The thing you didn't even know you wanted is here: SimulaVR have been working hard on bringing Linux to the VR world and the result is the SimulaVR One and, well, it actually looks pretty cool.
Now, you might be thinking, do we need Linux in a VR headset? It's a good question and the answer, in our view, is why not. The year of Linux has been coming for a while and SimulaVR might have just found the missing piece.
According to SimularVR's technical preview (opens in new tab), Intel's NUC is being used by Simula as the guts of the One, specifically an 11th-gen Intel NUC with a four-core i7, Iris Xe integrated graphics, Wi-Fi 6, and 3-4 USB ports, Thunderbolt, and two DisplayPorts, although the IO is still under discussion.
On the actual VR side, Sharp has provided two 2448 x 2448 panels, which, when paired with an innovative three-lens design, offers 100-degree field of view and 36.2 pixels per degree (PPD), which SimulaVR is quick to note beats the Valve Index and Oculus Quest 2.
The year of Linux, here at last
But let's get into the meat: the SimulaVR One is, above all else, a Linux-toting VR headset and it runs Simula, a desktop environment that runs on the Godot game engine. The OS is capable of running any desktop app, which is pretty neat.
You can install Simula OS, available for download on Github (opens in new tab), on other VR headsets, including the HTC Vive and Valve Index.
We've attached a GIF below to show you how this looks in practice. Without actually using the headset it's hard to say how good choosing Linux over other OSes will be, but it's certainly interesting.
If you want to buy the SimulaVR one then sadly you're out of luck for now, as the company has yet to put a release date on the device and we don't expect to see it any time soon. Making VR work is really hard – just ask Oculus – and we applaud SimulaVR's tenacity, so hopefully we'll get to try it out soon.
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Via Tom's Hardware (opens in new tab)