VR Headsets Throughout History

When people think of modern virtual reality, many think of the popular Oculus headsets that are now sold by Meta (formerly Facebook). However, virtual reality has been around for a very long time, though VR headsets have only recently become popular.

The VR Space team looked at different virtual reality headsets through the years to see what each of the headsets look like and how technology has advanced in the past few decades.

Want to display this infographic on your website? You can copy the below code and paste it into your website.

10 Virtual Reality Headsets That Are Yet to be Released

A Timeline of Early VR Headsets

Virtual reality has existed in some form for decades. The Sword of Damocles, a head-mounted display created in 1968 by computer scientist Ivan Sutherland, is considered to have been the first VR headset, though it was never released to the public, as it was too heavy for users to wear comfortably for extended periods of time.

Sega attempted to develop a commercial virtual reality headset in 1993. The company created the Sega VR headset to act as a peripheral to their popular Sega Genesis console. Unfortunately, Sega ran into development issues, and the headset was never officially released.

The Forte VFX1 was released in 1995 and consisted of a head-mounted display with speakers and a handheld controller. It was one of the first VR headsets for PC and required an IBM-compatible PC with 500 KB of free hard-drive space.

Nintendo’s Virtual Boy was the next VR headset to come out. Released in 1995, this headset was marketed as the first to render 3D graphics. While the console was revolutionary in the video game world, it was slammed by critics and failed to meet expected sales goals. It’s Nintendo’s lowest-selling console to date, with fewer than 1 million units sold. Despite its initial failure, Nintendo enthusiasts today consider the Virtual Boy to be a collectable. Because so few units were sold, it’s a rarity in the community.

The New Generation of Virtual Reality

It wasn’t until the mid-2010s that VR headsets really started gaining mass popularity. The Oculus VR systems were the initial leaders in the virtual reality headset race. The Oculus Rift DK1 was released in 2013, and the DK2 was released in 2014, but it wasn’t until the first commercially available Oculus Rift was released in 2016 that things really started moving. This revolutionary headset featured a 1080×1200 resolution per eye and retailed for $599. It sold more than 500,000 units. Oculus has since produced many other headsets, including the Oculus Go (2018), Oculus Rift S (2019), Oculus Quest (2019), and Oculus Quest 2 (2020).

While Oculus might be the most well-known brand of virtual reality equipment, many other popular headsets have been released in the past decade, too. HTC has produced a number of popular and impressive headsets through the years, particularly its most recent headset, the HTC Vive Flow. Released in 2021, it features a 1600×1600 resolution per eye and 100° field of view.

In terms of console-based VR headsets, one of the most popular is the PlayStation VR. Originally released by Sony in 2016, this headset works with both the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.

Wondering which VR console to buy? It’s hard to say which is the best virtual reality system available, as the right choice will vary for each person. With so many options on the market, there’s a VR headset for anyone, regardless of your needs or price point.

A History of Virtual Reality Headsets from 1993 to 2021

Name of VR Headset Release Date Resolution per Eye Field of View Tethered or Standalone? Price
Sega VR April 1993 N/A N/A Console-powered VR N/A
Forte VFX1 December 1994 263×230 35.5° PC-powered VR $695
Virtual Boy June 1995 384×224 N/A Standalone VR $179.95
IIS VFX3D January 2000 380×337 35° PC-powered VR $1,800
Sony PUD-J5A September 2002 827×228 25° Console-powered VR $500
NVIS nVisor SX60 December 2002 1280×1024 44° PC-powered VR $24,000
Oculus Rift DK1 March 2013 640×800 90° PC-powered VR $300
Oculus Rift DK2 July 2014 960×1080 94° PC-powered VR $350
3Glasses D2 June 2015 1280×1440 110° PC-powered VR $400
Razer OSVR HDK 1.4 August 2015 960×1080 100° PC-powered VR $399
Oculus Rift March 2016 1080×1200 88° PC-powered VR $599
HTC Vive April 2016 1080×1200 92° PC-powered VR $799
LG 360 VR May 2016 920×720 80° Phone-powered VR $200
Razer OSVR HDK 2 July 2016 1080×1200 110° PC-powered VR $399
DPVR M2 Pro August 2016 1325×1440 96° Standalone VR $495
PlayStation VR October 2016 960×1080 96° Console-powered VR $299
3Glasses Blubur S1 November 2016 1440×1440 110° PC-powered VR $530
Genbasic Quad HD November 2016 2560×1440 110° Standalone VR $199
Pimax 4K December 2016 1920×2160 110° PC-powered VR $375
ClassVR March 2017 1280×1440 110° Standalone VR N/A
DPVR E3B March 2017 1280×1440 110° PC-powered VR $250
Snapdragon 835 VR Development Kit May 2017 1280×1440 90° Standalone VR $1,500
ANTVR Cyclop July 2017 1080×1200 110° PC-powered VR $450
Woxter Neo VR100 July 2017 960×1080 N/A Standalone VR $180
Acer AH101 October 2017 1440×1440 97° PC-powered VR $399
Dell Visor October 2017 1440×1440 97° PC-powered VR $349
HP VR1000 October 2017 1440×1440 95° PC-powered VR $399
Lenovo Explorer October 2017 1440×1440 97° PC-powered VR $380
Medion Erazer X1000 November 2017 1440×1440 95° PC-powered VR $449
Samsung Odyssey November 2017 1440×1600 101° PC-powered VR $499
VRgineers VRHero 5K Plus November 2017 2560×1440 150° PC-powered VR $9,000
Pico Goblin December 2017 1280×1440 92° Standalone VR $269
3Glasses Blubur S2 January 2018 1440×1440 90° PC-powered VR $549
Asus HC102 February 2018 1440×1440 96° PC-powered VR $429
Snapdragon 845 VR Development Kit March 2018 1440×2560 110° Standalone VR N/A
HTC Vive Pro April 2018 1440×1600 98° PC-powered VR $599
Oculus Go April 2018 1280×1440 89° Standalone VR $199
Lenovo Mirage Solo May 2018 1280×1440 110° Standalone VR $400
Xiaomi Mi VR May 2018 1280×1440 94° Standalone VR $200
Huawei VR2 May 2018 3200×1440 100° PC-powered VR $289
VRgineers XTAL June 2018 2560×1440 150° PC-powered VR $5,800
Pico G2 July 2018 1440×1600 92° Standalone VR $249
DPVR P1 October 2018 1280×1440 N/A Standalone VR $199
Samsung Odyssey+ October 2018 1440×1600 101° PC-powered VR $499
Pimax 5K XR November 2018 2560×1440 150° PC-powered VR $1,449
Helmet Vision January 2019 3840×1200 120° Standalone VR $349
Pimax Vision 8K+ February 2019 3840×2160 150° PC-powered VR $1,449
Varjo VR-1 February 2019 1440×1600 87° PC-powered VR $6,000
HP Reverb April 2019 2160×2160 96° PC-powered VR $599
HTC Vive Focus April 2019 1440×1600 110° Standalone VR $599
Valve Index April 2019 1440×1600 107° PC-powered VR $999
3Glasses X1 May 2019 1200×1200 105° Standalone VR $550
Oculus Quest May 2019 1440×1600 94° Standalone VR $399
Oculus Rift S May 2019 1280×1440 88° PC-powered VR $399
Pico G2 4K May 2019 1920×2160 92° Standalone VR $399
HTC Vive Pro Eye June 2019 1440×1600 98° PC-powered VR $1,599
DPVR E3 4K August 2019 1920×2160 110° PC-powered VR $399
Acer OJO 500 October 2019 1440×1440 95° PC-powered VR $399
HTC Vive Cosmos October 2019 1440×1700 97° PC-powered VR $699
Varjo VR-2 October 2019 1440×1600 87° PC-powered VR $4,995
DPVR P1 Pro 4K November 2019 1920×2160 100° Standalone VR $349
Huawei VR Glass December 2019 1600×1600 90° diagonal Phone-powered VR $430
Varjo XR-1 December 2019 1440×1600 87° PC-powered VR $11,995
Pimax Artisan January 2020 1700×1440 130° PC-powered VR $449
VRgineers XTAL 8K January 2020 3840×2160 150° PC-powered VR $7,980
HTC Vive Cosmos Elite March 2020 1440×1700 97° PC-powered VR $899
StarVR One April 2020 1830×1464 210° PC-powered VR $3,200
Pico Neo 2 May 2020 2048×2160 101° Standalone VR $699
QWR VRone 4K August 2020 N/A N/A Standalone VR $550
ClassVR Premium October 2020 1280×1440 100° Standalone VR N/A
HP Reverb G2 October 2020 2160×2160 98° PC-powered VR $599
Lenovo Mirage VR S3 October 2020 1920×2160 101° Standalone VR $450
Oculus Quest 2 October 2020 1832×1920 89° Standalone VR $299
Pimax 5K Super November 2020 2560×1440 150° PC-powered VR $1,299
Varjo VR-3 December 2020 2880×2720 115° PC-powered VR $3,195
Varjo XR-3 December 2020 2880×2720 115° PC-powered VR $5,495
XRSpace Manova December 2020 1440×1440 100° Standalone VR $499
HP Reverb G2 Omnicept Edition April 2021 2160×2160 98° PC-powered VR $1,249
Nolo X1 April 2021 1280×1440 96° Standalone VR $399
Pico Neo 3 May 2021 1832×1920 98° Standalone VR $390
HTC Vive Focus 3 June 2021 2448×2448 116° Standalone VR $1,300
HTC Vive Pro 2 June 2021 2448×2448 116° PC-powered VR $1,399
Nolo Sonic June 2021 1920×2160 101° Standalone VR $470
Arpara VR August 2021 2560×2560 95° PC-powered VR $599
DPVR P1 Pro Light August 2021 1280×1440 N/A Standalone VR $399
DVPR P1 Ultra 4K August 2021 1920×2160 N/A Standalone VR $599
HTC Vive Flow November 2021 1600×1600 100° Standalone VR $499
Huawei VR Glass 6DoF November 2021 1600×1600 90° diagonal Phone-powered VR $620

Virtual Reality Headsets That Have Not Yet Been Released

VR Headset Name Date Announced Resolution per Eye Field of View Tethered or Standalone? Price
Lynx R1 January 2020 1600×1600 90° Standalone VR $500
Canon MREAL S1 September 2020 1600×1200 45° PC-powered VR $38,500
DecaGear October 2020 2160×2160 114° PC-powered VR $549
iQIYI Qiyu 3 January 2021 2160×2160 95° Standalone VR N/A
Playstation VR 2 February 2021 2000×2040 N/A Console-powered VR N/A
Arpara VR All In One May 2021 2560×2560 95° Standalone VR N/A
Roscosmos XR-2 May 2021 2880×2880 N/A PC-powered VR N/A
Pimax Reality 12K QLED October 2021 N/A 200° Standalone VR $2,399
Varjo Aero October 2021 2880×2720 100° PC-powered VR $1,999
Diver-X HalfDive December 2021 1600×1440 N/A PC-powered VR $1,200

Virtual Reality Headsets That Have Not Yet Been Released

VR Headset Name Date Announced Resolution per Eye Field of View Tethered or Standalone? Price
Lynx R1 January 2020 1600×1600 90° Standalone VR $500
Canon MREAL S1 September 2020 1600×1200 45° PC-powered VR $38,500
DecaGear October 2020 2160×2160 114° PC-powered VR $549
iQIYI Qiyu 3 January 2021 2160×2160 95° Standalone VR N/A
Playstation VR 2 February 2021 2000×2040 N/A Console-powered VR N/A
Arpara VR All In One May 2021 2560×2560 95° Standalone VR N/A
Roscosmos XR-2 May 2021 2880×2880 N/A PC-powered VR N/A
Pimax Reality 12K QLED October 2021 N/A 200° Standalone VR $2,399
Varjo Aero October 2021 2880×2720 100° PC-powered VR $1,999
Diver-X HalfDive December 2021 1600×1440 N/A PC-powered VR $1,200
VR Headset Name Date Announced Resolution per Eye Field of View Tethered or Standalone? Price
Lynx R1 January 2020 1600×1600 90° Standalone VR $500
Canon MREAL S1 September 2020 1600×1200 45° PC-powered VR $38,500
DecaGear October 2020 2160×2160 114° PC-powered VR $549
iQIYI Qiyu 3 January 2021 2160×2160 95° Standalone VR N/A
Playstation VR 2 February 2021 2000×2040 N/A Console-powered VR N/A
Arpara VR All In One May 2021 2560×2560 95° Standalone VR N/A
Roscosmos XR-2 May 2021 2880×2880 N/A PC-powered VR N/A
Pimax Reality 12K QLED October 2021 N/A 200° Standalone VR $2,399
Varjo Aero October 2021 2880×2720 100° PC-powered VR $1,999
Diver-X HalfDive December 2021 1600×1440 N/A PC-powered VR $1,200