Just as the final versions of Oculus Rift and HTC Vive have been revealed and launched, another contender has jumped into the VR scene with their own solution. Unlike their competitors, though, Toronto-based Sulon has managed to provide a solution that won’t break the bank. Dubbed a rather plain Sulon Q, the new VR HMD requires no host system to use, relying completely on its own internal inertial tracking and AMD PC grade hardware, all strapped to your head.
Reading the spec sheet of the Sulon Q makes it seem like you’re strapping a Windows PC with a VR display rather than a VR display with an attached PC. The Sulon Q comes with a quad-core AMD FX-8800P mobile APU with 512 GCN shader cores, enough to give Intel’s mainstream mobile CPUs a run for their money. Combined with a 256GB SSD, 8GB of RAM, and a 2560×1440 OLED display with an 110° field of view, the entire system is strapped securely to the user’s face.
This Windows 10 PC might seem a bit underpowered compared to the hefty 290/390/970 GPU requires of the Rift/Vive but the console-like hardware standardization and DX12 should provide enough for a portable VR experience. Tracking is done by a Spatial Processing Unit with two front cameras which removes the need for external trackers and hardware. This means it will be easy to setup and use right away.
There is even gesture control available through the 2 front cameras as well, removing the need for a controller in some cases. This also allows for augmented reality, putting it into the same realm as Hololens. If might even be possible to move around freely with this display as the cameras can provide a feed of the surroundings, avoid awkward issues like bumping into people and things.
From the demo shown off at Capsaicin, it looks like rather than targeting gaming audiences which require lots of action/FPS and visual fidelity, the Sulon Q is meant to provide a first VR home experience with lower graphics quality and simpler gameplay. A console-like approach means a common hardware platform for developers to target and DX12 should help things along nicely. Looking at the demo, the graphics quality looked like something from the PS2/3 era which is passable when it comes to gaming.
In working with Sulon, this is another one of AMD’s prongs to push VR adoption to the masses. If the Sulon Q can later be used to display from a PC, it may well be the perfect entry level VR device. With a late spring launch (within 2 months), we can hopefully get some more information before it debuts for real.