The virtual reality headsets are getting better and better. And they are becoming available for the vast majority of the customer base, not just for video gamers. And they are dropping in price. With virtual reality (VR) now a fully-fledged consumer technology, the market is starting to get crowded with headsets to choose from.
The question of which VR headset is best is not an easy one to answer. There are a ton of VR headsets out there and a ton of salespeople ready to tell you why theirs is the best. To make matters more confusing, every VR headset we carry is the best VR headset for someone.
In order to figure out which is best for your needs, it’s important to think about what you’re planning to get a VR headset for. Whether it’s for gaming, watching movies, or just playing around, there’s a headset for you.
In this article, we’re going to look at the current state of the VR market and what to consider while making a choice.
- Oculus Quest
Facebook is pushing VR heavily and recently unveiled the Oculus Quest, a $400 VR system with no external tracking equipment required, and it’s set to launch this spring. The design is quite sleek, with the Quest looking like a cross between a pair of ski goggles and a visor, and it’s available in three colors: terra grey, wave blue, and silver. That said, it’s also a bit bulky, with similar dimensions to the original Rift.
The Oculus Quest is the first all-in-one VR gaming system. It has everything built in, including the games, so there’s nothing to set up or plugin. This means you can just turn it on and jump right into a gaming session. It’s a big deal to the VR gaming industry, which has struggled to reach mainstream audiences due to a number of factors, mainly cost, complexity, and inconvenience.
- PlayStation VR
Sony has been a leader in video games for a long time. Its foray into the virtual reality space was a bit of a surprise. The company had previously expressed a lot of interest in augmented reality, but it only recently started to release VR-ready titles for the PlayStation 4. Even though a gaming company makes it, the device is more than just a toy. It has a lot of impressive features on its own and is often used for more than just playing games.
The company’s PlayStation VR is a headset that hooks up to your PS4 and offers a semi-portable virtual reality gaming experience. The headset features a 1080p display that works in tandem with the PS4’s camera and motion sensors to deliver a sense of presence in the game you’re playing.
It’s not the most affordable VR headset, but the PlayStation VR is the most user-friendly and one of the most immersive of the high-end VR headsets.
- Oculus Rift S
The Oculus Rift S VR headset is the latest iteration of the Oculus Rift series. It makes some major improvements on its predecessor, most notably with the addition of Touch controllers. They’re now included in the box and have more practical hand movements than the Xbox controller that shipped with the previous model, along with re-designed ergonomics that make them more comfortable to hold.
In addition, the Rift S has a higher resolution display (the previous headset was just 2160×1200, while the S has a 2560×1440 panel) and a built-in microphone array that improves noise cancellation and lets you do voice calls without an additional device.
- HTC Vive
Developed by HTC and Valve Corporation, the HTC Vive VR headset is the world’s first “room-scale” virtual reality system. This means it can track the 3D movement of a handheld controller within a 4.5 – 15 by 4.5 – 15 foot space in order to mimic physical movement in the virtual space. This allows you to do things like walk around an object or lean in to inspect it closely.
- Oculus Rift
The Rift has attracted attention and “Kickstarter”-based financial support from the video game industry, video game fans, and several technology companies. Two development kits were provided to developers and enthusiasts to build their own software.
The Rift has a stereoscopic head-mounted display with low latency head tracking. The display uses custom optics that provide approximately a 110° field of view.