There are a whole host of headsets available, too – everything from powerful, high-end models like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift to mobile experiences like the Samsung Gear VR, Google Daydream View, and the brilliantly simple Google Cardboard. Tethered headsets like the Oculus Rift S, the HTC Vive Cosmos, and the PlayStation VR are physically connected to PCs (or in the case of the PS VR, a PlayStation 4 ). The cable makes them a bit unwieldy, but putting all of the actual video processing in a box you don’t need to directly strap to your face means your VR experience can be a lot more complex. Oculus has both tethered and standalone headsets from the Go, to the Quest, to the Rift S. Before we get into more VR headset options, I just want to remind you that you should definitely check out vrheadsetadviser.com if you want to find the best ones in the market today.
HTC has the Steam-friendly Vive and Vive Cosmos, and the developer-focused Vive Pro Sony has the PS 4-focused PlayStation VR (that will apparently work with the PlayStation 5 if and when that system comes out), and Microsoft is supporting its Windows Mixed Reality platform with a variety of headsets from different manufacturers. Virtual reality is the way to go. Since the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive first launched back in 2016, VR headsets have become more widely accessible and offer a variety of apps, games and experiences.
Combined with a faster Snapdragon 835 processor compared with the Oculus Go’s Snapdragon 821, the Quest offers a much more compelling and immersive VR experience, all without the unwieldy cable or PC requirement of the Rift S. We hope to see more standalone 6DOF, dual motion controller headsets in the future, like the upcoming HTC Vive Focus Plus. As of the end of 2018, the three best selling Virtual Reality headsets were Sony’s PlayStation VR (PSVR), Facebook’s Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive. Google hasn’t really tried to catch the wave of standalone VR. It initially partnered with HTC and Lenovo on two self-contained Daydream headsets, but HTC backed out of the deal and Lenovo’s Mirage Solo was effectively a development kit Before this year’s I/ conference, Google virtual and augmented reality head Clay Bavor said the team was in deep R&D” for VR hardware, building the Lego bricks that we’re going to need in order to snap together and make some really compelling experiences.” A Google spokesperson also emphasized the company’s work on AR features for mobile search and Maps.
The Oculus Rift S offers a high-end VR experience that doesn’t require much fuss, striking a compromise between a more casual headset like the PlayStation VR and the room-scale-focused HTC Vive and Vive Pro. If you don’t want to spend the money on a gaming PC, we think the appropriate first headset for most casual gamers is the Oculus Quest; you can read more about it in our guide to standalone headsets Another solid, lower-priced option is the Sony PlayStation VR , which currently costs about $330 for a starter bundle and works with the $300 PlayStation 4 gaming console. Much like the HTC Vive, the Oculus Rift requires a wired connection to a high-spec (and often very expensive) gaming PC, running Windows 7 or higher, but the payoff is the ability to create processing-heavy interactive experiences and games.
90Hz refresh rate would have brought the VR experience closer to desktop headsets – both the Oculus Quest and the HTC Vive Focus run at 60Hz, unlike the Vive Pro and Oculus Rift, for example. Package Contents: Includes: VR headset, Processor unit, VR headset connection cable, HDMI cable, USB cable, Stereo headphones, AC power cord, AC adaptor, PlayStation VR Demo Disc, PlayStation Camera, 2 PlayStation Move motion controllers, and PSVR Resident Evil 7: Biohazard Display: OLED 1920 X RGB X 1080,Screen Size: 5.7″,Refresh rate: 120 Hz, 90 Hz,Latency: Less than 18ms Games Come First – With gamers in mind, PlayStation delivers a new world of unexpected gaming experiences through PlayStation VR. Just Plug and Play – Getting into PlayStation VR couldn’t be easier. And that’s before you address the processing issue; the Rift S and Vive headsets need pretty powerful PCs to run, while the PS VR requires a PlayStation 4. If the cost isn’t a deal breaker but the cables are, HTC offers a wireless adapter for the Vive, but it requires a desktop PC with a free PCIe slot to work.
At $400 with nothing else needed, Oculus Quest delivers games and an immersive experience anywhere, and has self-contained tracking and full-motion six degree of freedom (6DoF) motion controllers with vibration that can also track finger movements with VR gaming: they’re the same touch controllers you get on the PC-required Oculus Rift. Six years after the first iteration of the Oculus Rift kickstarted the modern era of virtual reality, the now Facebook-owned company is back with not one but two new entries, joining a raft of big names from HTC’s Vive to Sony’s PlayStation VR and even Nintendo. There’s no doubt the HTC Vive Pro produces some of the best virtual reality experiences it’s possible to get on the planet right now, but there are caveats – the headset is expensive, you need a fairly decent PC to run it from, and it can be a little complicated to set up. If you already have a respectable computer system to hand, it’s definitely worth considering.
Virtual reality headsets aren’t particularly stylish, as donning any of these models makes you look like you’ve been kicked through the discount aisle of PC World, but the best VR headsets can provide a sort of magical gaming experience that’s almost indescribable. In addition to price drops, more advanced VR headsets have come to the fore, like the HTC Vive Pro On the flip side, of course, are the mobile headsets, namely the Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream View (though the latter has now been discontinued by Google). Phone-based VR also couldn’t deliver the same intense physical experiences as the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, or PlayStation VR. As developers began learning what really worked in VR, the gap became increasingly obvious.
Other headsets, like the Oculus Go or the smartphone-based Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream View , support fewer degrees of freedom, only tracking the swivel and tilt of your head rather than following you as you move around. The Oculus Rift, Valve and HTC’s Vive, and Sony PlayStation VR — the three high-end headsets we’re currently waiting for — all run off external computers or game consoles. From left: the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and PlayStation VR headsets.
A more affordable option than the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR is tethered to a PS4 rather than an expensive PC gaming rig. Also separate stores for Oculus Go , Oculus Quest , Windows WMR store , Google Daydream , Google Cardboard , Playstation VR , and GearVR There are some workarounds for getting a headset to work with other platforms, but for the most part, understand that you might be limited to what’s officially supported. Today, it’s still one of the easiest and best virtual reality headsets gamers can get their hands on. Most of the games for the PSVR can be played using a Dualshock controller, but its ‘Move’ controllers will let you get the most out of the experience and many starter packs include them.
Enlarge / Front row: PlayStation VR, Oculus Quest, Valve Index, Oculus Rift S. Back row: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive Pro. Support for the Oculus Rift headsets has already been jerry-rigged into games like Skyrim and Grand Theft Auto, but newer games like Elite: Dangerous come with headset support built right in. Many tried-and-true user interface metaphors in gaming have to be adjusted for VR (after all, who wants to have to pick items out of a menu that takes up your entire field of vision?), but the industry has been quick to adapt as the hardware for true Virtual Reality gaming has become more widely available.