Portable gaming is huge in 2022, especially in the PC gaming space with hits like the Steam Deck (opens in new tab) really showing us what these little machines can do. Being able to play games on the go with ease is a huge win, but it does have its downsides.
Tiny portable gaming is convenient, but it is also kinda tiny, and when it comes to screens they're not always enough for a full immersive experience. Of course, most portable consoles and even the Steam Deck itself can be plugged into a larger screen, but that immediately takes away from the portable part. Still, looking at a small screen bent over can be pretty uncomfortable, as we found when we took the Steam Deck travelling (opens in new tab). This is where XR, otherwise known as extended reality solutions, could be the next logical step.
Viture One is one such solution. It's currently on Kickstarter (opens in new tab) and looks fairly promising. It's a set of glasses that acts as a 120-inch screen for the person wearing them. These aren't smart glasses like Razer's Anzu that give notifications and other features (opens in new tab), instead they're specifically a portable, wearable monitor. It's not an entirely new concept, but it is one of the first I've seen designed specifically with gamers in mind.
The glasses can be connected to a device via a cable and also support 5g and WiFi connections. It's also got boasting rights on being the first Android TV-licensed wearable and is preloaded with both video and gaming streaming services. It also supports remote play so you can use your own hardware on the go. All on a virtual screen you can wear just like glasses that displays 1080p video at 60fps and even gives spatial sound.
Steam Deck review (opens in new tab): Our verdict on Valve's handheld PC.
Steam Deck availability (opens in new tab): How to get one.
Steam Deck battery life (opens in new tab): What's the real battery life of the new device?
How loud is the Steam Deck? (opens in new tab) And will it pass the Significant Other test?
Steam Deck - The emulation dream machine (opens in new tab): Using Valve's handheld hardware as the ultimate emulator.
The Viture One XR specs have a few other neat features which make them feel more feasible than other solutions like VR. Being able to switch between immersive and ambient modes lets you put what you're watching on a small screen to the side, freeing up your vision for the outside world which feels like a must for use out and about. Plus, there's even an adjustable toggle for the near sighted among us who immediately looked at this and wondered if they'd have to be double glassed to see.
Of course, not having had our hands on this it's hard to say how it works in person. There are several videos demoing the devices which look promising, but that is exactly what marketing should do. Still, if it works as demonstrated, colour me interested. In the video at the top of the article demoing use on the Steam Deck specifically, once plugged in the screen was immediately transferred to the specs. It looks like an easy convenient solution, lets hope it can live up to the hype.
For the keen, you can get in on the Kickstarter which still has some earlybird options available at time of writing. The cheapest will get you a set of Viture One glasses for $399 USD and is set to ship in October 2022. But if you're happy to wait and see how they fare, it looks like these will retail for about $549 when released.