The first units of the Lynx R1 mixed reality headset may not ship in June or July, as recently predicted.
The Lynx R1 is a new headset powered by the same X2 chip used in the Quest 2. It offers full VR alongside mixed reality experiences via passthrough cameras with color. It raised nearly $800,000 on Kickstarter in 2021. Addressing a shipping date for the device in a recent Q&A video, creator Stan Larroque said that the kit would launch “sometime during the summer”, citing issues with securing components for the kit. At GDC in March, Larroque was hopeful the kit would arrive this June or July.
“It’s a moving target,” Larroque said of the ship date. “As I told you, sometime during the summer. I know that’s not a good answer but that’s all I can tell you. We still need answers for some of the components. We’ve secured all of the components for the main board which was a pain but we still have some things to figure between Taiwan and China.”
Lynx R1 Gets New Shipping Estimate
Last month Lynx announced a round of investment, raising $4 million, and Larroque hinted that more funding news may arrive sometime in June.
Elsewhere, the kit creator also announced that Lynx will make and sell Quest-style controllers for the R1. Until now, the R1 has only featured hand-tracked input for both VR and MR experiences. But Larroque said these devices will be “the same kind of controllers that you know from the Quest devices with the ring, with the LEDs, tracked by cameras […] we are going to have exactly that.”
Designs for the controllers weren’t shown and Larroque warned that they wouldn’t have the same “volume” as Touch tracking, but they should allow you to play any game on SteamVR. “I’m not saying that the controllers are done,” Larroque added, “but it’s much better than what we anticipated with hand-tracking mixed [with] controllers.”
He also declined to give a price or timeline for the controllers, which seems to confirm they won’t be included with the headset itself at least at first.
Finally, Larroque also revealed that a previously-announced partnership with SideQuest to bring the platform to the R1 appears to have fallen through.
“[SideQuest] retracted the contract,” he explained. “I don’t why. I hope they’re good. Our door is still open but it looks like we won’t have SideQuest running at least as a first-class citizen on the headset. So we’re still going to have an app store, but at first I don’t think it’s going to be with SideQuest. I honestly don’t have an answer why, they just told me that it doesn’t look possible today.”
Update: Since this article was published, Larroque has posted a statement on Twitter clarifying that Lynx still plans to support side-loading on the device via SideQuest but is evaluating its own “on-device app store” solution.
— Stan Larroque (@stanlarroque) June 6, 2022