A few years back, virtual reality was all anyone could talk about. How virtually transforming our worlds would disrupt movies, music, gaming, therapy, athletic, and even military training, was firmly on the agenda. But the earliest VR headsets were too expensive for mass adoption, so augmented-reality (in the form of things like Pokémon GO) quickly stole the spotlight.
Today, other companies besides Oculus are in the race to build a superior VR headset, driving the prices down, the quality up and making this immersive tech better than ever before. Platforms are now making content exclusively for VR immersion, and we’ve rounded up some of the best headsets out there when it comes to price, supported platforms, accompanying apps, and display quality.
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If you’re looking for a low cost, lightweight, and easy-to-use entry point into VR, the Google Daydream View comes with a simple controller and works with many new and old Android phones, as well as a fast-growing list of compatible apps.
The Facebook-owned Oculus Rift headset was one of the first on the commercial VR market, and it’s still one of the best out there. The newest ‘S’ upgrade includes an improved and more comfortable design, inside-out tracking, integrated speakers, easier setup, and PC compatibility. While slightly heavier than the OG Oculus Rift, the resolution quality has also been ramped up, with fast-switch LCDs, a resolution of 1280×1440 per eye, and decreased “screen-door effect” — as in, you won’t feel like you’re looking through a screen door
For game lovers who want to spend a bit less, meet Sony’s PlayStation VR headset. This tethered headset works with the PS4, has 6D0F motion tracking like the Oculus Quest, and a very respectable 960×1,200 per eye resolution, along with a lower price tag.
For the serious VR-user, the HTC Vive Pro is one of the best models out there. This professional-grade model is pricey, but you’ll get a fully immersive experience, a 1,400×1,600 per eye display resolution on AMOLED screens, Hi-Res certified headphones and professional-grade tracking. For all that power, you’ll also get a whole lot of comfort: optimal design and center of gravity mean you’ll be able to use this headset for hours without feeling seasick. For a similar model, with LCD panels instead of OLED, and a slightly higher resolution, check out the HTC Vive Cosmos.
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