Mattel’s View-Master Virtual Reality headset is getting some new upgrades that will likely cement it as one of the best Cardboard viewers on the market when it launches this fall.
It was just last week that the viewer earned the milestone designation of being the first piece of virtual reality-focused hardware to be sold in-store and online by Apple. Now, the company is showing off a preview of its newest hardware, the Viewer DLX, at the New York Toy Show.
The current iteration retails for $30 (though it generally goes for much cheaper on Amazon). Gizmodo reports that the DLX will run a bit more expensive at $40, but some notable upgrades come with the price hike.
The Viewer DLX makes up for a few of the slightly annoying quirks of the original. It now allows you to use headphones with the device rather than rely on the muffled sound produced by the phone stereo speaker inside the enclosure. It also is now sporting improved optics thanks to better lenses and a focal adjustment on the top of the device.
The popularity of the Google Cardboard platform comes largely from the fact that for existing smartphone owners there’s very little additional buy-in to get going with Cardboard content. The platform is in a seemingly tenuous position right now, especially as it is rumored that Google is working on building numerous dedicated virtual reality hardware devices of its own.
Nevertheless, there’s no question that Google’s initial jaunt into the world of VR was successful; five million Google Cardboard viewers have shipped since the program began. That being said, some headsets outshine others.
Mattel really surprised people when it introduced the View-Master Virtual Reality and showed off what a high-quality product the cutesy retro headset was, now the company has seen its success and is improving on the design with the Viewer DLX.