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.
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.
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'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.
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.
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.
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.
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: