Starbreeze’s headset could deliver movie-quality VR

VR is a big deal in games, but it could soon be a big deal in movies too, as Starbreeze (a video game developer) is building a high-end VR headset that will allow for almost film-quality computer-generated effects in VR.

This will be possible thanks to the company’s latest acquisition, and will be used on its forthcoming headset known as StarVR

Starbreeze has purchased Nozon, the company behind ‘PresenZ’, a technology which allows for full head tracking, so you can look around objects and lean closer to things in VR.

Some current VR headsets can already do that, but PresenZ combines it with far higher image quality than the likes of the PlayStation VR or even the HTC Vive can achieve.

PresenZ manages this by using pre-rendered images, rather than rendering an image in real time, as is done for VR games. 

The company promises that the result is close to the quality of a regular computer-generated movie, but far more immersive, since you’re able to move in the scene, rather than just watching it.

PresenZ also works with existing digitally-created assets from films, so movie makers don’t need to build content from scratch for it, though it only works with fully computer generated content.

A perfect pairing

Before being bought out by Starbreeze, Nozon had already teamed up with IMAX to offer immersive, high-quality video content in ‘pods’, which should start appearing across the world before the end of the year.

But now PresenZ and its high-quality visuals can also be used with Starbreeze’s StarVR headset, which could be the best VR headset on the market when it launches.

An incredibly wide 210-degree field of view (where Oculus Rift for example offers just 100 degrees) and super-sharp dual 5.5-inch 5120 x 1440 display panels (compared to 2160 x 1200 on the Oculus Rift), could allow for seriously high-quality cinematic experiences, and make the most of the image quality allowed by PresenZ.

There’s no release date for StarVR yet, and PresenZ is only designed to work with video content, not games.

But when StarVR does launch movie fans could find they're brought into cinematic worlds like never before, with film-quality effects combined with full head tracking in VR to let users exist inside movies, rather than just watching them.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.