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. 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. 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. 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. Up-to-date pricing and reviews for VR Kits on the market can be found at the vr head set adviser website.
A wild-card pick for PC VR is the Vive Cosmos, the follow-up to 2016’s HTC Vive The Cosmos has self-contained tracking like the Oculus Rift S and a better-resolution display than the original Vive, but also has swappable faceplates that will add more cameras for mixed reality and external sensor tracking (for larger holodeck-type experiences). 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. The problem with VR at this stage of the game isn’t that there’s too few VR headsets on the market or that there’s not enough content, but that there are way too many to pick from, especially now that there are more and more headsets hitting the streets like the Oculus Quest , Valve Index and HTC’s Vive Cosmos.
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. Also, the Windows Mixed Reality store doesn’t have as many compelling VR experiences as the Rift and SteamVR stores, though you can use SteamVR games on Windows Mixed Reality headsets, again with some software wrestling. Based on our reviews, the Oculus Quest is the best VR headset overall, because it lets you play the hottest VR games without being tethered to a PC. Plus, the Oculus Quest now offers hand tracking, so you can interact with content without having to use dedicated controllers.
We found that all currently available headsets of this type have less reliable tracking, less content, and worse controllers than the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. 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. From left: the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and PlayStation VR headsets.
A standalone VR headset gives you a good VR experience without an expensive game console or gaming PC, and Oculus Quest is the best one you can buy right now. It supports room-scale VR. And it doesn’t take much time to set up. Additionally, the Rift S has a wide selection of compatible content because you can download games, movies, and other experiences from both the Oculus and SteamVR libraries. But if you’ve already got a gaming PC and want a richer, more immersive VR experience with better graphics and more games, the Oculus Rift S is the one to get.
Introducing the most immersive, robust Nintendo Labo kit to date—this one combines DIY fun, pass-and-play multiplayer, and family-friendly play with the magic of VR gaming, and includes programming tools you can use to create your very own VR games and experiences! At the moment, the four best on the market – the Valve Index, HTC Vive, Oculus Quest and PlayStation VR – are unsurprisingly the most expensive of all the mainstream VR headset offerings, but there are some less expensive options if you’d rather dip your toes into VR before spending your entire pay check. Thanks to HTC’s partnership with Valve, the gaming company that runs online game store Steam, the Vive does deliver some of the most varied and immersive VR gaming experiences on the market.
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. Finished experiences run on HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Google Daydream, and Samsung Gear VR. This is a great jumping-off point to give your in-house developers an opportunity to experiment with a new format. 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.
I cannot understate how impressive Labo VR is. Traditional VR hardware like the Oculus Rift or the PlayStation 4-powered PlayStation VR may dwarf the horsepower of this virtual reality experience on the Switch, but Labo VR delivers unmatched creativity and ingenuity at a tiny portion of the cost. On the bright side, other VR headsets will be compatible with Half-Life: Alyx, such as the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Windows Mixed Reality and others. 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. Enlarge / Front row: PlayStation VR, Oculus Quest, Valve Index, Oculus Rift S. Back row: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive Pro. As with the previous Labo kits , the new VR version leverages your existing gaming hardware using cheap(ish) cardboard accessories to introduce new gameplay experiences.
Oculus went from acclaimed virtual reality startup to Facebook subsidiary pretty darn quick due to its smart tech, and HTC joined along not long after with arguably the best PC VR headset for much of the tech’s nascent life: the HTC Vive. Despite HTC’s beefier Vive Pro VR headset, the original Vive model remains the most complete and approachable VR experience for PC. It’s specifically built for room-scale experiences and its game library is simply massive. The HTC VIVE Pro and Oculus Rift S offer high-quality experiences which cannot be matched by other types of headsets.
The Labo VR , a whimsical Google Cardboard-like kit that turns a Switch into a handheld virtual reality headset. Games loom large in modern-day VR, partly because the original Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR headsets were made primarily for gamers, and also because games are the most easily understandable entertainment category to show off this technology. Several competitors have emerged since then, from the HTC Vive and Sony’s PlayStation VR to smartphone-powered headsets such as Samsung’s Gear VR and Google Cardboard.
The kit includes a PlayStation 4 gaming console with a VR headset and hand controllers to interact with a virtual world or game. PlayStation VR is a great way for beginners and PS4 owners to play VR games because it’s comfortable, easy to use, and less expensive than VR headsets for PCs. If you want to use the Oculus Rift S or the HTC Vive, you’ll need a powerful gaming computer and, ideally, an empty room to set it up in. Both Oculus and HTC have pages featuring compatible VR-ready PCs and bundles, and both list minimum and recommended PC specs (Oculus’s list is here , and HTC’s is here ) for use with their systems.
In an initial round of testing in 2016, I set up and tested the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive in my living room, and then I had four VR beginners (with gaming experience levels ranging from zero to expert) use each system too. In addition to price drops, more advanced VR headsets have come to the fore, like the Valve Index and standalaone Oculus Quest , the latter of which offers near-PC quality without being tethered to a computer. Honestly price and platform will make most of the decision for you – there aren’t any headsets for console gamers besides PlayStation VR and, if you need a standalone headset, you’re basically stuck with the Oculus Quest.
Like the Oculus Rift, the Rift S works in tandem with a PC to deliver virtual reality experiences. Now owned by Facebook, the Oculus Rift S should represent the next leap forward for the company’s high-end, PC-based virtual reality experiences – but, unfortunately, it’s more of a baby-step. Simply put, Oculus Quest signals a new age for virtual reality, one that doesn’t need a smartphone or PC to run excellent experiences.
At the moment, there are four main players when it comes to mainstream VR headsets – Oculus, PlayStation, HTC and Valve, which released its own first-party headset called the Valve Index last year. PC: To use the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive you will need to hook up the headsets to a powerful PC. It doesn’t need to be particularly expensive, but a rig with a good GPU and graphics card is essential to process the tasks the headset will send its way. For simple games that would not look out of place on a mobile phone you could turn to the new Oculus Go (think of it as a Rift S for beginners) or Google’s Daydream View VR headset.
The headset’s Stormtrooper-esque appearance certainly helps the PSVR look a little cooler than other virtual reality kits, but its lower lens resolution is a tad lower than the Vive and Rift S. Nonetheless, if you’re interested in playing FarPoint, Resident Evil: Biohazard, Batman Arkham VR and the like in virtual reality, you won’t find a better or cheaper option. Most good games cost around £15 to £35, compared with many free and cheap virtual reality games that can be bought for mobile VR headsets, but that won’t matter to most. For the price it offers decent VR with a lot of potential for growth thanks to updates to existing games like ‘Super Mario Odyssey.’ If Nintendo continues to expand its Labo and virtual reality ecosystems the VR kit will be more than worth the price of entry.
The newest VR kit for young gamers proves that you don’t need to have a super-powered PC or headset to have an engaging virtual experience. Players can also head into what’s called the VR Plaza, which is a collection of more than 60 mini-games that show off how flexible the kit and Labo hardware is. Of course, like the previous Labo games, you can program your own games or enhance the experiences of the games in the VR Plaza thanks to its suite of programming commands. The base of the kit is a VR (virtual reality) Goggle headset with lenses which are then inserted into a variety of cardboard peripherals along with the Joy-Con controllers; in the full kit, there’s a camera, an elephant, a wind pedal, bird, and blaster waiting to be created, as well as a snorkel and pinwheel add-on items.
Like the Rift S and Cosmos, it utilizes sensor-free, inside-out tracking and must be powered by a PC. It’s compatible with the vast majority of Steam VR games, in addition to Microsoft’s own Windows Mixed Reality software. The Rift S comes with its own Touch controllers and has access to the Oculus Store’s VR apps, in addition to any other compatible game or app from any storefront on PC. This includes the vast majority of Steam VR games. While the early days of VR headsets had us choosing between the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, more companies have entered the space with their own.
From Oculus Quest to Valve Index, here are the best virtual reality headsets to consider. Use patented LensPen® products to clean smart glasses, AR / VR goggles including the Microsoft HoloLens, Oculus Quest & PlayStation 4 VR system, along with any other gamer headsets or optics. The Labo VR Kit has you building a mobile VR headset out of cardboard, like the older Google Cardboard headsets, which you insert the Nintendo Switch into.
Google and Samsung still offer phone-based VR headsets in the form of the Daydream View and the Gear VR, and even Nintendo has gotten into the game with its Labo VR Kit for the Nintendo Switch. The Oculus Quest VR headset combines a wire-free experience with six-degrees-of-freedom motion tracking and two controllers, all without the need for a separate computer to use it. All VR headsets need to be used alongside a good quality pair of headphones, and there are other optional gaming accessories , from gestural hand controllers to gaming chairs, all designed to enhance the virtual experience.
One of the best VR headsets for PC use, the HTC Vive stands out for a number of key features, including room-tracking capability right out of the box. Overall, the Oculus Rift S is the best VR headset for folks looking for a PC-based system that plays a huge library of great games for a decent price. Oculus Rift and Oculus Go ( Oculus SDK ). Being Vive’s biggest competitor in VR experiences for PC, Oculus started the global VR adoption with its Kickstarter campaign in 2014. Be sure to visit vr head set adviser for the best VR Kits on the market to buy.
Sony PlayStation VR is the most popular vendor for headsets, followed by Oculus, HTC, and a small portion of other devices including Samsung and Google.