VR headsets might provide unrivalled gaming immersion, but one thing’s inescapable: they’re not the most stylish accessory to strap to the front of your face. And disguising them as giant aviators doesn’t do much to hide the bug-eyed look. Just ask HTC.
But in the continuing quest for accessible VR, Panasonic’s taken an even more distinctive approach. Styled like something Money Heist’s Professor would wear while looting a virtual mint, the MeganeX channel steampunk styling in their attempt to tempt the masses into the Metaverse.
Unveiled at CES 2022 in Las Vegas, the compact goggles follow the Vive Flow in going lightweight, hitting the scales at just 250g. Yet despite the streamlined setup, a pair of 1.3in MicroOLED displays inside can deliver 5.2K 10-bit HDR video at frame rates of up to 120Hz. That’s a super sharp 2.5K pixels per eye, eclipsing the resolution promised by the upcoming PlayStation VR2.
A foldable frame with built-in speakers means the MeganeX are much more portable than the Renault family wagon that shares their name. But even with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR1 processor providing the grunt, the Panasonic specs aren’t a standalone tool: the headset will still need to be tethered to a suitably powerful PC to run SteamVR apps and games.
Hooked up via USB-C (or USB 2.0 through the included conversion box), the MeganeX will support 6DoF head tracking, so your noggin will be free to move along 6 axes. What’s not yet been revealed is the external sensor setup – or the controller(s) to complete the combo.
There’s also good news for the nearsighted: a built-in diopter adjustment mechanism means you’ll be able to use the MeganeX without glasses (or squinting).
Developed by Panasonic’s Shiftall division, availability and pricing for the MeganeX hasn’t been confirmed – although Shiftall says the headset will set buyers back “less than $900” when it launches this spring.