The age of Virtual Reality has finally arrived after years of waiting. VR seemed like a distant dream, but the recent advancement and investment in the field. The competition between the different companies has led to better and cheaper VR sets. There are some companies that have already released their consumer version, while others are in the process of finish theirs. Many VR headsets are either out now or soon.
Virtual reality headsets have not yet become mainstream, but it is just a matter of time before it finds itself in the home of every gamer’s home. Below are the top 10 VR headsets. Here we will list their pros and cons for your review.
This is currently considered as the best complete VR experience in the market. It comes with a headset, two base stations, and two motion controllers. The motion controllers are important because it gives you more immersive experience than the traditional controllers. Oculus Touch Controllers have not yet been released.
The headset has two 1080p screens that produce a very crisp image. However, the resolution is not high enough to prevent you from being able to discern individual pixels when wearing it, but this is currently the best resolution you will get in a VR headset alongside the Oculus Rift.
The selling feature of the HTC VIVE is the room-scale feature that gives you enough space, 4.5 x 4.5m to walk. This makes it feel more real and adds another dimension to the feeling of experience when you wear it. You are not only using an analog stick but also using your legs to walk over it. The only thing you will have to consider is if you have enough space in your room.
The downside of VIVE is the price. It is the most expensive, sometimes double the price of most VR consoles. You will also have to spend a similar amount to buy a gaming PC needed to run it. You can expect to spend $799 for the HTC VIVE.
Both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive will force you to invest a lot of money in buying a PC that would be able to run them. This makes the total cost of buying the PC and the headset very high. This is what gives Sony PlayStation VR an advantage. This is because it can be powered by a standard PlayStation 4.
There are rumors that the PlayStation 4.5 which is expected later this year may come out offering a better complete VR experience. All in all, it will be one of the most affordable options you will have.
PSVR stands out when it comes to the hardware. Their latest model is the most stylish and comfortable than the others. They also have high-quality internal components that deliver a great user experience. The headset has a 120Hz, which goes a long way in helping eliminate motion sickness.
The Sony PlayStation VR has a good selection of games. There will be around 50 VR games released, giving you a chance to choose from the different options. There are also many components that you can buy to improve your immersion experience.
The current VR advancement and competition can be attributed to one man; the founder of Oculus Palmer Luckey. Oculus have had many different prototypes and being bought by facebook has made it one of the biggest names in Virtual Reality.
The consumer version of the Oculus Rift has been released and many people who had waited for years can finally have the chance to lay their hands on them. In comparison to the HTC Vive’s room-scale technology and two motions controllers included, the Rift pairs down on the experience. You are limited to a more static VR experience played using the traditional game controller. You can stand up, but if there is no proper hand tracking, then you cannot have the immersive experience you would have loved to get.
The fact that it is $200 cheaper than the HTC Vive makes it an attractive option for people looking for a mid-range VR headset with less space to spare. The downside is that everything on the Oculus Rift comes with a caveat. It provides you with an immersive virtual reality experience, but you will have to spend a lot of money on gaming rigs before you get the chance to experience it.
Many people were surprised when Microsoft decided to release the HoloLens. This is technically not a VR device, but a holographic computing device. It can be best described as being an “Augmented Reality”
Instead of having you immersed in a totally new computer-generated world, the HoloLens adds interactive holograms to space you are already inhabiting. The demos of Microsoft showed people building Minecraft structures on top of their tables, interacting with surrounding objects such as furniture and motorbikes, and also creating video feeds of the surfaces you like.
The technology used is impressive, but it can also make it its weakness. Many VR games are usually made to work with different VR platforms, but the HoloLens is a very distinct proposition. This can also be seen as an effort of Microsoft trying to position the device as an office productivity as an addition to being a gaming device. This can easily backfire and hurts the chances of success when it comes to gaming.
There has been no word on the pricing or the release date. There is still a lot of unknown about the Microsoft HoloLens, but many people are waiting to see if it will be able to compete with the experience provided by VR now.
Razer OSVR HDK 2
Razer has made some improvements on their devices, but OSVR has not been able to touch Oculus Rift. OSVR is an abbreviation of Open Source Virtual Reality, which means that everything about the platform is free and openly available. You even have the option of downloading the 3D files and creating your own headset.
Razer has worked a lot on their hardware, which will see its second Dev Kit in July 2016. It has 2160 x 1200 dual-display that is the same as that of HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. However, it only comes with a single camera tracking the movement, making it less sophisticated than HTC Vive’s.
Although this VR device won’t give Oculus Rift and HTC a run for their money, it is interesting to see the improvement they are making along the way.
Samsung Gear VR
It is powered by technology from Oculus, and it was the first VR headset on the market effectively. All you will need to use the VR device is a Samsung phone and downloading apps and games from the Oculus store. You then clip the phone into the headset and enjoy the immersion. The original model only supported the Note 4, but models produced subsequently are compatible with other Samsung phones including Galaxy S6, Galaxy S7, and Note 5.
Since there are different types of phones that can be used with the VR gear, the quality of the VR experience can vary. If you use the older Note 4, then you will be limited to a pixel density 518 ppi, but the newer devices like the S7 will give you a bump up to 577ppi.
Netflix is also trying their best to provide their content on Samsung Gear VR, making it very easy to watch movies and shows with your friends. The new version is more comfortable because the straps have been modified. This has also made it better to use in watching for longer periods of time. Many people use it to watch videos, making it a good option if you are looking for a home entertainment device. Playing on it is cool too, with Oculus promising to have more games.
Carl Zeiss VR One Plus
The Carl Zeiss VR One is used on mobile phones. It can be used for Samsung S5 and the iPhone 6. The pricing of the device is half that of Samsung. One con of the Carl Zeiss One Plus is that it doesn’t have a lot of content. You can get an augmented reality demo and movie app showing you videos from the phone in a virtual cinema. The good thing is that you can use apps that have been designed for Google Cardboard, and more are to come.
This is not the best example when it comes to Virtual Reality, but it is a great step up from the Google Cardboard. It is also a good option for people who don’t have a Samsung Galaxy phone.
Google Cardboard was first unveiled back in 2014 and continued to make a name itself when it comes to mobile reality. Many people have loved it because the cost of the hardware is almost minimal, and it can be used with different types of mobile phones, provided it can stay in the front and not fall.
Google Cardboard gives you the chance to have a taste of VR without having to spend a lot of money. There are many different applications that can be used, and Google has indicated that they will actively be developing and investing in VR in the future.
Google Cardboard doesn’t have a strap, and if by chance it has one, then it would be very uncomfortable to wear. It is intended to be used to view content while holding it on the face. There is a wide range of apps to be used with the Google Cardboard, with the ability to view 360 environments like the Google Street View or the 360 content on YouTube.
You can either decide to download the instructions and make it on your own or buy kits offered by a number of vendors, costing you around $25. Once you have your headset, you will then download the apps and start enjoying your mobile reality.
Sulon Q has combined Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality to make a good device that has impressed many. One thing that has made this device a favorite for many is the fact that it is tether-less, meaning there are no wires connecting the PC or Console. This results in an increased amount of freedom, but the downside to this is the fact that the Sulon Q has to include a battery pack and processor on the back to power the headset. There is no consumer version realized yet, making it hard to know the time the battery lasts. The headset fits snugly on the head and the Velcro straps that ensure that it fits right. There is no weight pressed on the nose, unlike many other headsets in the market.
It comes with a 2560 x 1440 resolution screen, making it higher than the Rift and Oculus. It is expected to be released in late spring. The company has hinted that a keyboard and mouse will be the easiest means of controlling the headset, which means it is a basically a computer on your face. It will be able to follow voice controls and gesture controls since it runs on Windows 10.
LG 360 VR
With the LG 360 VR, you have to connect LG G5 using the USB-Type-C Cable, which is different from the others where you slip the phone into the front of the headset. It comes in the form of a pair of glasses. The headset is far much better than the Cardboard because you don’t have to hold it in your face all the time.
It comes with two 1.8 – inch IPS display inside and 960 x 720 resolutions that result in 639ppi. The displays are located behind the lenses and can be independently focused. You also have the chance of adjusting the width to give you the best fit. You can’t wear the LG 360 VR and glasses at the same time.
The headset has controls that enable you to interact with the VR environment, with a back and Ok button for navigation. You can easily look around the virtual world you are in because it has motion sensors. It also has a sensor between the eyes to detect when you wear the headset.
It has a 3.5mm headphone socket under the headset to provide audio. If you are not using this, then the sound will come from the smartphone that may be in your pocket or some distance away.