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Overview of VR Headsets2:47 with Nick Pettit
There are many different VR headsets on the market, so it's important to understand their different capabilities and how each one is categorized.
This list shows how each headset can be categorized. Keep in mind this is not a comprehensive list, and it only includes the most popular headsets.
"High-End VR" headsets tend to be more expensive, and they require a powerful computer or gaming console to run. However, they provide the highest fidelity experiences. These headsets can be further subdivided into "seated" and "room-scale" categories.
These headsets are generally designed for games and experiences where the user is sitting down, although with software and hardware updates, this could change in the future.
- Oculus Rift
- PlayStation VR
These headsets support "room-scale" VR which allows the user to stand up and (safely) walk around a tracking volume.
- HTC Vive
These headsets generally provide a lesser experience than their high-end counterparts, but they're also less expensive and wireless.
- Samsung GearVR
- Google Cardboard
There are many different VR headsets right now and
nobody is certain if they'll continue to coexist or
if the market will eventually end up with a few clear leaders.
Right now we're in the early days of VR, so in the years to come,
there may be a few clear winners, similar to how the smartphone market started with
many different competitors, but largely settled on iOS and Android.
Here's a breakdown of the VR headsets.
Some headsets fall into what I call the high-end category, or high-end VR.
They provide the best experience, but they also have the highest cost.
They also require lots of wires and a more powerful computer.
The high end VR category can also be further broken down into seated and
room scale headsets.
The first of those is the Oculus Rift.
And it's also perhaps the best known of the headsets out there right now.
The Oculus Rift has a high resolution display, built in headphones and
provides a really great experience.
But you also need a powerful windows PC in order to run it.
Another VR headset is Playstation VR.
This also has a fairly high resolution display although slightly lower than
the Oculus Rift and you need a PlayStation 4 in order to use it.
Then there's room scale VR and The HTC Vive Falls into this category.
The Vive includes hand tracked controllers and also allows you to use
a tracking volume so you can actually stand up and walk around a room.
And while the Oculus Rift and Playstation VR are considered to be seated
experiences for now, that could change in the future.
Playstation VR has hand traction controllers and later this year Oculus
will also introduce Oculus touch which are their version of hand tracted controllers.
The next category of headsets are what I would describe as mobile VR.
They provide a slightly lesser experience, but
they come at a lower cost and they're wireless.
They only require a smartphone and matching headset.
The first of those is the Samsung Gear VR, which is in partnership with Oculus.
This of course works with Samsung phones and it provides
a fairly good experience because the Samsung phones are fairly high resolution.
Finally, there's Google Cardboard which is probably the lowest and
experience but it's also the cheapest and most accessible because it only requires
a phone either iPhone or Android and a Google Cardboard headset.
Even though VR is in its early days,
there's already quite a lot of headsets to choose from.
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