The Best Virtual Reality For Gaming
Virtual reality is far more than just donning a headset and killing monsters. But let’s face it, it is the coolest part about the digital immersion. Sure, we can visit distant planets, and we can practice performing surgeries without risking human lives.
The truth of the matter is though that we aren’t all astrophysicists. And we don’t all have to perform surgery. We can all appreciate a good video game though, and what better way to play as a fully armored knight than to actually be one?
This article will review the best virtual reality gaming systems available so you can slay dragons and save the princess (even if she is in another castle). Read on to find the perfect fit for you.
How We Choose Our Ratings
Our rating system is quite complex and inclusive. We don’t just see something and post it here for you to click on. We do research, spend hours testing (our job can be fun!) and then we hit the streets to find out what you think about the systems.
We begin by gathering all the information about the products as possible. We go to the manufacturers, the corporations and the vendors to find the best virtual reality systems they offer. We then take these systems back to our labs and test them extensively.
We don’t just play the games; we try to put the systems through all the paces. We emulate (sometimes it is an accident) anything you can possibly do to these setups. We drop them, toss them, twist and turn and tangle ourselves to find out how it really works.
We test lens adjustment, frames per second ratings, cable lengths, system requirements, fit, feedback and even sound and tactile responses. We also test out the peripherals, if there are any, and come up with a rating based on our findings.
We don’t stop there, though. We then get in line and read reviews, find the comments, issues, and complaints and see how they compare to our findings. We don’t just take our word for it, we take yours, as well.
If a complaint (or a compliment) is unfounded, we dismiss it. We try to duplicate problems, see if there are known solutions, and then we go out in the real world (where it’s scary) and talk to real owners to find out how they feel about the system they paid their hard earned money for.
Once we have all the information, we compile it all into a point based system. Those with the highest points overall are given a star rating. Those stars (out of 5) are then ordered from highest to lowest, based on all the factors we tested for.
We then bring our findings to you. Not only are these the best virtual reality gaming setups, but they are also the most trusted, tested and plays systems out there.So, without further ado. Here are the best virtual reality gaming systems you can buy right now.
The XX Best Virtual Reality Gaming Systems
The best is always going to be subjective. Do you want a mobile unit, tethered or stand alone? The choice is yours, and each option below gives you the best there is to offer, both in performance and functionality.
The Sony PlayStation VR is a tethered unit designed to fully immerse yourself in the virtual reality of your favorite games. You can get the VR system complete with a virtual reality game of your choice (Skyrim and Doom are topping the current charts.).
The system comes with the Sony headset, stereo headphones, two motion controllers, Sony camera, cables and the game.
The headset produces 1080p Full HD 3D with an industry leading 120 Frames per second (FPS). Completely plug-n-play, you just plug the headset and the camera into the PS 4 and off you go.
The camera tracks the movement of the headset, the motion controllers, and the DualShock 4 controllers. The high frame rate makes gameplay smooth and crystal clear.
- Be transported to amazing new worlds, in games, video and images. 360° experience. Weight - 0.76lbs
- Use the intuitive controller that comes in the box to drop, point, select and Drag with a Wave of your wrist
- Hundreds of games and experiences from Oculus. Sensor Type : Accelerometer, Gyro Sensor, Proximity Sensor
The Samsung Gear VR leads the market in mobile virtual reality. The latest system comes with a motion controller to allow even deeper immersion into the games. You can also link with other contacts to chat, play and watch movies in VR with your friends and family.
Samsung has also teamed with Oculus to bring you a huge library of games to play. The downside is that you must have a Samsung Galaxy phone, versions S6 through S9 Plus are compatible (as well as the Samsung Galaxy S5 Note Plus).
The headset offers 60 FPS and a 101-degree field of view which is just enough to cover peripheral vision and enjoy a seamless viewing experience.
- FREE CONTENT WITH PURCHASE - Two-month free trial of Viveport Subscription included with your purchase.
- FULLY IMMERSIVE - True-to-life movements with realistic graphics, directional audio and HD haptic feedback.
- PRECISION MOVEMENT TRACKING - 360-degree controller and headset tracking covers your movements to the millimeter,...
Another highly rated tethered system is the HTC Vive. One of the originators or the in-home VR movement, the Vive gives you total immersion with 360-degree rotation, haptic feedback, and location-based sounds.
You will need to purchase a subscription to Viveport and ensure your PC can handle the processing requirements. However, with your subscription, you are connected to the PC virtual reality games as well as Steam VR which has a current library of over 2800 VR games to purchase download and play.
- Required connectors: Features an HDMI 2.0 video output, USB 3.0, and 3.5mm audio jack; Bend VR to your will: Includes a...
- Compatible OS: Must be connected by a cable to a PC running Windows 10 Fall Creators Update
- Easy to wear and take off flip-up visor: Enables convenient transition from the virtual to the real world
Dell is one of the latest players to the game, and they come in swinging. The PC based system is a full immersion system using HD quality imaging in full 1080p. You also get haptic and tactile feedback from the controllers.
The headset is currently only compatible with Windows 10 with the Fall creators update. It offers inside-out cameras, though, that eliminates the need for external cameras to monitor motion. The headband has been designed to reduce the weight on your nose, neck, and brow for prolonged gaming time without fatigue or strain.
The visor flips up to allow you to go back and forth between the virtual and real worlds and the controllers are Bluetooth enabled for wireless control without interference.
- Personal Viewing: The littlest, big screen. Crystal clear optics and state-of-the-art 3D graphics make your headset feel...
- Viewing with Friends: Watch with friends. Meet up in VR with friends and fans from around the world to catch live...
- Portable & Easy to use: Ready when you are. Experience portable, all-in-one VR. That means no PC, phone, wires or...
The Oculus Go is a stand-alone unit that does not require cables, computers or mobile devices. Everything is built in, and the controller is wireless.
The visor is made from lightweight molded foam for comfort and use of wearing during long game sessions. The headset used quad-core processors for instant view updates, seamless transitions and the removal of the dilapidated “screen-door” effect of older VR models.
The sound is produced using spatial audio that is built into the headset, so you are always completely immersed when the headset is on. A download of the Oculus Companion app is required.
- Display Size: 2.89" x 2 & Resolution: 2,880 x 1,440 (1,440 x 1,440 per eye)
- Refresh Rate: 90Hz - Using HDMI 2.0, 60Hz - Using HDMI 1.4. Field of View 100 degree
- Tracking Sensors: Gyroscope, Accelerometer & Magnetometer
A surprise entry comes from Acer with the mixed reality headset. This tethered unit uses HDMI 2.0 and inside out cameras to produce stunning full HD resolution (1440×1440 per eye). It also has an impressive 90mHz refresh rate and a 100-degree field of view.
The headset is ultra lightweight and conforms to your head shape and size for added comfort. The black and white inside out cameras uses VGA vision to track movements while the wireless controllers give haptic feedback and thumbstick button controls.
An accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer are all included for tracking, positioning and acute sensitivity to the slightest movements.
When you are shopping for a virtual headset and system, what should you be looking for? There are several factors that come into play when making a final decision. This section is designed to help you find the perfect fit for you and your needs.
Your budget is going to be a big factor. Because virtual reality is so popular, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of options to choose from. Besides deciding what type of platform you will use your virtual reality system on, you need to know how much you can spend.
Sticking to your budget will help you appreciate your purchase even more. If you are new to the virtual reality world, you may not be ready or financially able to jump to the highest priced, most inclusive system. Allowing yourself to spend less to see if it is something worth your investment, is a smart choice.
Likewise, if you already have an entry-level system and want to upgrade, you will know what you are getting into and how much you should spend to get something bigger or better than what you currently have. Either way, though, you should find a budget and stick to it.
Mobile or Tethered
There are two major types of systems, mobile and tethered. Each one has its pros and cons, and each one will have different price ranges, requirements, and setups.
Mobile units are designed to be used with mobile phones or tablets. Some are specific to a type of phone, such as the Samsung Gear, which only works with Samsung Galaxy phones. Mobile units are headsets you fit your phone into.
Once inserted you put the headset on and the screen is split into two images by the headset lenses. The phone acts as the positioning tool, the motion detection, and the computer to run the program. The headsets are generally cheaper as all of the required components are on the phone instead of the headset itself.
Tethered units are larger and, in general, have more optional peripherals than mobile units. They will connect to a computer using an HDMI cable, and the head positioning sensors are built into the headset. The headset communicates with the computer to update direction, yaw, and tilt of your head, so the software knows what to display.
Tethered headsets also need powerful processors to run, and if you opt for the PlayStation VR, you will need a PlayStation 4. Before you plunk down your cash for a tethered unit, you should first ensure your computer can handle the demand, or that you have a PlayStation 4 ready to go.
Stand Alone Units
There is a newer version that is gaining in popularity known as stand-alone units. They take the mobile versions and power them like a tethered unit. It is a mix of the best of both worlds. You aren’t confined to the length of an HDMI cable, and you have more processing power than a cell phone.
Currently, options like the Oculus Go are Android only, though Apple is making progress on releasing stand-alone systems for their OS.
Once you have your budget, know what system requirements you have (or need to upgrade to) and have decided on what type of virtual reality system you want, the only thing left is finding the right one for you. The options listed in this article aren’t the only ones available, though they are the highest rated ones to date.
Virtual reality is taking over, and its users are growing in number by the day. Is it time for you to jump on the bandwagon? If you are into augmented reality gaming, you will enjoy virtual reality. If you like to become the hero of your favorite games, there is no better way to do it.
Because there are so many systems to choose from, prices of existing systems drop constantly, and new systems are popping up every few weeks with new features and better graphics and refresh rates.
There isn’t a better time than right now. Are you ready, Player One?