You may or may not have heard of Razer, but its CEO and co-founder Min-Liang Tan want the company’s OSVR headset to dominate the virtual reality market in China.
Razer, along with VR specialists Sensics, are the team behind the Open Source Virtual Reality movement, that launched at CES 2015 alongside the Hacker Dev Kit VR headset. OSVR is a platform that provides standardised hardware and software that developers can then build on to help the VR ecosystem grow. The concept is very similar to that of Google’s Daydream VR, which was obviously released a lot later than OSVR at Google I/O 2016.
Razer now want to take the platform to the next level by conquering the market in China that is said to be worth 55 Billion Yuan (over $8bn USD) by 2020, and Min-Liang Tan wants the company to be a major player of that share.
“We are going to make OSVR the de facto platform in China for virtual reality. China and Asia will be huge growth drivers for us.”
This focus comes as the company are due to unveil its Chinese focused VR product line-up at the ChinaJoy Expo, to be held at Shanghai New International Expo Center through July 28-31.
There’s also speculation that Razer will make an announcement next week at E3 with an update to its current HDK VR headset as well as new software that is teased to address the DRM concern that has hit the headlines over the past few weeks.
To make a dent in the Chinese market, Razer will need to be targeting its product at the lower end of the price spectrum in order to attract the masses. It’s unlikely that the higher priced HTC Vive and Oculus Rift will gain much traction given the entry level cost. We’ve seen similar behaviour in the smartphone market, with lower cost handsets from the likes of Xioami becoming increasingly popular.
Lisa Cosmas Hanson of Niko Partners, says “Chinese gamers are extremely price sensitive, and therefore the higher priced products will have a tough time, but will be in high demand among a smaller subset of the gaming population. We are forecasting flat growth for game consoles, and it is difficult to imagine that the availability of PlayStation VR would change that much.”
With that said about lower cost, Apple and its higher priced iPhone still do extremely well in the Chinese market so it will be interesting to see how Razer position its products to dominate the market. Either way, we’ll be on scene next week at E3 2016 to check out what Razer has in store, first hand.