What is Virtual Reality and the best VR headset for me
Take your gaming to a new dimension...
31 Mar 2020
What is virtual reality?
Virtual Reality basically means ‘near reality.’ It’s a computer-generated 3D space which can be explored and interacted with. The idea is to trick your brain into thinking that what’s around it is real – or at least near to reality.
There are a lot of real-world applications for VR – including training fighter pilots and surgeons. But let’s not forget the most fun application of all – games!
The good news is that you can enjoy this amazing tech right now in your living room. So, we’ve put together of some of the best headsets you can get your hand on right now.
What is a VR headset?
A VR headset is the way you enter these cool virtual worlds. It’s a head-mounted device with eye tracking sensors. Pair it up with special gaming controllers and you’re good to go!
HTC Vive VR
In a nutshell: Super-powerful VR headset packed with clever tech and partnered with Steam gaming platform
The HTC Vive runs by connecting to a high-powered Windows 10 PC. This means it can use the PC’s powerful processor to play VR games and apps with the best graphics.
Gaming is incredibly immersive thanks to a wider field of view (110°). Apps and other VR content look sharper too with better-than-Full-HD screens (2160 x 1200 resolution) in the headset.
With the Vive Pro, your movements are tracked accurately in your virtual world with 32 separate sensors. But whether you go for the Vive Pro or Vive Cosmos, you control your game with motion-tracking hand controllers.
Vive also has a front-facing camera. With this you can switch between the virtual and the real world. So, no falling over the sofa!
VR games for HTC Vive
Online gaming platform Steam is integrated with the Vive to offer a collection of amazing VR gaming experiences – prepare to battle in slow-motion shoot ‘em up SUPERHOT or take to the green and practise your swing in The Golf Club.
Oculus Rift VR
In a nutshell: The headset that made VR a thing again – combining high power with simple control
Oculus Rift is the device that kick-started the current virtual reality trend and, along with the Quest, it has made Oculus a major name in household VR.
Like the HTC Vive, the Rift runs from your gaming PC or laptop using its processor power. Games look amazing through the Full HD resolution screens, while peripheral vision is excellent with a wide field of view.
Your movements are tracked accurately, from the slightest head-tilt to a full spin around, thanks to the headset’s built-in sensors and a separate tracking sensor.
Games are controlled using an Xbox One controller, which comes bundled with the headset. Or you can get handheld motion controllers called Oculus Touch with built-in motion tracking.
If you don’t have a PC and have no plans to get one, go with the Oculus Quest – which is everything you need to play VR games.
VR games for Oculus
Oculus has worked with studios and games developers to ensure there are plenty of games already available – from sci-fi epic Lone Echo to shoot-em-up Robo Recall and Elite Dangerous. You’ll find over 1000 games and apps in the dedicated Oculus Store.
In a nutshell: A great console option for PlayStation fans
If you already have a PS4, this would be a natural choice. The facial recognition function means that no one else is going to jump on your games, plus you can stream straight from your PS4 to YouTube.
The headset comes with an in-built screen with gives you 360° vision and 3D audio for super immersive gaming. Think: approaching zombie footsteps.
One great feature is that you have your choice of controller. You can go for the PlayStation VR Aim controller, PlayStation Move motion controller – or you could just use your tried and true dualshock controller.
VR games for PS4
Since it’s on the PS, you’ll find some big titles ported over to the virtual world – from fantasy epic Skyrim to hair-raising puzzler Resident Evil. Just two of 500 games to choose from.
Jump into your own VR PlayStation experience.
Check out our full range of VR headsets.