glasses but the optional neckband, which adds wireless connectivity. The neckband weighs 170 grams and has a 3200MAh battery, and features 5G and Wi-Fi connectivity, 2GB of RAM, and 128GB of ROM, which allows for a full-fledged app ecosystem for content consumption.
The Viture One aims to be the "Steam Neck" of gaming through its support for cloud gaming apps (such as Microsoft's xCloud, Nvidia's GeForce Now, and also lesser-known cloud gaming options from Parsec, Shadow, and Boosteroid). For those who aren't interested in cloud gaming, the neckband also lets you install streaming apps (and your own games gallery) through Steam Link, Sony's PSPlay, Rainway, and AMD Link.
The Viture One also supports popular streaming apps such as Netflix, Disney+, AppleTV+, and — wait for it — 3D movies via Vudu and Plex integration.
Viture expects to start shipping the Viture One in October or November of this year, so backers shouldn't have to wait too long. The Viture One XR glasses alone cost $429 (early bird)/$479 on Kickstarter and will retail for $549. If you want accessories, the glasses-and-dock combo costs $529 (early bird)/$579, as does the glasses-and-neckband combo — both combos will retail for $678. The glasses with both accessories costs $629 (early bird)/$679 and will retail for $807. The most popular packages seem to be the glasses-and-neckband combo and the "ultimate" glasses and both accessories combo; both have just four early bird slots left at the time of this writing.
Always remember: Backing a Kickstarter project isn't the same as buying a product. It's an investment, and there are many ways Kickstarter projects can fail to deliver as promised (or even fail to deliver at all). But with over $2.6 million in funding, we hope the Viture One will deliver.