Virtual reality headsets have come a long way since the days of Nintendo’s Virtual Boy
and The Lawnmower Man
. Headsets capable of placing users in vivid 3D worlds and spaces are available at prices the average consumer can easily afford.
With major tech companies like Facebook, Sony, and Valve all fighting for VR supremacy, the competition is fierce and the options are plentiful. Check out just a few of the best VR headsets available on the market today:
Oculus Quest 2
The uncrowned king of stand-alone VR, Facebook’s Oculus Quest 2
appeals to a wide range of consumers looking to take their first step into virtual reality. While most headsets require the user to be connected to a computer or video game console, the Oculus Quest 2 is completely untethered. This allows the player to roam around play spaces without fear of tripping on cords or breaking immersion.
While it’s not the most powerful device on the market, the 1832×1920 pixels per screen definitely get the job done, as do the easy-to-use Oculus Touch controllers. At $299, the Oculus Quest 2 is a bargain for anyone wary of the VR experience but curious to give it a try.
HP Reverb G2
An unlikely partnership between HP and Valve has resulted in the HP Reverb G2
— a fully-featured VR headset with some eye-pleasing visuals and immersion. Featuring 2,160×2,160 pixels per screen and four tracking sensors in the controllers, the Reverb G2 has everything you would expect from a headset retailing for $599.
While gamers will certainly find something to enjoy on the Reverb G2, it’s primarily geared towards design and training activities. One thing holding the Reverb G2 back: its reliance on Windows Mixed Reality. This platform struggles to stand up against competitors such as SteamVR
HTC Vive Cosmos
A solid mid-range option for users looking for a little more power than an Oculus Quest 2, the HTC Vive Cosmos
has a couple of unique design features that help it stand out. The flip-up visor allows the user to quickly snap back into reality. Meanwhile, the six cameras contained on the headset limit the need for an external device for tracking. With a huge library of software available thanks to both SteamVR and Viveport support, you won’t run out of things to do with your headset. This versatility is important considering the somewhat hefty price of $699.
Sony’s PlayStation 4 headset
has been around since October 2016. In that time, it amassed a solid library of content. Players of all ages can find something to enjoy on PSVR, be it mature experiences like Resident Evil 7
and Superhot VR
, to more kid-friendly fare like Moss
and Astro Bot Rescue Mission
At $350, PSVR is priced competitively. While it requires a Playstation 4
, users in the market for a console-based virtual reality experience won’t be able to find anything better.
Steam’s rise to power in the PC gaming world started in 2004 with the release of Half-Life 2
. That series has come back in a big way with Half-Life: Alyx
— a VR experience that is best enjoyed on the Valve Index.
The controllers included with the Index are truly remarkable; it’s no wonder so many users with competing headsets have opted to use the Index controllers instead of their own. With individual finger tracking and the ability to sense how hard you’re squeezing your hand, the Index controllers are head and shoulders above the competition.
The entire Valve Index package is enticing for hardcore VR enthusiasts, but it comes at a steep price: $999, which could make traditional consumers balk.
The Best Extended Warranty for Your VR Gear
As you search for the best headset to power your VR experience, don’t forget to accompany it with the best VR headsets extended warranty
. This is an excellent option for protecting your investment. With Upsie, you can save up to 70 percent on your warranty compared to the exorbitant rates charged by retailers. You will receive extensive protection against accidents such as drops or spills, with local repair shops providing the fix you need. As you decide whether you can benefit from an extended warranty, think carefully about how much it might cost to replace your VR headset in the worst-case scenario. You will love the peace of mind that an extended warranty provides.
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