As this industry grows, there are plenty of different virtual reality (VR) systems on the market and more being added all the time, ranging from simple goggles that integrate with a smartphone to high-end setups with full-body tracking. But which virtual reality console is the best for your needs? The answer will depend on a range of factors, including your price range, compatibility with any existing software or hardware you want to use, and what level of capabilities you want from your virtual reality game system. Examine the pros and cons of some of the top systems out there today to determine the right VR console for you.
The Oculus Quest 2 is a seamless all-in-one virtual reality system that has a large library of apps. It has a slick and intuitive design with fast performance and great resolution, allowing it to deliver a great VR experience without the need for a powerful computer or a bunch of cables. While it doesn’t need a PC, you can still link it to one to make full use of the library of games available on PC. You do need a Facebook account to use your Oculus Quest 2, though, so if you currently don’t have one, you’ll have to make a new account in order to use this virtual reality set.
The HTC Vive is a stellar VR gaming system with smooth graphics and adaptable and easy-to-use touch controllers that allow you to move around your room with your headset instead of just standing in one place. Merged with Valve’s Lightroom technology, the HTC Vive allows you to map out a space you can move through for your games without walking into a wall or tripping over something. This VR setup is not ideal for people who live in a smaller apartment, as it requires plenty of space to move around in, as well as a powerful PC to run the experience.
The HP Reverb G2 was created by HP as an alternative to some of the bigger-name virtual reality systems. This VR game set, like other systems, requires a powerful PC to get the best possible resolution but can be run at half-resolution if your PC isn’t as high-end. It has some of the best audio options on the market and is more lightweight and comfortable than other headsets. Unlike other systems, though, the Reverb G2 does not use infrared tracking and instead uses light tracking, which means the controller batteries in this VR set die faster than in other systems. Using light tracking also means that your game is affected by bright sunlight in the room, which can change your in-game experience.
If you’d prefer a VR game console over just a headset, the PlayStation VR is your best bet. It is the only VR system that connects to a video game console, combining a comfortable headset with a PS4, PS4 Pro, or PS5, which allows you to use a variety of PlayStation games on your headset. Compared to other systems, the PlayStation VR is much more affordable while still giving you a high-end VR experience. It can also use many of the same games as other VR setups.
After their partnership with HTC to create the Vive headset, Valve went off to create their own VR system and succeeded in this endeavor with the Valve Index. This VR game machine is a high-quality build with the best controllers of any system out there today, and it comes with great expansion options. The images on the Valve Index are incredibly crisp, and the controllers strap on and can be adjusted to the size and shape of your hands, making them more comfortable and intuitive to use. The downsides of this system are that it’s much heavier than others and it doesn’t come with a charging cable, which, considering the hefty price tag, is a bit of a letdown.