Lynx-R1 Price Increase: A Shift in Focus
By [Your Name], Gaming News Writer and Expert
Lynx-R1, a cutting-edge virtual reality (VR) headset, is set to undergo a price increase from $850 to $1300 as the startup behind it shifts its focus. This article explores the reasons behind this change, the features of the headset, the future plans of the company, and its impact on the gaming market.
The Lynx-R1 Headset
The Lynx-R1 headset is designed with a focus on color passthrough mixed reality and hand tracking. It features an open periphery design, high resolution cameras, and dual 1600×1600 LCD panels. Similar to other standalone headsets, it runs on a modified version of Android and supports OpenXR content.
A Radical Strategy Shift
Originally announced in 2020 as a $1500 product targeting businesses, Lynx-R1 underwent a radical strategy shift in 2021. By removing eye tracking, the company significantly reduced the price and aimed to target consumers at “a few hundred dollars” through a Kickstarter campaign.
However, the startup is now essentially reversing that pivot and will once again primarily target businesses, claiming that they already represent the majority of its buyers.
Rising Manufacturing Costs
In a YouTube livestream and summarizing blog post, Stan Larroque, the founder of Lynx, blamed the price increase on rising manufacturing costs and the need to make a return on the relatively low sales volume. This decision comes as a necessary measure to continue delivering a high-quality product.
Price Increase and Backer Support
Existing Kickstarter backers and preorders will still receive their Lynx-R1 headsets at the price they paid. However, the price for new orders will soon increase to $1300. This price adjustment aligns with the company’s renewed focus on targeting businesses.
While the first batch of backers may have experienced issues with the microphone functionality, Lynx has reassured them of a free exchange option in Q1 2024. This demonstrates the company’s commitment to customer satisfaction despite the initial setbacks.
Redesigned Controllers and Shipping Delays
In addition to the headset, Lynx has also been working on its own optional tracked controllers. Originally scheduled to ship alongside the headset, they have undergone a redesign to enhance accuracy and versatility. These controllers are now expected to ship in Q3 2024.
Shipping delays have been a challenge for Lynx, with initial plans to ship in April 2022. However, after four announced delays, the company finally started shipping the Lynx-R1 headset in August of this year.
Lynx-R1, had it shipped on time, could have been the first consumer standalone headset with color passthrough mixed reality, positioning itself as a major player in the consumer market. However, delays allowed competitors such as Meta’s Quest Pro to reach the market first. Additionally, the upcoming release of Quest 3, boasting a twice as powerful chipset at just $500, would have rendered Lynx-R1 less competitive for consumers.
The Appeal for Businesses
Despite the challenges in the consumer market, Lynx claims that even at the new price of $1300, their headset’s open periphery and balanced design with a rear battery make it more appealing for many businesses compared to the Quest 3. Furthermore, its higher quality passthrough technology makes it more enticing than the Quest Pro.
The Lynx-R1 price increase and shift in focus demonstrate the dynamic nature of the VR industry. While the changes may disappoint some consumers, Lynx remains committed to delivering a premium product with a strong appeal to businesses. The headset’s advanced features and upcoming enhancements, along with the company’s dedication to customer support, position Lynx as a player to watch in the business VR market.