The Alternative Realities of Our Time

The thing is, there are a ton of VR devices set to be released in 2016, and a serious question comes up – Which virtual reality headset to choose?

At the moment, The Big Three of VR are: Sony’s Morpheus, Facebook-owned Oculus Rift, and The Vive. Each, and every one of them are capable of offering a, sort-of, distinct virtual reality experience, and each and every one of them has exclusive titles. Some of them are multi-platform, but, unfortunately, not that many.

I didn’t include Microsoft’s HoloLens, because it’s more augmented reality than virtual.

We’ll most likely see a virtual reality headset war in the years to come. It’s more than logical to presume that companies will fight each-other in order to cement their positions as reigning kings – just like they did with gaming consoles.

Virtual Reality Headsets - What to choose

The current, on-going war between Playstation 4, and Xbox One has yet to set a champion, but sales hint at who has the upper-hand – Sony’s PS4. Both consoles have a fan-base, and both consoles have exclusive titles announced every year.

Like I said before, at least for the first years of virtual reality, headsets will mostly try to have only exclusive titles, with a few games that will feature multi-platform availability.

Sony announced at E3 that they are trying to build-up a library of games to entice VR enthusiasts in buying their product. Facebook-owned Oculus Rift stated that they are offering millions to indie devs to build exclusive games for their platform. The Vive is a little bit more reluctant in showcasing its capabilities, but don’t let that fool you, they have Valve backing them up. The alliance with the digital retailer behemoth may prove to be just what they need to dominate the arena.

Virtual Reality Headsets - Oculus Rift
Oculus Rift

It’s quite hard to choose a virtual reality headset solely based on its performance, because we don’t have a standard of quality set  yet!

What we know is that we would just love to not get motion sickness from using our headset. We would also love to play awesome VR games that offer an unique virtual reality experience.

It’ll mostly come down to what headset proves to be capable of delivering an enjoyable, and unforgettable gaming session. Sony might go with their Move to help users get acquainted easier with virtual reality, and at the same time, they can feature games from the traditional medium. Microsoft, and Oculus have teamed up, and gaming will be possible using an Xbox One pad – but it doesn’t limit the experience to it.

Virtual Reality Headsets - HTC The Vive
The Vive

SteamVR will have a more evolved tracking system in place, and the company is rumoured to rely mostly on their breakthrough system.

Of course, it’s too early to make a decision regarding which virtual reality headset to save up money for. Although, Oculus will only work on a $1000+ PC rig – your desktop computer needs to pack quite the punch if you want to enjoy this new trend. Add that to Oculus’ base cost of $350-$500, and you can easily reach the $1500 mark. That’s not something you want to spend on impulse.

Sony’s Morpheus will require a Playstation 4 console, and who knows how much their game controller will cost. So $400 plus another $400, or even $500, and you almost reach the $1000 mark for a virtual reality headset.

There is no available data for SteamVR at the current moment.

Virtual Reality Headsets - Project Morpheus
Project Morpheus

If you aren’t putrid rich, then it’s going to be tough to choose a virtual reality headset. In an ideal setting, you would buy all of them. But, alas, you’re in the real world, not in your mind palace.

What I’m mostly afraid of is that the virtual reality headset war is going to be a nightmare. A great game appears on Oculus that proves to be fresh, and quite innovating. Shortly after, something else tops it, but it’s only going to be available on Project Morpheus. I know that competition drives to a better user experience, and in the end, we, the users, will have a quality standard set in motion, but until then, may God have mercy on our jealousy.

Exclusivities make perfect sense, but we’re going to have a tough time in the first years after headsets launch.

Virtual Reality horror games

Another thing that drives me bonkers is the fact that game developers seem to be obsessed on creating survival horror games. The Forest, The Deep, Paranormal Activity VR, Edge of Nowhere, and the list can go on, and on.

Enough already. We’re sick, and tired, of games that can scar us for life. Take advantage of the the virtual reality headset, of its medium, and bring us a refreshing game. We need a breath of fresh air for crying out loud. Games, apps, and whatnot, make or break virtual reality, and I don’t want this new tech to go the way of Kinect.

I want everyone to buy a virtual reality headset, not just only enthusiasts. Sure, Google Cardboard is great, and also FullDive, but that’s not what we want. We want to live in another era, we want something to shock us – just like the Wii did.

Virtual reality game Time Machine
Virtual Reality Game Time Machine

To come back to my original question – Which virtual reality headset to choose? – I can only have one answer. Pick whatever. Why? Because it’s going to be a crazy few years anyway, and games will come out for every platform. Every VR headset will have its own awesome library of games.

The wow factor is alive, and breathing. Virtual reality needs to become much more cheaper, and accessible if the industry wants to continue its journey into the future. The are enthusiasts out there, but the VR industry can’t live only on those who want to take a risk.

Virtual Reality Headset Prototype

What are you going to pick when the time comes? Are you going the way of Facebook, and their Oculus Rift? Maybe the Japanese-based company’s Project Morpheus tickles your fancy. Ow, you’re set on The Vive, and their unique Steam virtual reality store page? Tell us in the comment section below.

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