The Year of VR
So this is year of VR. It will either be the year that changes gaming (and entertainment for that matter) as we know it, or it will be the year we look back on and go 'hey remember that dumb headset people used to wear to play games.' honestly I have no idea which way it's going to go, the optimist in me really hopes it takes off in a big way, because the immersive experience it offers will be like nothing else. While the pessimist in me thinks the price point will stop it from becoming the norm in the gaming world. With all that in mind I decided to break down the kit you can spend your money on this year to be an early adopter of the tech.
Samsung Gear VR
cost: £80/$100 (you also need a compatible phone like the Galaxy S6 or S7) Ok so this is the entry level of VR, if you have a compatible samsung phone this would be the way to go to dip your foot into the VR world, the list of games you can play aren't all that great but i am sure if the product is a sucess this will get better in no time, also as time goes on with new phones being released yearly to pair with this, the technology will get better. This also has the excellent touch of allowing you to watch Netflix and twitch through it and while i am sure your Netflix and chill skills would be seriously hampered by this, how cool will it be to watch Daredevil Season 2 from what feels like a big movie screen in the comfort of your own bed.
Cost: Around £400/ $599 This is the one that started it all, amazing how one Kickstarter campaign has the ability to change everything, this is going to be the top of the line product as far as VR is concerned, also if your considering this, please make sure you check to see if your pc can run it at a decent rate, i can imagine nothing more soul destroying than setting up this bad boy at home only to find that my PC makes it a horrible first look into the world of VR, and after spending hard earned cash on this, having to go out and spend hundreds more to upgrade my PC. I will say however I think this will be the best VR product on the market, the guys behind this had a passion for it like no one else, so they will want to make sure it does everything possible to bring VR to the forefront of our minds, Also with the addition of the touch controllers that are coming out later this year it will make it truly the most immersive VR experience out there.
Cost: £689/$700 The Vive is a direct competitor to the Rift and is the most complete VR experience out of the box, it launches with the headset and 2 controllers with motion sensors to give you a fully immersive experience, it also comes with 2 'lighthouse stations which you place in the corners of the room you will have this in so that it can map and scale the room, the price point is going to be the real sticking point here as its way more expensive than the Rift, however if you take into account that the controllers for the Rift will be at an extra cost this may not work out that much more expensive, although PC specs for running this machine aren't available at the moment expect it be around the same as the Rift. In my opnion, for the moment at least the Vive has the Rift beat, at least until we see what the touch controllers from the Rift team can do, so if you want to spend your money on a complete out of the box VR experience, here's where you do it.
Cost: £300/ $399 At first glance this looks like an excellent deal, however the price point that was recently announced is a little misleading, this requires the Playstation camera to work at all which is currently priced at $59/£40 and for the ideal experience you need 2 of the Playstation move controllers, so expect for the full bundle to cost you closer to $500 or £400. This device however in my opnion will bring VR to the masses if anything will, this is for 2 reasons, 1. it will be a plug and play device, no worrying if your graphics card is good enough or if you need extra RAM (unlike the others), 2. this will be alot of people's first experience with VR, think back to when the Wii exploded and you couldn't get one anywhere because they were constantly sold out, that wasn't due to an excellent marketing campaign for the Wii, no, its because you went to a family or friends home and they showed you Wii Sports, it was a totally new experience and everyone from your little brother to your granddad could play it, I honestly think that's what will happen here. The only issue ironically I do have with this Device is the hardware, it isn't going to give you that photo realistic immersive experience that the Vive and the Rift can offer, purely because neither the Playstation or the headset are powerful enough to do so. But if you already have a Playstation 4 and lets face it who doesn't by now and you want to get into the VR world without the worry of making sure your PC has what it takes this is the headset for you. So that's my views on the Virtual Reality experience's you can buy this year, I hope it helps you in making an informed decision as to what would best fit your needs. Hit us up on Twitter or Facebook with your thoughts on if VR will change the way we game.