5 Most Popular VR Headsets in 2018 (with Pricing Difference Breakdown)
In the previous post, we have listed a bunch of VR cameras for potential creators. Now, it is time for any interested users. There are three types of VR headsets: mobile, premium mobile, and tethered. While you have likely heard about these big names, what we have below will give you a more comprehensive idea about them!
IDEALENS K3 basic $499
In December 2017, IDEALENS officially launched the third generation of VR all-in-one HMD IDEALENS K3 basic and VR education scheme at the Education Equipment Exhibition in China. During the CES, IDEALENS released the reference market price of K3 basic for USD 499.
IDEALENS plans to partner with the leading human-computer interaction technology company Leap Motion to embed its next generation hand tracking technology in IDEALENS K3-E headset. This inside-out tracking system operates without a controller or base station that most VR sets require, enabling students to explore the virtual world in a more natural way. In addition, IDEALENS K3 system supports Cardboard and Android applications, which allows users to have a fully immersive viewing experience anytime anywhere.
Samsung Gear VR $99.99
Among the available products of premium mobile VR headsets, Samsung’s owns the best reputation so far for its great user experience. Its basic functions are very similar to Google Cardboard’s. However, Samsung Gear VR has an easy-to-use touch pad and is quite light-weighted, so you can play and watch more comfortably. Moreover, Samsung has been constantly improving user experience, including room for eyeglasses and more padding for extra comfort and durability. Price ranges from $60 to $100, which is rather affordable, compared with Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. One downside though, is that the device is only compatible with the Samsung’s Galaxy series smartphones.
Oculus Rift $599.99
Initiated as an independent company and acquired by Facebook in 2014, Oculus started developing Rift all the way back in 2012. Compared with the mobile headsets, Oculus Rift’s head-mounted display provides a view of higher resolution and broader field, in addition to its integrated headphones which provide a 3D audio effect. The sensor can normally sit on a desk, allowing you to use the device while sitting, standing, or walking around the same room. In June 2015, Oculus revealed that a successor to the Rift is likely to be released in around 2–3 years from the Rift release.
HTC Vive $799.99
Released in April 2016, HTC Vive is one of the most premium VR headsets on the market with a relatively high price if $799. However, you do get more for what you pay, as the Vive captures your action accurately with low latency, so you can walk or move around more freely while wearing the headset, bringing a better experience of immersion. Besides, the bundle includes two controllers, the Lighthouse base stations, some ear buds plus games copies, creating a whole “VR-room” environment for users.
Sony PlayStation VR- $399.99
As the name suggests, PS VR is customized for PlayStation 4 platform, which would “redefine your expectations of immersion in gaming”. However, while PS VR’s sole compatibility with PS4 limits its audience, it also has great advantage as there will be a large number of exclusive games in the future. Thus, it is worth purchasing to those planning on getting PS4 at some point. Up until today, Sony has sold nearly one million Playstation VR headsets.
Google Cardboard $15
Just like its official slogan claimed, “Experience virtual reality in a simple, fun, and affordable way.” Google Cardboard, developed by Google for promotion of the VR concept, is indeed made up of cardboard, and in different sizes for compatibility with different smart phones. It was first distributed to attendants at the 2014 Google I/O meeting as a gift. Then, at the 2015 I/O meeting, Google announced the 2nd generation of Cardboard, as well as details of its parameters and production skills, making it possible for the general public to DIY their own VR device. The easiest application of the device is to view panoramas and videos. In addition, Google has launched a number of VR games on the Google Play store, such as the Titans of Space and Deep Space Battle. Regarding Google Cardboard’s low cost (as low as $15), you probably should not set your expectations too high, but it is enough for you to experience the basics of VR.