By Charles Gao, Chameleon Power Marketing Intern
There are multiple models of virtual reality (VR) headsets available to consumers today and they all have several pros and cons. Each headset has features that are attractive to some, but may be unattractive to others. In this article we will delve into the differences between them in order to help consumers figure out which headset is right for them.
Currently, there are two main types of VR headsets, which are mobile and console (PC). Mobile headsets on the market today are the Samsung Gear VR and the Google Daydream while the PC headsets are the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.
Samsung Gear VR $43-60 | Chameleon Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
These headsets are ones that you slide a Samsung phone into. The phone then does the processing and becomes a monitor. Samsung has partnered up with Oculus to make an ecosystem that has many functions and uses. The large ecosystem has many applications such as virtual theater viewing, gaming, and Google Earth. Although this may not be as powerful as the other choices it is recommend for anyone who already has a Samsung phone.
Google Daydream $79 | Chameleon Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
The Google Daydream is one of the most recent VR headsets to be released. It was introduced with the release of the Google Pixel phone. Because it is the newest out of all the VR devices the ecosystem does not have many applications as it cannot pair with google cardboard applications. This makes it a little more difficult to find compatible applications that work with the Daydream. This product shows potential but we will have to see how it will develop as time goes on.
HTC Vive $799 (with controllers and room sensors) | Chameleon Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
The HTC Vive is the most expensive of the bunch at a cost of almost $800. At this price point you will see the best performance and rendering capabilities out of all the VR devices on the list. It requires the most power to run it, needing at least a GTX 970 graphics card. Although it has a lot of prerequisites, these allow the Vive to create the best images and simulations. This is also the only VR device that allows for whole room set ups in which you can walk around for true VR experiences.
Chameleon Power currently uses the Vive for our VR products and demonstrations.
Oculus Rift $600 (including Oculus touch) | Chameleon Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
The Oculus Rift is the most famous of the bunch with the most recognition. The Oculus Rift has a similar build to the HTC Vive. Originally the Rift cost $600 for the headset and $200 USD for the touch controllers, but a price drop of $200 has recently dropped the cost to $600 for both the touch and the headset. This product doesn’t provide the “walking around” VR experience, but for $600 you still get many great features. This headset requires at least the GTX 960 Graphics Card to run at the recommended settings.
Sony PlayStation VR $420 | Chameleon Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The Playstation VR is different than both the mobile and PC VR devices. It is similar to the PC devices in that it uses an outside device to render and create the images displayed on the screen, but it is different because it does not use a PC. The Sony Playstation VR uses the Playstation 4 console and although the Playstation may not be as powerful as the PC that you would run the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift on, it does surprisingly well. To work at full functionality you will need to buy a Sony PlayStation Camera for $40.
Keep in mind these prices do not include the external computers (consoles) or phones needed to run the devices. The external computers needed for the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift would cost around $800 USD with a GPU that costs at least $250 (GTX 1060). The Playstation 4 console currently runs for around $268. The phones needed for the mobile VR devices would vary from phone to phone depending on which phone you purchase and which carrier they are associated with.