Your Ultimate VR Headset Buying Guide

According to Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC), the costs of VR headsets will decrease in the upcoming years as more people (and businesses) adopt the technology. We can also expect more easy-to-use devices, as well as a growing line up of VR content and applications. So, if you’re looking to buy a VR headset anytime soon, here are the best options in the market today:

When you’re looking to buy High-End, Tethered VR Headsets:

You need to connect these high-end, tethered VR headsets to a PC before you can use it. These are great for gaming and a wide variety of VR applications. Here are VIZ360’s top picks:

VR Headset Buying Guide

1. Oculus Rift

Oculus is one of the biggest and most successful brands in the virtual reality market. They already feature a wide range of VR hardware, but their Rift Headset is still on the top of the line.

Cost: AU$599

Tracking Ability: Powerful. The headset is equipped with external sensors that track your movements in the real world. It offers room-scale VR technology, meaning your real life motion is reflected in the real world.

Software availability: There are hundreds of VR apps available for download on the Oculus Store. Also, some games are exclusive to this headset like Star Wars: Vader Immortal, Robo Recall, and Marvel Powers United.

VR Headset Buying Guide

2. HTC Vive

Developed by mobile device manufacturer HTC and the gaming corporation Valve, the HTC Vive is a dream VR headset for gamers.

Cost: AU$939

Tracking Ability: Powerful. The HTC Vive Headset also has external trackers and room-scale VR tech that accurately mimic your real life movements in the virtual world.

Software: HTC Vive headsets offer a variety of content. (It is unlike the Rift, which can only download and run apps from the Oculus store.) You can download VR content and applications from multiple channels. One is Valve’s store called SteamVR, and the other is HTC’s VivePort. The latter is a subscription-based service which lets you access the newest VR content first. The user can also use an open-source workaround called Revive, in case he/she wants to play games exclusive to Oculus Rift headsets only.

3. HTC Vive PRO

Possessing a slight upgrade, this version of HTC Vive headset is intended for business use. It has better resolution, more accurate movement tracking, controllers with more powerful sensors, and is more ergonomic.

Cost:  AU$1279

Tracking Ability: Powerful

Software: Users of the HTC Vive PRO can download from the same source and run content available for the HTC Vive.

VR Headset Buying Guide

4. Sony PlayStation VR

If you own a PlayStation console and intend to use a VR headset for gaming, the Sony PlayStation VR is for you. It’s game-heavy; running a 5.7-inch OLED panel with a display resolution of 1080p.

Since Nintendo and Microsoft XBox are yet to release their gaming headset, then the Sony PlayStation VR is the only headset that targets console gamers. Unfortunately, you can’t use this headset for other than gaming.

Cost:  AU$299 (The most affordable, high-quality tethered headset we can recommend)

Tracking Ability: High

Software: There are more than 400 PlayStation games which you can play in VR.

VR Headset Buying Guide

5. Windows Mixed Reality Headsets

If you’re using Windows 10 in your PC, there’s a high chance that you encountered an app called Windows Mixed Reality.  This app proves that the current operating system is already VR-ready. All you need to do is to purchase a compatible Mixed Reality Headset from most major PC brands. (PC manufacturers such as Acer, HP, Dell, and ASUS sells their own VR headset that is compatible with the Windows Mixed Reality app on the Microsoft store.)  When you do, your PC is now VR-ready and capable.

Cost: Around AU$700

Tracking Ability: High

Software: The user has access to over 150 Virtual and Mixed Reality apps available on the Microsoft store. Also, the user can download content from Valve’s Steam VR platform.

When you’re looking to buy Standalone and Smartphone-Powered VR Headsets:

The first five headsets have wires and require a PC before you can use them. The next VR headsets in our are handier than them. It is perfect for simple business applications, VR browsing, and watching VR videos. Here are the standalone and smartphone VR headsets that we recommend:

VR Headset Buying Guide

1. Oculus Go

Dubbed as the portable Oculus Rift, the Go headset is one of the best selling VR hardware of the company. It’s a standalone headset. It doesn’t need a smartphone (unlike others) because it has powerful computing components built into the headset. Above all, it has powerful features such as 538ppi 2560 x 1440 WQHD, fast-switch LCD display, 32/64GB storage, and seamless built-in audio & microphone.

Despite that, the Go headset isn’t as powerful as the Rift headset. It can’t run for a long time (2-3 hours max). Also, this headset doesn’t offer room-scale VR technology.

Cost: AU$299

Tracking ability: OK. Tracks your head and eye movement accurately but not as powerful as the Rift Headset.

Software: There are over 1000 downloadable VR content available for the Go headset.

VR Headset Buying Guide

2. Oculus Quest

Formerly known as the Santa Cruz headset, the Quest sits in between Oculus Go and Rift. Similar to the Go headset, Quest doesn’t require a smartphone or a PC to function.

Oculus won’t sell Quest until 2019, and a lot of people are waiting for it to come out.

Cost: US$399, we have no idea how much this will cost in Australia yet. (You can convert, but the price may be inaccurate)

Tracking Ability: High (Maybe). The headset boasts accurate movement and position tracking but the masses are yet to test that claim.

Software: The Quest headset may cater the content available for Oculus Go. Oculus officials (including Mark Zuckerberg) promised a line of VR content that works on all Oculus headsets.

VR Headset Buying Guide

3. Samsung Gear VR

Developed by Samsung and Oculus in 2014 (way before Facebook acquired Oculus for US$2.4 billion), the Gear VR is one of the most sophisticated smartphone-powered VR headsets out there. It comes with a pair of sensitive Gear VR controllers, helping you play mobile VR Games better.

Unfortunately, it only suits a few Samsung phones.

Cost: AU$129 (with Gear VR Controllers)

Tracking Ability: OK. The visuals move as your head moves up, down, left, and right.

Software: Limited. Since the Gear VR headset needs a phone to function, it requires the user to download mobile VR apps. Unfortunately, there are a limited number of great VR apps that you can download on Google Playstore.

VR Headset Buying Guide

4. Google Daydream

Another Smartphone-powered VR headset that performs well is the Google Daydream. As the name suggests, the tech giant Google developed this headset. Unfortunately, it isn’t compatible with all Android devices. It only supports Pixel, Pixel 2, Moto Z, ZTE’s Axon 7, Huawei Mate 9 Pro, Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and S8 and LG’s V30 (until now).

Cost: AU$149

Tracking Ability: OK. The ergonomic headset follows the movement of your head.

Content: Decent. As of October 2018, there are almost 200 Daydream VR apps that you can buy or download for free.

We’ve tried all these nine headsets and we use some of them in our business

Perhaps, that’s enough reason to trust VIZ360’s suggestions.

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