We’ve daydreamed about this technology for decades.
Still, it’s taken a few years for 3D virtual reality headset sales to catch on with the most gamers. With the increase of innovative ways augmented reality apps are creeping into our phones, more users are interested in VR than ever.
For many traditional gamers, the transition from standard screen-based playing to a more VR based engagement can be jarring. The idea of moving around and swinging your body rather than your thumbs is foreign after decades of traditional gaming.
If you’re thinking about jumping on the bandwagon for VR gaming, here’s a rundown of the top 5 choices for a VR headset on the market right now.
1. Google Daydream View
Remember a few years ago when Google first launched their Cardboard project? They started off by offering to sell you a piece of cardboard that wrapped around your smartphone. When strapped on your head, it would lead to an immersive experience.
The idea seemed kind of goofy at first. But then it started to catch on.
The Daydream headset is the natural extension of that concept. You slide your phone into the headset and, thanks to the lenses mounted in the front, you get a merged view of two images.
This 3D virtual reality headset isn’t the most sophisticated setup. But when paired with external objects, has great potential.
They sell a pairable remote that you hold to control your actions. This allows you to navigate 3D simulations and augmented reality locations.
With the number of apps growing for the Daydream every day, you’re sure to find something that fits your style of exploration and play. Look for new additions to the platform’s library to include all your favorite online viewing experiences.
2. HTC Vive
The latest offering from HTC is their Vive, which couples a 3D virtual reality headset with two motion controllers and two base stations.
The base stations allow you to create a VR environment in any room. You get to move around a range of 10 feet through whatever environment you’re playing in.
Other tracking accessories give you a natural type of gameplay as they track virtual options in a 3D space. Their sports and gun zapper set is available as an add-on for under $150.
Other third-party companies are coming out with some pretty great accessories including leg and foot tracking.
The HTC set up requires pretty serious computing power. They recommend a minimum of a GeForce GTX 970 GPU paired with an Intel Core i5. Check out our guide to making sure you’ve got the processing RAM for uninterrupted gaming.
Currently, you need to be tethered to a computer but HTC is slated to offer untethered sets soon. They’ve been showing models around different conventions and expos.
Let’s bet they’ve got an untethered 3D virtual reality headset hitting the market in the near future.
3. Oculus Rift
The gold standard in VR over the last few years has been the Oculus Rift. As HTC and PlayStation move into the market, the brand’s clout has been taken down a notch.
That doesn’t mean that the Oculus Rift is showing any signs of slowing down. Their 3D virtual reality headset has a similar look and feel to HTC’s Vive while offering Oculus Touch motion controllers.
It’s also cheaper than some of its competitors while maintaining a competitive edge in style and processing power.
4. Sony PlayStation VR
Taking the place of where the Oculus Rift was a few years ago is Sony’s PlayStation VR headset. They offer one of the best and simplest tethered systems on the market today.
This 3D virtual reality headset can be used to play some of your favorite games in an immersive format. Set it to theater mode and you can view games as if they were projected on a massive screen.
The gameplay for their latest titles has been designed with the VR headset in mind.
To get the most out of it, you might have to add a couple of extras. The PlayStation Move controller bundle costs a bit extra but the entire package still comes to less than the Rift.
Check out Playstation’s site to find out which games are currently available with integrated VR gameplay. With 100 titles and counting, there’s a game for everyone on PlayStation’s roster.
also make sure to check out our Sony Playstation VR Review
5. Samsung Gear VR
Samsung continues their tradition of creating intuitive and cutting-edge tech at a reasonable price. With the Gear VR, you can turn your Galaxy S6 or S8 into a v3D virtual reality headset in a snap.
While they won’t be able to get to every potential VR gamer on the market, they will start to build brand loyalty over the coming years. Many new phones offer free add-ons for switching to Samsung.
If you’re in the market for a new phone, see if your sales agent can offer any kinds of free add-ons to your Samsung. Otherwise, you might have to shell out an extra $130 for the Gear VR.
It’s a bit more expensive than Google’s headset offering, but it comes with a touchpad and a Bluetooth controller. Check out the patented motion sensing when you set up the Bluetooth connection.
With the help of Oculus developers, the software works great on the number of games and apps that were developed specifically for the system.
A 3D Virtual Reality Headset for Any Gamer
Any PC or console gamer should find a great VR headset option to suit their gaming habits.
Lots of electronics stores have setups allowing customers to take the systems for a spin. Before you invest, why not take a test drive with your favorite big box retailer.
If you still can’t decide which VR headset will work for your gaming type, contact us for more helpful hints on what to look for.