VR Buying Guide - Holiday 2020: Best VR Headset for You!

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VR Buying Guide - Holiday 2020: Best VR Headset for You!
Date November 24, 2020
Duration 10:33
Link YouTube

VR Buying Guide - Holiday 2020: Best VR Headset for You! is the 25th episode of The Virtual Reality Show.



Unsure what VR headset is best for you? Trying to get a headset in time for the Holiday season? Buying a headset for a friend or family member? This video is for you! In only 10 minutes, I cover the 6 main headset options and talk about which ones are a good holiday buy and which ones aren’t. This video makes it all simple, so even if you know nothing about VR already, you should find this video helpful :) good luck, shoppers! I’m also going live right now after this video uploads- come say hi!


PHIA: Hey guys, and welcome back to The Virtual Reality Show! Where we talk about any and all things related to virtual reality, inside...virtual reality! Haha. I’m your host, PHIA.

Holiday Season is quickly approaching and VR is grabbing the eyes of many. There has never been a better time to jump into it and learn why strapping a box to your head can be so magical. However knowing which headset to buy can be really confusing. There's a bunch of different options at different prices and, I know for new shoppers, this can get quite overwhelming. So I'm here to give a simple buying guide so that you can quickly find out which ones you should be scoping out and which ones you should not. And if you're new to VR entirely and are curious how it works and why people love it, then make sure you check out my most recent video on my channel where I cover it all. [Video referenced: What is VR? An Introduction to Virtual Reality]

PHIA: I'm gonna go through all your options today from cheapest to most expensive, focusing only on the mainstream gaming headsets that people usually mention. There's six in total that I will be talking about today. But before I walk you through I do want to explain a few things to you that will help make your shopping experience easier. I'm going to break each headset into one of three categories; "Stand-alone", "Inside-out", and "External" tracking.

A stand-alone headset means that the headset can play games completely alone. You can take it anywhere with you and you do not need a computer to set it up. It's the easiest kind to use.

Inside-out tracking headsets mean all you need to do is connect it right to your computer and it will work! Because it can tell your position in the room... from the "inside out". heh heh

However, the external-tracking system requires you to have these things called Base Stations, which send out signals to track your position in the room.

PHIA: So recap...

Stand-alone: No computer

Inside-out: Computer

And External: Computer and Base Stations

PHIA: Now, with that out of the let's talk about these head mounted displays. The first headset is the Oculus Quest 2. This is a Facebook headset that just released on October and is a Stand-alone headset priced at $299 USD, making it incredibly affordable to other VR headsets on the market. This headset has an incredible resolution [1832 x 1920 px per eye @72hz base; *90hz support not available at time of writing] and is arguably the best entry point to VR that somebody can get right now. It's convenient for those of all ages because of its portability and low cost.

However the major drawback of this headset is that it has a limited game library. But you can purchase a Link Cable; a cable that runs from your computer to your headset that will expand that gaming library to run Steam games, rather than just Oculus exclusives. To use a Link Cable you will have to have certain computer specs, in fact for all non stand-alone VR headset you will have to have certain computer specs. VR can be quite intensive for computers, so if you're planning to buy a VR headset for someone this holiday season, make sure you do the research to make sure that your loved one will even be able to use it with their current setup.

PHIA The next headset is an Oculus Rift S. This inside-out tracking headset came out last year in 2019 and directly connects to your computer for easy access to a full gaming library. It is very similar to a Quest 2 but is more expensive. For most of you shoppers you'll want to skip over this headset and just get a Quest 2 unless there is a very good deal. At the filming of this video a Rift S is price at $399 [USD] which is more than a Quest 2 including a Link Cable. It's nearing the end of its life sadly.

PHIA The next headset is one that literally just started shipping out this month. Yes the HP Reverb G2 is a long awaited inside-out tracking headset that is priced at $599 [USD]. For double the cost of the Quest 2, you're getting a high quality gaming experience with the highest resolution of any headset on the market right now. [2106 x 2160 px per eye @90hz] It's steals some of the features of the top of the line HMDs and works as a great middle ground headset. I think most gamers will be very interested in getting an HP Reverb to join the VR hype without breaking the bank. It's great option. But unfortunately this wont make a great holiday buy this season because HP announced a few days ago that orders will not be shipping out until January unless you already preorder the headset previously. So unless you're willing to wait until after the holidays, the G2 will sadly not come in time for them.

PHIA The last inside-out tracking headset we'll talk about is the Vive Cosmos. Priced at $699 [USD] a hundred dollars more than the Reverb, it actually has worse specs than the G2... just by a tad. [1440 x 1700 px per eye @90hz] Unless a good deal comes out for the Cosmos the Reverb will likely be the better shopping option just for right now. The only big difference is that because the Cosmos is already out you can expect it to ship it out much faster.

PHIA But you might be more interested in the Vive Cosmos Elite priced at $899 [USD], which turns the head set into an external tracking system. So why would an external tracing system be more desirable when it's more expensive and more setup? Well two reasons. One, it provides more accurate tracking of your positioning with less latency but also because it provides the option for something called full body tracking. For most headset you only have tracking on your head and hands. But if you buy a Vive Tracking Pucks, that are $100 [USD] each, you can strap them on your waist and pheet.... and you get a way more immersive VR experience. Being in full body tracking takes VR to a whole new level, and for real VR enthusiasts this is a must. There's also an option for the Vive Cosmos that our next headset doesn't have; a wireless adapter. For an extra $300 [USD] you can purchase a wireless adapter that makes it so you can play VR games without a cord, just like the Oculus Quest 2 but with the full gaming library and amazing specs. This is a hugely incredible feature that while pricy, can transform a VR user's experience entirely. This really is for an enthusiast.

PHIA The final headset we will cover today is possibly the most talked about VR headset on the market and the one that I'm using right now. The Valve Index! The Valve Index is an external tracking headset priced at a whooping $1000 [USD] and is the most desired one that has been put on back order this entire year because of how in demand its been. So why would someone drop a grand on a VR headset? Well there's a lot of good reasons. To maximize the VR experience for enthusiasts you need the best specs possible and the best tracking possible, and the most control over your experience. [1440 x 1600 px per eye @144hz] The Index offers a lot of this and more when you consider its special controllers that only work with external Base Stations.

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scripted up to 07:17 in video