As gamers look for the best hardware, this list of VR headsets helps narrow the field

Albert Sheng • July 3, 21:02

Virtual Reality has been gaining a lot of traction in recent times, partly because people like Mark Zuckerberg have shown sudden interest. It was revealed recently that Facebook will be investing heavily in VR experiences, significantly buffering VR development. 

Many games are also now getting into virtual experiences, and gamers are thus adding VR gear to their existing arsenal of peripherals. This has even begun to extend into competitive gaming, with the potential for future expansion into esports. 

The introduction of VR into esports could make competing in the digital arena closer than ever to physical sports. Fully immersive gaming competitions could take on a physicality that isn’t yet there when it’s just a competitor and their more traditional input methods, such as mice, keyboards, and controllers. 

Gaming peripherals in general have become a large part of the market for competitive gamers. This includes gaming-specific chairs that allow for comfortably spending hours at a computer. A comparison of these gaming chairs with regular office chairs can be found here. 

Competing at a high level against others requires the very best gear. Competitive games tend to be intense, and when competing against others, players don’t want to lose. This remains true whether they’re playing for a higher rank or for a bigger chunk of a prize pool.

But with so many peripheral choices available, how does one choose the best option? This listing may help when it comes to VR specifically.

Oculus Go

Oculus Go is the headset for a casual user. It’s not ideal for competitive play but, as a beginner’s headset, it will allow you to get a feel of what VR can look and feel like. Unlike most other headsets, this is a standalone unit so you don’t need to plug it into a computer or use your smartphone. The only downside about this headset is that it doesn’t feature bluetooth technology for audio, so you need to plug in your headphones directly into it. 

Oculus Quest

Oculus started out in a garage before Facebook bought it up. Now, Oculus is at the forefront of VR and its Quest model is their top product.

The Quest is a standalone headset, so there is no need to hook it up to a computer. It also gives the freedom to move around, and the sensors and camera makes sure that it takes the outside world into account while delivering its virtual experience. The Quest runs on a Snapdragon 835 processor and comes in 64GB and 128GB variants. This makes for a system that can really keep up on a competitive level but is easy enough to use that you can minimize your practice time on the mechanics of it. For more about the kind of content compatible with the device, see here.

PlayStation VR

Sony’s PlayStation is perhaps the world’s most popular gaming console, and when it comes to VR it also provides a reasonable option for many.

Sony came out with a VR headset that could connect to the PS4 and the newl PS5 console. This headset is obviously limited to those with a PlayStation, making it something of a niche product. That being said, with millions of PlayStation 4 consoles already sold, it’s a large niche.

HTC Vive

Not to be left behind in the race for VR, HTC has a headset called Vive which is very powerful and has a loyal following. This headset comes with a camera that keeps a track of the wearer’s surroundings, which cuts down on any disorientation. This is crucial for spending hours a day in-game.

However, HTC Vive is slightly more expensive than the other headsets listed here. It justifies its price with powerhouse components that ensure that there will be no sudden glitches or slowdowns.

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