If you’re wondering about what VR is the best or what VR set should you get, then this article was made for you.
I had the same questions as well, and that was the perfect excuse to get them all to review – it’s part of my job as a geeky blogger.
Throughout this article I’m covering the different headsets in the market, and even simple stuff like Google Cardboard.
You’ll find that I’ll separate the sets in affordability, so I’m reviewing the cheap ones first, progressing to the most professionally developed hardware by the end of the post.
If this is something you’re looking forward to, then read on.
Cheap VR Headsets:
A Review on the Cardboard Models
Thinking about cheap headsets, we have to take the simple magnifying lenses + cardboard design Google Cardboard is.
The little piece of lore we’ll disclose is that people actually started calling the design that before Google trademarked it. Now, the brand has rules set in place that help manufacturers get a proven seal that reads “Works with Google Cardboard”.
These cardboard compatible headsets work to watch videos in “VR”. Stuff like YouTube 360º is just what you’ll be experiencing.
These devices are uncomfortable and a pain to use, but it is something… Only worth it if you can’t afford anything better.
The price range for these cardboard headsets is about $15, but you can find plenty of them for free, or even craft a pair up yourself.
If you want to customize it, you can, which adds to the cost. Personally I don’t see why you’d want to spend extra money on customization when you’re getting this set to save money, but to each their own.
Be Mindful of Extra Costs
These cardboard headsets aren’t compatible with all mobile devices, of course, and there are tons of problems with Apple devices or other iOS gadgets particularly.
If you don’t have a brand new phone, then we don’t guarantee you’ll get anywhere using these devices.
Even if you have the compatible hardware, these headsets grant you a lower quality and yet higher latency performance than high end VR goggles, so bear that in mind.
Finally, if you want more control you’ll have to invest, as most of these devices only has 1 button… that’s it, ONE button, so if the App needs more input it’s out!
High End VR Headsets
Professionally Made Gadgets
Now that we took the affordable items out of the way, let’s talk about the highest quality VR headsets your money can get you.
We’re talking about the HTC’ Vive, The Oculus Rift or Sony PlayStation VR who run off game consoles or computers, offering perks like high resolution, sleek graphics and motion tracking.
One thing I noticed is that the way in which these gadgets block outside light makes a lot of difference, and you initially disregard that.
Finally, when using cheaper devices I had some motion sickness experiences. I was feeling ill when using them for more than 5 minutes, and with these devices that changed – so for me it’s worth the money with this extra alone.
He price range is more than just a hundred bucks, with prices reaching $700+.
Of course the prices will go down in time, but we don’t know when they’ll become mainstream by this point.
Beware the Hidden Costs… Again!
Let’s face it, VR isn’t mainstream yet, and that means even high-end adopters will face hidden costs.
For starters, you need to have a big budget gaming pc to run VR, and if you just own a regular laptop or desktop computer chances are you can’t run a thing.
The only way to guarantee you can meet the specs, in terms of price, is if you get a brand new computer now for over $1000, or if you purchased a top of the range $2000 one some time ago.
It is simpler with PlayStation’s VR Headset as you just need the console to run it, but even that isn’t cheap and it binds you to Sony’s product range.
What VR Set Should I Get?
So, let’s try to sum up the answer to this question:
Cheap Headset: The cheap headsets are exactly what you pay for. They make for cool experiences and you’ll love the first one or two minutes. Maybe you’ll be lucky and you won’t experience any motion sickness, but I did and that makes me say that you won’t be using it much unless you’re immune to that.
HTC Vive: The HTC Vive headset is tied in with Oculus, they seem like the same product if you’re wearing them without knowing which is which as they both gave me the same degree of motion sickness – none.
The cool titles with this one are Job Simulator and Fantastic Contraption.
Oculus Rift: This one has a lot of potential as it’s pretty well backed. As all high end choices it minimizes the motion sickness and gives you plenty of ways to control it. There are a lot of apps on the market compatible with it as well.
EVE: Valkyrie is a highlight you may want to get your hands on.
PlayStation VR: The device had around 20 games at launch and you know Sony always invests in its products. The controls are nice and we enjoyed trying the Star Wars: Rogue One X-Wing mission, which was pretty rock-solid from a Star Wars fan’s point of view.