There is no doubt that we live in a world that is not only electronically connected, it is electronically motivated. In fact, it seems as if almost everything that we do is surrounded by electronics and that is evident when you simply look up and see all the people who are buried in their mobile phone, chatting, playing games and checking their social media streams. Sometimes, technology takes a turn as well and that is the case with virtual reality.
The concept of virtual reality is not anything new and we have been hearing about it for many decades. Thanks to the changes in electronics and the speed with which things are improving, it is now possible to take the leap from science fiction into science fact. In fact, it really takes nothing more than some software and a virtual reality headset to begin experiencing this amazing technology for yourself.
Virtual reality (VR) has been constantly improving since it was first introduced not all that long ago to those of us in the “real world.” One reality to keep in mind about all of the technology, however, is that there are significant differences from one headset to another. In fact, we might expect to have the same general VR experience, regardless of whether we are using an old cardboard set or if we’re using some of the newest and greatest technology on the market.
The real changes are just now beginning to take place. It isn’t because virtual reality has been stagnant in recent years but rather, it’s because it is becoming available to the average person. In fact, if you head down to your local electronics store or even an office supply store, you are likely to see some virtual reality headset options and you can even try one on for size.
When you’re first introduced to virtual reality, you might be so amazed with what you see that you automatically feel as if you should purchase that particular headset. The fact of the matter is, however, it does take a little bit of research on your part in order to choose the headset that is right for you. After all, there are going to be differences in the quality of what you see and of course, there are going to be differences in the prices as well.
Most people can break down a VR headset into one of 3 different categories; extremely cheap, middle-of-the-road or top-of-the-line. The one that you choose has to do with a number of different factors, including the price and even the type of experience that you can expect to have when you strap it on. Let’s take a look at each of these categories and see which one is right for you.
Budget-Friendly Virtual Reality Headsets
If you really want to break things down to its most simplistic level, you can use nothing more than a piece of cardboard that is made to fit your smartphone screen and a few elastic bands to keep it on your head. As you have things positioned properly, you can get a general idea of what a more expensive VR headset is going to provide for you. Typically, this type of headset is not for a full VR experience but rather, it is for watching a 360° video.
The real benefit of one of these less expensive VR headsets is the fact that, obviously, it is less expensive. For those who are just starting out and want to have a general experience to see whether VR is something they enjoy, it may be well worth it. At the same time, there are some limitations to this particular headset. After all, it’s typically made out of cardboard! You can expect to pay about $15-$20 for one of these less expensive versions but don’t be surprised if you end up spending more by upgrading before very long.
Middle-Of-The-Road Virtual Reality Headsets
If you’re ready to take a step up from the cardboard/smartphone VR headset, you can do so by spending more money and getting a higher quality unit. These units have a lot to offer and this may even be the place that many beginners want to start out, especially if they know they are interested in sticking with it for any length of time.
Some of the mid-range VR headsets are quite sophisticated and they may even have a number of different options that will help you to enjoy the experience even more. This includes better control, a more sturdy unit and perhaps even a built-in lens so that you don’t need to use your smartphone. In many cases, you can also download additional software to these headsets from the app store, but you may end up spending money on the software if you want anything of the highest quality.
One of the factors that you will certainly want to look into if you are in the mid-range are the controllers. There are some headsets that have some excellent controllers and a system that is going to be fairly self-contained and quite capable of a true VR experience. At the same time, there may be other units that don’t offer the same level of controllers in order to keep the price at a lower level.
Top-Of-The-Line Virtual Reality Headsets
Most people don’t make the leap directly to a top-of-the-line virtual reality headset, but if you know that it is something you are going to use on a regular basis, it may just be worth putting out the extra money at first. Purchasing a middle-of-the-road headset to see if it is something you’re going to use may just be a waste of money if you already know you’re going to use it.
The higher end VR headsets have a lot to offer, including upgraded features and upgraded comfort. The problem is, these upgraded options also come with something else that is upgraded, the price. Rather than paying under $200 for a VR headset, you can expect to pay $600 or more and in some cases, much more. If you really want the experience of virtual reality, however, one of these higher-quality headsets is the way to go.
It is also important to have something on the backend that will run the higher end virtual-reality headsets. This is something that many people tend to overlook, but it can end up crossing you a significant amount of money if you don’t budget for it from the start. It may even require a new desktop computer and to get all of the power that you need, and may tack on $1000 to the price of the headset itself.
One other factor that needs to be kept in mind is that the high-end headsets are going to continue to improve and there is always going to be that one option that isn’t available when you make your purchase but may be available just a few months down the road.
Because of the constant changes taking place in virtual-reality technology, you can consider buying a VR headset like buying a computer. Get the best one that you can afford for now but don’t constantly try to upgrade in order to match all of the new changes that are coming out. Enjoy what you have available and then when your budget allows, buy the latest and greatest and take advantage of the new features it includes. It’s the best option to have some fun and stick to your budget at the same time.