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Starbreeze Acquires InfinitEye, Announces Project StarVR

Consumer grade virtual reality is fast approaching, and announcements are sure to be more frequent from here on out. New games will surely be revealed throughout the week, but you may not have been expecting to see another HMD.

Starbreeze studios did just that over the weekend leading up to E3. The company announced it had acquired the French company InfinitEye VR SAS, which has been developing a VR HMD for some time. It was first shown in 2013 under the name "InfinitEye VR," but since being acquired has been renamed to "StarVR."

Starbreeze claimed that the StarVR headset has the largest viewing angle out of all known VR HMDs in development. It features a 210–degree horizontal and 130–degree vertical field of view, which it said is 75 percent of human vision range. Starbreeze believes this creates true immersion and that this will be superior to the other VR headsets coming to market, which typically have 100 x 100-degree FOV. 

To obtain this wide view, the StarVR headset uses dual 5.5–inch displays, mounted at opposing angles, positioning the screens so they naturally wrap around your eyes. Each one comes with a resolution of 2560 x 1440. The company also used custom Fresnel-based optics, which are said to require less mass and volume than typical lenses.

It's also developing a positional tracking system that uses a combination of real-time data from gyroscopes, accelerometers and magnetometers, with an optical tracking system. The StarVR headset is covered with markers that the company said enable 360–degree sub-millimeter positional tracking. This tracking system is not limited to the headset itself. Other devices such as weapons can be tracked by attaching markers to them, as well.

With the game and entertainment software expertise of Starbreeze's team and the hardware expertise of the recently acquired InfinitEye, the company has formed Project StarVR. Starbreeze believes it has a unique opportunity to become one of the leading publishers of VR content, as it now can provide everything a development team needs for VR -- engine, hardware and publishing.

Starbreeze is demoing the hardware at E3 this week and will be showing off Overkill's The Walking Dead running in VR on the headset. Starbreeze was hesitant to reveal the details of the demo, but did say that "it feels almost indistinguishable from reality and is terrifying when you're in there."

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Kevin Carbotte is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He writes news and reviews of graphics cards and virtual reality hardware.