It may have taken a couple of decades, but the virtual reality headsets so commonly featured in the science fiction movies, TV shows and books of the ‘90s are finally real and accessible. Sure, VR isn’t quite where William Gibson or Neal Stephenson expected it to be by now, but we’re getting closer.
And while you can’t fully live your life online just yet, the worlds of virtual entertainment and gaming have expanded by leaps and bounds with each passing year. Thanks to companies like Oculus and HTC, you can get closer than ever to the blockbuster movies and Triple-A games you love. What’s more, the rigs may share some aesthetic similarities to their fictional ancestors, but they’re nowhere near as heavy or bulky.
In other words, there’s never been a better time to take the plunge into the world of VR. Here are four sets that will allow you to directly interact with all those pretty pixels.
1. HTC Vive Pro Eye Virtual Reality Headset
The Vive Pro Eye headset comes with a healthy suite of gaming options, but it’s good for much more than just blasting aliens out of the sky. Featuring HTC’s precision eye-tracking tech, high-res display and foveated rendering capabilities, the headset has a number of commercial purposes, including showing off simulations of your creations to potential clients. If you’re a gamer, though, prepare for the price to double if you want all the optional controllers and peripherals.
Pros: A headset that’s for more than just gaming.
Cons: Controllers and HTC’s Base Station must be purchased separately.
2. Oculus Quest All-in-one VR Gaming Headset
Some VR headsets need to be plugged into a computer or a video game console. Not the Oculus Quest All-in-One, though. The company has managed to fit a whole gaming system in one sleekly designed and light-weight headset. The set also comes with Oculus’s award-winning Touch controllers, so you’ll have everything you need to game right away. Usable in environments big and small, the Oculus Quest All-in-One also includes sensors that make sure you don’t run into, or trip over, anything while beating that next boss.
Pros: Everything you need to game in one package.
Cons: You’ll want to purchase the more expensive 128 GB model to make sure you don’t run out of space.
3. Samsung HMD Odyssey+ Windows Mixed Reality Headset
Samsung’s VR headsets have come a long way since the old days when you had to slide in your Galaxy smartphone to use as a display. Now the company makes full-featured VR systems with hi-res display and premium audio systems, like the HMD Odyssey+. Though you’ll need to plug it into a PC running Windows 10, the headset will give you access to Microsoft’s extensive catalogue of VR games and experiences. Plus, its mixed reality capabilities and included controllers will allow you to interact with the real world like never before.
Pros: 3K display and AKG premium audio system ensure an immersive VR experience.
Cons: Must be plugged into a PC running Windows 10.
4. Sony PlayStation VR Headset
Are you a gamer who wants to get into virtual reality, but you’re put off by the price of PC headsets? Sony’s PlayStation VR headset may be exactly what you’re looking for, then. With a robust library of over 500 games, the company’s headset is perfect for anyone looking for a little more interaction with their favorite titles without breaking the bank. These aren’t just tossed-off experiments either; rather, they’re full-fledged games. Plus, the system is easy to set up. All you need to do is plug it into your PlayStation 4 console and you’re ready to go.
Pros: Comparatively low price is perfect for a curious gamer.
Cons: You have to have a PlayStation to use the headset.