By Laith Abou-Ragheb
Mark Zuckerberg clearly sees great potential in VR; Oculus was just a humble startup when it was snapped up by Facebook for a cool $2 billion back in 2014. Very much representing the gold standard in current VR tech, the Rift delivers a truly immersive gaming experience. There are 50 games and apps available at launch, including the head spinning space shooter, EVE: Valkyrie.
The Bottom Line: There’s no doubt the Rift is an impressive piece of kit. But to experience what it’s truly capable of, it has to hooked up to an expensive, high-end PC.
The top end of the VR market is being fought over by the Rift and the Vive, a headset developed by Taiwanese smartphone maker, HTC. This device features 32 sensors for a truly eye-popping gaming experience. Pre-orders come with a headset, two base stations allowing for 360-degree room-scale motion-tracking, and two wireless controllers that allow users to pick up or manipulate objects while playing a game.
The Bottom Line: This system’s price tag means it’s likely to be the preserve of deep-pocketed gamers for some time to come.
Samsung Gear VR
As one of the world’s biggest tech companies, it’s hardly surprising that Samsung is keen to get in on the VR action. This headset, which actually runs on an Oculus-developed platform, works in conjunction with all recent-generation Galaxy smartphones. Granted, it can’t hope to match the Rift or the Vive in terms of pure processing grunt, but it can still offer hours of gaming fun.
The Bottom Line: Samsung’s headset represents an affordable and surprisingly advanced entry point into the exciting world of VR.
Thanks to Google’s cardboard—yes, cardboard—VR viewer, pretty much anyone with a smartphone now has the chance to experience what the fuss over VR is all about. It’s dirt cheap, child’s play to assemble, and is available alongside a variety of tailor-made apps that aim to demonstrate what this exciting technology is capable of.
The Bottom Line: For the chance to experience VR on a budget, look no further than Google’s Cardboard.