An Intro to Virtual Reality Devices and Equipment

When you’re shopping for a virtual reality setup of your own, it’s important to do your research to figure out which model is the best fit for your home and needs. It isn’t only the headset that’s important in your choice, either; you should also take into account whether or not you need a high-powered PC to help run it and whether or not you’ll want accessories to make your gaming experience better.

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Virtual Reality Devices

Depending on your needs and price range, there’s certain to be a VR headset for you. If you’re looking for an inexpensive entry point to the virtual world, you might start with a Google Cardboard, which pairs with a smartphone and comes at the easy entry point of around $15. If you already have Nintendo products, the Nintendo Labo VR Kit is an affordable way to bring VR to games you already have as well as a few new ones that have that Nintendo flair.

However, if you’re interested in a headset that’s designed to play the most popular and advanced VR video games, there are plenty of other options to choose from.

Oculus Quest 2 VR device

Oculus Quest 2

Meta's entry into the virtual world is an all-in-one system with a large library of apps and entertainment. Its slick and intuitive design allows for fast performance and a high-resolution experience without the need for cables or a powerful PC. The only requirement for this system is a Facebook account.

HTC Vive

HTC's stellar system is one of the top-rated products on the VR market thanks to its smooth graphics, easy-to-use controllers, and the way that it uses Valve's Lightroom technology to map out the playing space and track your movements. However, this headset needs to be connected to a powerful PC in order to run games and entertainment, and it's suggested that the user has plenty of space to truly immerse themselves in the experience.

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Valve Index

After teaming up with HTC to create the Vive, Valve created its own system that carries on the mission to create a high-powered and high-quality VR experience that truly allows you to customize your playing. The Valve Index's controllers conform to the shape of your hands and your personal pressure points. Unfortunately, despite the hefty price point, this system does not come with a charging cable, and it's much heavier than others, which can limit play time.

HP Reverb G2 VR device

HP Reverb G2

Like other VR systems, HP's entry in the VR market requires a powerful PC to get the most out of your entertainment and gaming experience, but unlike other systems, you can also play at a lower resolution using your current PC. It offers a great audio system and a lightweight and more comfortable headset than some of the other options, but due to its use of light-tracking technology, the controller batteries die faster, and bright sunlight and mirrors in a room can affect your ability to play.

PlayStation VR

If you already have a PlayStation and you're looking for a low-cost entry into virtual reality, this headset allows for a high-end experience at a relatively low cost while still allowing you to play many of the games you already own.

VR Accessories

Purchasing VR devices doesn’t end at just a headset and controllers: You can also buy accessories to enhance your gaming experience. Many of these accessories are designed to be universal, so no matter which model of headset you use, you’ll be able to add on virtual reality equipment that suits your needs. Some of your options include:

  • Virtual Reality Floor Orientation Mat: These are designed to help you stay within your safe play area by helping you to feel when you’re stepping out of the boundary. They can also have cushioning that makes it more comfortable to stand for long periods while you play.
  • VR Cable Management: Since most headsets come with cables that must be connected to the computer, it can be beneficial to purchase cable management hooks that can suspend the cable from your ceiling and keep it from getting tangled on the floor.
  • VR Stand: A stand for your system allows for a safe place to store your headset when you’re done playing. Some stands even offer the ability to charge your headset when it’s placed on top of it so when you pick it back up, you won’t have to worry about it dying on you mid-game.
  • Protected Travel Case: If you want to bring your headset along to a friend’s house or on vacation with you, a carrying case offers a safe space for you to place your device so it won’t get damaged during the trip.
  • Gaming Headphones: If you think the built-in audio of your headset is lacking, you can plug another set of headphones into the audio jack in order to get a better experience.
  • Power Bank Bracket: A power bank bracket provides a place for a new battery pack to be comfortably strapped to the back of the headset. It accommodates batteries of all shapes and sizes in order to add more power and help you get more play time out of your headset.
  • Controller Grips: If you find that your hands are sliding all over the place while playing, a set of controller grips can mitigate those issues by adding rubberized texture that will keep your hands from slipping.
  • Prescription Lens Adapter: For those who wear eyeglasses, the headset you purchase may not be incredibly comfortable, so including a prescription lens adapter can help you to play without sacrificing either comfort or your vision.
  • Silicone Cover: A silicone cover can slip into your headset over the existing face mask and act as a barrier between the sweat that comes from a successful gaming session and your headset.