With so many virtual reality devices available on the market today, it can be difficult to know where to even start with your first purchase. All the big players in the tech industry are waging in with their own devices, meaning there are more options today than ever before.
Our beginner’s guide to VR will help you break down your options and choose the right VR device for you.
What are the different types of VR available?
Virtual reality headsets can be separated into two types; stationary VR and walkable VR. There are a few considerations you should take into account before deciding which type you’d like to purchase as your first VR headset, including your budget and how much space you have to use the headset.
Devices and costs
The type of VR device to look for will depend on your budget, with lots of cheap, mid-range and high-end options available. Some VR headsets are compatible with mobile devices only, whereas others require a PC or Mac. Here are some of our top-picks in the market, broken down by cost and compatibility.
The simplest and cheapest form of VR can be made from nothing but a sheet of cardboard – with perhaps the most well-known cardboard VR being branded by Google as, you guessed it, Google Cardboard (approx. £15). There are plenty of other cardboard VR options out there, too.
Samsung Gear (approx. £24) – requires a smartphone device to power it and works best with Samsung branded phones. The Gear is one of the best ways to get the VR experience on a mobile device.
Google Daydream (approx. £70) – compatible with Google Pixel phones and several other Android smartphones, Daydream followed the Cardboard headset as Google’s first high-tech entrance into the VR market.
Playstation VR (approx. £225) – powered by PS4, PSVR is one of the most straightforward virtual reality headsets out there – with a wide range of games to choose from.
Oculus Rift (approx. £380) – the Facebook owned device offers some of the best experiences in terms of VR apps available. It works with PC but can also be controlled with an Xbox One controller.
HTC Vive (approx. £500) – the leading VR headset and controller combo on the market today, albeit the most expensive, is well worth the purchase if it’s within your budget. HTC Vive works with both PC and Mac.
How much space do you have?
It might seem like an obvious one, but space is something to take into consideration when purchasing your first VR headset. The Oculus Rift is designed to be used while sitting down, whereas the HTC Vive allows for more movement.
VR movement will also vary by game. Shooter games will require more jumping and ducking around the room, whereas you’ll be able to complete the likes of racing games sitting down. You may need to purchase an additional sensor for some devices, including the Oculus Rift, to be able to utilise the full room experience.
Depending on your budget, you might want to purchase additional controllers or sensors for a complete experience. If these accessories are within your budget, they could really help enhance your VR experience.
Virtual reality headsets are a high-value purchase, so you might want to check out VR cases to ensure you are properly protecting your kit. Quality cases on the market offer complete waterproof and dustproof storage solutions, tailored to specific VR models.