The PS4 and Xbox One are set to receive a third-party virtual reality headset that makes use of each console’s remote play feature in order to output existing games in VR.
In a press release, British startup MVR announced that it is targeting a summer 2017 release for the Ascend H1, despite an unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign that ended last month well short of its £150,000 goal.
In many ways, the Ascend works in a similar way to Samsung’s Gear VR, in that players plug in either their Android smartphone (for PS4 only) or proprietary Ascend S1 screen (PS4 and Xbox One), which acts as the headset’s processor and display unit.
Users must then either use Sony’s Remote Play app, or Microsoft’s Windows 10 game streaming service, in order to output their games on their headset’s screen. The unit is similarly compatible with PC titles, by installing a free screen mirroring app on the device being used as a display.
The Ascend H1 comes packaged with either a PS4 or Xbox One-style controller, which is used for all player movement, while a sensor on the back of the headset is mapped to the current game’s camera control input in order to provide head tracking.
The H1’s controllers also have a game-select screen, which features an optimised sensor profile for a large number of preset titles, while they also have an ‘aim down sights’ function, which allows users to temporarily disable head tracking at the press of a button.
The MVR Ascend H1 will be available for an estimated retail price of £199 – placing it as a significantly cheaper option than the likes of the PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. It remains to be seen the extent to which lag will impact upon its ability to effectively play PS4 and Xbox One games, however.