VR has been in the back of every hardware manufacturers mind for the past 12 months, with every tech company worth their salt throwing their hat into the immersive content ring.
Oculus (owned by Facebook) is the leading name in virtual reality, but it’s by no means the only name worth knowing when it comes to VR.
Virtual Reality Players
Here’s a breakdown of the names worth knowing (including Oculus) when it comes to VR:
1. Oculus Rift
Oculus Rift is the grand daddy of VR, the original VR headset that made everyone sit up and take notice of this new technology.
Unlike some of the other headsets mentioned here, Oculus is not wireless and requires a high-end computer in order to function optimally.
The Rift has an OLED display, 1080×1200 resolution per eye, a 90 Hz refresh rate, and 110° field of view. It also has integrated headphones which provide a 3D audio effect, and rotational and positional tracking thanks to the company’s low latency Constellation tracking system.
Constellation is an infrared stationary sensor which creates a 3D scan of the room you’re playing in.
Oculus has also announced “Touch”, their own controllers, which help you perform certain actions in games.
Recommended PC Specs:
- Video Card NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD R9 290 equivalent or greater
- Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
- 8GB+ RAM
Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output
- 3x USB 3.0 ports plus 1x USB 2.0 port
- Windows 7 SP1 64 bit or newer
2. HTC Vive
HTC Vive is a collaboration between HTC (yes, the smartphone manufacturer) and the Valve Corporation. Like the Oculus Rift, Vive aims to create a 3D-mapped space for you to play in and it also requires a computer to power it.
Furthermore, Vive is the first VR headset to support Steam VR.
The Vive has a refresh rate of 90 Hz. The device uses two screens, one per eye, each having a display resolution of 1080×1200. The device uses more than 70 sensors including a MEMS gyroscope, accelerometer and laser position sensors, and is said to operate in a 4.6m by 4.6m tracking space if used with both “Lighthouse” base stations (lighthouse essentially being Vive’s version of Constellation).
As with the Oculus, Vive too has controllers to help you perform certain functions within the games you’re playing.
Recommended PC Specs:
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970, AMD Radeon R9 290 equivalent or better
- Intel Core i5-4590/AMD FX 8350 equivalent or better
- 4 GB or more
- HDMI 1.4, DisplayPort 1.2 or newer
- 1x USB 2.0 or better port
- Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1 or later, Windows 10
3. Samsung Gear VR
Samsung’s Gear VR was the first truly consumer centric VR headset. Developed as a partnership between Samsung Electronics and Oculus, the Gear VR uses a Samsung smartphone to power the headset instead of a high-end PC.
The Gear VR weighs 318g, has an accelerator, gyrometer and proximity sensor, a 96 degree field of view and works with the Samsung Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S7 and S7 Edge.
Unlike the two previous VR headsets, the Gear VR does not have touch controllers and instead relies on a touch pad on the side of the headset to help you perform certain tasks.
Due to the limitation of your smartphone’s display resolution, the Gear VR’s display isn’t as immersive as the hTC Vive or the Oculus Rift. This also, however, makes the Gear VR less expensive than many other VR headsets.
4. Playstation VR
Playstation VR is the first VR headset made by, arguably, the world’s best gaming console manufacturer.
The PlayStation VR has a 5.7 inch OLED display, with an RGB sub-pixel matrix resolution of 1080p (which equals to 960×1080 per eye), displays content at 120fps and has a 100-degree field of vision.
Designed to be used with the Playstation 4, the PSVR has a few nifty features. These include Social Screen which shows what you’re seeing in the VR headset on a TV screen, thus hopefully making the VR experience less solitary.
In order to use Playstation VR, you’ll need a PS4, Playstation Camera and a Dualshock 4 controller or Playstation’s Move motion controllers.
Full Tech Specifications For the PSVR
|External Dimensions|| VR headset: Approx. 187×185×277 mm (width × height × length, excludes largest projection, headband at the shortest)
Processor unit: Approx. 143×36×143 mm (width × height × length, excludes
|Mass||VR headset: Approx. 610g (excluding cable)
Processor unit: Approx. 365g
|Panel Size||5.7 inches|
1920×RGB×1080 (960×RGB×1080 per eye)
|Field of View||
Approximately 100 degrees
Six-axis motion sensing system (three-axis gyroscope, three-axis accelerometer)
|Connection Interface||VR headset: HDMI, AUX, Stereo Headphone Jack
Processor unit: HDMI TV, HDMI PS4, USB, HDMI, AUX
|Processor Unit Function||
3D audio processing, Social Screen (mirroring mode, separate mode), Cinematic mode
|Included||VR headset × 1
Processor unit × 1
VR headset connection cable × 1
HDMI cable × 1
USB cable × 1
Stereo headphones × 1 (with a complete set of earpiece)
AC power cord × 1
AC adaptor × 1
5. Google Daydream
Daydream is Google’s first official foray into VR (not counting Google Cardboard).
The company unveiled the VR headset at the recent Google Pixel phone launch. Like Samsung’s Gear VR, the Daydream VR headset is powered by a smartphone instead of a PC. At this stage, only the Google Pixel (in both sizes) and the ZTE Axxon 7 are Daydream compatible.
Currently, not much is known about Google’s Daydream VR headset other than that it requires powerful phones in order to work and at this stage, only the three phones mentioned above are Daydream capable. Google has said, however, that more Daydream compatible phones will be created by manufacturers such as Samsung, Huawei and more in the future.
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