The hefty price tag associated with most virtual reality headsets is made even more unpalatable to some consumers by the fact that a potent PC is typically required to fully appreciate the experience. Now, a new contender produced by Canadian startup Sulon Technologies in collaboration with AMD looks set to diverge from that commonality.
The Sulon Q breaks the current mold of VR hardware by integrating all the necessary horsepower into the headset itself. While it’s difficult to say without hands-on experience whether the result will be a comfortable device for the user, it’s certainly one way of differentiating the product from the likes of the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift.
A four-core FX-8800P processor and a Radeon R7 graphics card are the AMD-supplied components that headline the specs assembled for the Sulon Q. It’s also set to boast a 256 GB SSD, 8 GB of RAM and a 2560 × 1440 resolution OLED display with a 110° field of view.
Those specs are on the low end of most hardware recommendations for VR content, but the headset is being touted as a capable enough rig to make experiences shine. While it should be potent enough for at least the first wave of content set to release, it remains to be seen how long the Sulon Q will be a sufficiently powerful option — and whether or not tinkerers will be able to easily swap out parts as necessary.
One feature that does sound rather compelling is the far-reaching implementation of a pair of external cameras. These sensors can map the surrounding area for AR content, provide some head tracking functionality and even recognize gestures, which can be used in place of a controller peripheral.
The idea of an ‘all-in’ headset will certainly appeal to some consumers that might otherwise dodge the VR bandwagon. However, there are still some major questions to be asked of the Sulon Q before it can truly be mentioned among the big names contesting the VR space. We don’t know if its hardware will be able to power the experiences most people want, and we don’t know how its compatibility will match up.
As of the time of writing, the headset’s price — and its potentially neckache-inducing weight — have yet to be disclosed. AMD and Sulon have suggested that the device will launch this spring, which seems rather quick, given that it was just announced.