Since 2016, Virtual Reality has gained momentum in the global consumer market. With only two major options in the market at the time, it has since grown to include a long list of headsets all priced differently. Oculus, a pioneer in VR Technology remains a market mainstay but is now accompanied by other tech giants such as Samsung and HTC. Here, we take a look at the top 5 VR headsets on the market today.
Branded as the best VR headset overall, the HTC Vive is a good option for individuals looking to experience top quality virtual reality immersion, without paying an arm and a leg. It is designed for room-scale experiences and has a huge library of games.
The Vive features a native resolution of 2160 x 1200 pixels and a 720p camera for tracking and obstacle detection. Its room-scale tracking allows movement with a space that’s 4.5 x 4.5 m, increasing the feel during gameplay. Instead of using an analog stick to move, you are using your legs. The headset comes with two 1080p screens that produce sharp images. The motion controllers are well designed and equipped with buttons and a clicking touchpad allowing for precise movement and settings.
Despite all the great features, the Vive is still more expensive than its near competitor the Oculus Rift and you will need a decent PC with an i3 processor or better to run it.
The PlayStation VR headset is currently the leading console headset on the market today. Although the Vive and other headsets listed here are very capable of use for gaming, the PlayStation VR is a cut above the rest. It features more pixels on its OLED display than the other headsets, and hence a better overall display.
It also features a decent tracking system thanks to its camera, but lacks in terms of its controller. The PSVR’s move motion controller easily picks up broad strokes, but isn’t as responsive as the Vive.
The hardware, competitive price and large user base have placed the PlayStation VR among the big mainstream solutions for gaming. It still lags behind competitors in overall VR experience. The PSVR must be connected to the console for it to function.
Probably the biggest name in VR, the Oculus Rift has seen many upgrades since its initial release a few years ago. It is easily upgradeable and presently the cheapest PC solution on the market. It is perfect for buyers who want a premium VR headset at a discounted cost.
Coupled with a powerful computer, it is capable of much of the same as the HTC Vive. It offers decent room scale tracking and some of the best motion controllers to date. However, when compared to the Vive’s room-scale technology, the Rift isn’t quite as good. While the Vive allows users to walk in any direction, the Rift places two sensors to your front. This narrows the tracking movement and it is difficult to turn around without the sensors losing track.
Despite this, being cheaper than the Vive, the Oculus Rift offers a stunning virtual reality option for those on a budget.
Samsung Gear VR
Touted as the best mobile VR headset, the Samsung Gear VR is a respectable smartphone-powered headset, with a newly added motion controller. The latest headset released is much lighter and better designed. It also now features a USB-C connector that allows for a direct connection to some Samsung Galaxy phones.
The motion controller is similar to the Vive’s design, featuring a touchpad and trigger button. Being powered by a smartphone, however, the experience is directly dependant on the phone that has been placed inside. With the ever-increasing collection of VR content and the new controller, the Gear VR is a must have.
Currently, the Gear VR is a bit more pricey than other VR headsets on the market.
Google Daydream View
Perfect for Android users who may not necessarily own a Galaxy, the Google Daydream is designed for users who want to experience Virtual Reality without spending a fortune. Priced at only $100 US, it is by far cheaper than most of the other brand name headsets on the market today.
The Daydream is easy to use. It requires little more than installing the app on your phone. Although the deeply immersive worlds possible with higher-end, PC-powered VR headsets cannot be achieved, it is nicely designed and compatible with many of the best Android phones on the market.
It isn’t the best headset on the market by far, but is a nice starting point for those who are really on a budget, and own an android phone that isn’t from Samsung.