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Upcoming Standalone VR Headset May Challenge Oculus Quest

When the Oculus Quest initially debuted, it provided gamers with a nearly PC-quality standalone VR experience unique to the product. While most VR headsets of the time required a connection to a PC, the Oculus Quest line remains one of the sole independent VR headsets around, and one of the only ones capable of playing games like the upcoming Resident Evil 4 VR release.

While the first and second Oculus Quest have sold quite well, many have voiced concerns regarding its closed ecosystem and restrictive Facebook account requirements. While Facebook doesn’t appear to be budging on these aspects, a planned standalone virtual and mixed reality headset may end up providing some competition.

Lynx, a two-year-old startup operating out of France, has announced its new VR/AR standalone headset, the Lynx R1. The Lynx R1 will provide players with the ability to use both virtual reality games and applications as well as mixed reality ones, where the headset’s two high-resolution color cameras will let users see the real world around them with the headset creating an overlay over it.

The Lynx R1 virtual reality headset looks to pose some significant competition to the Oculus Quest 2 when it comes to technical specifications. Featuring 6DoF movement and a Qualcomm XR2 processor (the same one the Oculus Quest 2 uses), the unit will track hands similarly to the Oculus Quest, in addition to working with controllers. The unit will function with Steam VR, and features a 90° FOV with 1600 x 1600 resolution per eye via a LCD display running at 90Hz.

For comparison’s sake, the Oculus Quest 2 features a slightly higher 1832×1920 per eye resolution LCD and has lower-resolution black and white cameras for passthrough purposes. Though it initially launched at a lower refresh rate of 72Hz, it’s since been updated to support 90Hz, putting it on equal footing with the Lynx R1. The two systems also have 6GB of memory each, and are rated to roughly last between 2-3 hours on battery power. Notably, the Lynx R1 advertises ‘independent lens separation adjustment’ which may provide more customization options than the Quest 2’s three set IPD choices.

While the Lynx R1 has a lot of promise, for now, it’s entering the funding phase by opening a Kickstarter later this month. The unit will cost $499, which puts it at a higher cost than the Oculus Quest headsets. However, with promises of a completely open ecosystem and privacy for its users, it may be an additional cost that some are willing to pay for the sake of peace of mind and full control over their device.

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