VR headsets may offer an incomparable gaming experience, but one thing is inevitable: They are not the most stylish accessory to strap on to your face. And disguising them as giant aviators doesn’t do much to hide the beetle-eyed look. Just ask HTC.
But in the ongoing search for more accessible VR, Panasonic has taken an even more distinctive approach. Styled like something the Money Heist professor would wear while looting a virtual mint, the steampunk styling of the MeganeX channel to lure the masses into the Metaverse.
The compact glasses presented at CES 2022 in Las Vegas follow the Vive Flow in their lightweight and weigh only 250 g. Despite the optimized setup, a pair of 1.3-inch MicroOLED displays inside can deliver 5.2K 10-bit HDR video at frame rates up to 120 Hz. These are super sharp 2.5K pixels per eye that put the promised resolution of the upcoming PlayStation VR2 in the shade.
A foldable frame with built-in speakers means the MeganeX is much more portable than the Renault family station wagon of the same name. But even if Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR1 processor provides the grunt, the Panasonic specs aren’t a tool in their own right: the headset still has to be plugged into a suitably powerful PC to run SteamVR apps and games.
Connected via USB-C (or USB 2.0 via the included conversion box) the MeganeX supports 6DoF head tracking, so that your noggin can move freely along 6 axes. What hasn’t been revealed yet is the external sensor setup – or the controllers to complete the combo.
There is also good news for nearsighted people: an integrated diopter adjustment mechanism allows you to use the MeganeX without glasses (or squinting).
Developed by Panasonic’s Shiftall division, the availability and price of the MeganeX have not yet been confirmed – although Shiftall says the headset will set buyers back to “less than $ 900” when it launches this spring.
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