With the recent release of VR headsets to the domestic market, it has sparked a whole new wave of virtual reality needs. But, with so many VR headsets available, it can be hard to find the perfect VR headset system. Varying starting prices, requirements, and performance, some virtual reality headsets have risen and fallen while others have proceeded to dominate the market. At the moment, there are a clear 5 headsets that are the main competitors for your VR money. The most popular 3 are the following:
Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset created for use with a computer as a gaming peripheral, the higher performing headset matched with its highest price tag, the company is owned the hugely popular website FaceBook.
PlayStation 4 VR headset is another competitor, also focusing on the idea of a gaming-focused VR headset. While the Oculus Rift is for PC usage, the PlayStation VR is designed to be only used on the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro.
HTC Vive is another widely successful Headset available on the VR market. Needing a PC like the Oculus Rift, its lower performance can be an issue for some while others prefer its lower cost.
With virtual reality becoming so popular, the need for more headsets has grown, from some wanting the Oculus Rift while others are put off by the price to businesses creating cheap Chinese knockoffs for a fraction of the price and a fraction of the performance. But not every headset set to be released this yer is a poor attempt at a virtual reality headset designed to be sold cheaply, some new headsets have been revealed that show great promise in creating a more affordable VR experience for those that can’t afford the current iterations of headsets.
Zeiss VR One Plus – $130
The Ziess VR One Plus headset is the cheapest headset scheduled to be released this year that has the potential to make a positive splash in the VR community. Created by a German company that has a long positive history of creating lenses. Using their extensive knowledge, they have created an affordable headset to be used with a high spec mobile that works with both of the leading systems, IOS and Android. A more advanced and improved version of other mobile-focused VR headsets like Google Cardboard or Samsung Gear VR, the Zeiss VR One Plus will be using glass lenses that have higher capabilities of current high-end phones like Pixel XL, Samsung S7 Edge, and the iPhone 7 Plus.
Sixa Rivvr – $210
The majority of the available or to be released soon headsets focus around the use of PC’s doing the heavy lifting. That being said, the Sixa Rivvr is going to take a new approach to a VR headset, removing the cables. Many VR’s come with the addition of cables that are needed to make them work, mainly the high-end versions of virtual reality headsets. On the other hand, the current iterations of headsets that are wireless are the systems that use mobile phones as displays. With one side that offers performance and cables while the wireless options could not boast the same performance, it left people with very little in terms of options, especially those that use a small room for their VR experiences. The Sixa Rivvr offers the best of both, a high performing headset that does not restrict movement due to cables. At the moment, the makers of HTC Vive are trying to develop a TPCast that will make the Vive wireless but that has yet to be completed while Sixa is going to support multiple headsets with its technology.
Lenovo VR Headset – $300 (Approx)
While they did not show a working prototype of the headset they are creating, the Lenovo VR Headset shows the potential to be an interesting contender in the VR market. To be released sometime this year for “close to $300”, this headset will be a Holographic headset using the Windows computer system. It will be using a mixture of Microsofts VR software and their AP Holographic platform, allowing users to use either of its functions. Designed as a lighter and to be smaller than the markets popular Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, it will off a resolution that other systems cannot achieve using OLED screens. While other screens uses another camera to track the user’s head movements, the Lenovo Headset will be using a 6 degrees of freedom method of tracking, removing the need for an external camera to aid with tracking. This lack of a camera means that the device can be used in more situations that most other current Headsets. Another high point of the device is that it is compatible with 3rd party controllers currently used by some of the other VR systems.
Razor OSV Hacker Development Kit 2.0
Razor is a well-known company within the PC gaming community, offer many high ends performing computer systems and widely loved accessories like chairs to keyboards and mouse mats. Using their renown branding and money, they have begun to reach out into other markets in recent years like music and virtual reality. Having created 2 headsets available at a lower price while offering high performance, they have created yet another headset. Their newest iteration brings increased specification to closely match what the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive can currently achieve without their price tag, costing roughly the same at PlayStation 4 VR headset. The headset itself is also capable of working a wide ray of ecosystems, compatible with various software available for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.
Fove 0 – $600
Fove is a new competitor in the virtual reality marketing scene but has already been given $11 million to create and develop their headset. While some headsets focus around performance or ease of use, Fove has taken steps towards improved usage by introducing eye tracking into their headset. Eye tracking is not a new concept and has been used before, but not with the purpose of gaming. By integrating eye-tracking into the headset, Fove is hoping to offer a system that can be better controlled by using your eyes along with traditional methods, creating more possibilities of what can be done with virtual reality. Many people expect eye tracking to be a common thing once VR has grown to a certain point and Fove are aiming to be the first of many. Using this technology, Fove created games to display what could be done with eye tracking like aiming with your eyes in ‘Project Falcon’ or show how this technology could be used to increase general performance using their game ‘Lumen’ as an example, featuring foveated rendering. This rendering method will make the assets within the game ‘fully realized’ when you are looking at or near them, allowing the game to focus its hardware on improved gameplay rather than constantly rendering all the assets at any given time. The initial version is a black $600 model, available as a special edition to those that aided the funding on the website ‘Kickstarter’, the following systems will support a white finish.
Pico Neo CV – No price available yet
The Pico Neo CV is a new system created by Pice Technology, they have yet to release a price point or release date. Designed to work without the use of a mobile phone or a PC, it will run on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 using the Snapdragon VR SDK. This will mean that the headset will offer performance that lies between the high-end PC assisted headsets and the low-end mobile-focused headsets, without the use of wires that are a disadvantage of the high-end PC-based headsets. Supporting a built in head-tracker, sound system, and 1,5k VR display, the Pico Neo CV aims to be a self-isolated and running headset without external assistance for performance.
Dell VR Headset – No price available yet
Dell is another company that plans on creating a headset using the Windows software. Created to be a wired Holographic VR headset, it will be released sometime this year although no price has been announced as of yet. A non-working prototype was revealed but aiming to be around $300 according to Microsoft, they also intend to create laptops with software and Hardware to have VR integrated for around $500. The dell headset is created to be considered as a ‘Premium Experience’ with a non-tether model in
Acer VR Headset – No price available yet
During CES, Acer also revealed their non-working prototype but, was the most visually demanding of all available headsets there. Not much is known about this headset just yet, apart from that there is no price, no release date but will be released as part of Microsoft’s virtual reality headsets using a less expensive PC set up than the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.