Is A Virtual Reality Headset Worth It

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It all depends on your intention on using the Virtual Reality headset. For gamers, it is worth it as there are many exciting games currently on the market using the virtual world. It will be fun to play those games with a VR headset.

The more your usage, the higher your enjoyment, and it will affect how you view the worthiness of the virtual reality headset.

You may also use a VR headset to watch those movies with a virtual reality add-on. For example The Limit, Gloomy Eyes, and Ready Player One.

With a Virtual Reality Headset, you can have an immersive experience that is as real as physically present in that environment.

There are more applications being developed day-by-day and we expect the future to be more exciting and creative than now. The world of tomorrow is going to be very different.

Get ready to embrace the new world with a virtual reality world you can imagine and have a unique experience.

What Are the VR Headsets Popular In The Market

1) Meta Quest 2 – is a standalone, wireless VR headset that does not require a PC and only costs $299 for the 128GB storage version from June 4, while the 256GB storage option costs $349. It has a high-resolution LCD display of 1,832×1,920 pixels on both sides and a vast library of fantastic games. It can also be connected to a PC to play games, such as Half-Life: Alyx.

2) HTC Vive Pro 2 – this is a high-end VR headset that requires a PC to work with it. It was launched in 2021 and the starting price for Vive Pro 2 starts at $799. The LCD panel has a resolution of 2448 x 2448 pixels per eye, running up to 120Hz refresh rate with a field of view (FOV) of 120 degrees.

3) Sony PlayStation VR 2 – Sony released this headset on Feb 2023 and it is priced at $550, which costs more than the PlayStation 5 itself. It is designed for PlayStation 5 gaming consoles and needs to be cable to the console during use. The LCD display has a high resolution of 1832 x 1920 pixels, and the headset has 4 built-in cameras for inside-out tracking.

4) Meta Quest Pro – this one cost $1,000 and has color cameras and eye-tracking capabilities. It can work as a PC-connected headset as well. The built-in camera offers an advanced passthrough mode and the VR headset weighs only 721g, which is so light that you don’t feel it at all.

5) HTC Vive XR Elite – cost $1,001 with the controller. It does not have eye-tracking capability. Boasts a 3840 x 1920 combined resolution and 19 pixels per degree. Up to 110° field of view and 90Hz refresh rate in a remarkably compact form factor. This makes the image crystal clear, a strong point of the headset. This is a PC VR headset, thus the standalone features are lacking.

6) Pico 4 – made by Bytedance and is getting popular as Meta Quest 2. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 processor and it offers a library of games and apps similar to what Quest 2 has. There are 2 storage versions, 128GB and 256GB and prices start at $425. The headset’s LCD displays have a 2,160×2,160-pixel resolution per eye.

7) Valve Index– this is a high-end PC VR headset. It has a wide field of view and precise external tracking. It also features unique finger-tracking controllers, providing a more immersive experience. Before you purchase the headset, make sure that your Gaming laptop or PC is compatible with the index. Its display is a dual 1440 x 1600 LCD, full RGB per pixel, ultra-low persistence global Backlight illumination. A full VR kit will cost you $1,450 to purchase.

The diagram below shows that Meta Quest 2 is the market leader with a 46.02% market share, almost half of the entire market. In terms of price point, it hit the sweet spot thus explaining why it is so popular.

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Source: The Adventures of Vesper

What Are The Pros & Cons Of Wearing A VR Headset

Pros of wearing a VR headset:

  • it gives you an immersive experience that you feel real.
  • has the ability to explore virtual environments without having to leave your home.
  • Explore different worlds, play games, watch movies, and even take part in interactive experiences that you wouldn’t be able to do with traditional media.
  • Offers a new level of interactivity and realism in VR gaming, allowing players to explore virtual worlds in a more engaging way than traditional gaming methods.
  • Can be used for educational purposes, such as virtual field trips, interactive learning modules, and simulations that help students better understand complex concepts.
  • Can be used for professional training in various fields, such as medicine, aviation, and engineering, providing realistic simulations and hands-on practice without the need for expensive physical equipment or risking real-world consequences.
  • good to use in therapy for conditions like anxiety, phobias, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), allowing patients to confront their fears in a controlled, safe environment.
  • Architects and designers can use VR headsets to create and explore 3D models of their projects, helping them make informed decisions and present their work to clients more effectively.
  • Allow users to interact with others in virtual environments, enabling social experiences and even fostering friendships.
  • Filmmakers and artists can use VR headsets to create innovative, immersive storytelling experiences that engage audiences in new and exciting ways.

Cons of wearing a VR headset:

  • the cost is relatively high, especially those high-end VR headsets.
  • As of today, VR content is limited.
  • You may get motion sickness due to The Disconnect between what you see in the virtual environment and your physical movements.
  • Prolonged use of VR headsets may cause eye strain, fatigue, or discomfort due to the proximity of the screens to the user’s eyes.
  • Users may need a dedicated space to move around safely while wearing a VR headset, as they might be unable to see their real-world surroundings. This can limit the usability of VR headsets in smaller spaces.
  • The battery life of current Wireless VR headsets is limited, restricting the duration of uninterrupted gameplay or usage.
  • The setup for some VR headsets may be complex, including external sensors and additional hardware, which can be cumbersome for users.

New VR Headsets That Are Coming

1) Meta Quest 3 is coming in this year 2023 Fall season, starting from $499. The size of the VR headset will be smaller, and come with a faster processor and improved controllers. The cameras will be in color and this will provide better mixed-reality experiences for VR games and apps.

2) Apple Vision Pro mixed-reality headset will be available early next year 2024 and will cost $3,499. It is completely controlled by your eyes, hands, and voice, unlike other VR/AR headsets that require handheld remote devices to operate. The Vision Pro integrates with the MacBook, allowing you to bring your Mac wireless into your headset by looking at it. You can transform any room into your own personal movie theater with Vision Pro. Spatial Cinema can automatically dim the surrounding light and lets you expand your display to any size. You can also capture your memories in 3-D.

Here is a video showing you what the Vision Pro looks like when it is available next year

3) Pimax Crystal is Primax’s most affordable headset, among all of its high-end VR headsets. It will have a high-resolution display and a wide field of view. The price will start from $1,599 and is equipped with QLED + Mini LED panels for life-like graphics. There will be 5760 pixels horizontal and 2880 pixels vertical providing unparalleled graphics.

4) Lynx R1: The Lynx R1 is a standalone Mixed Reality headset, that combines AR and VR features together. Its hand-tracking capability uses two cameras and some infrared LEDs, using Qualcomm’s XR2 reference designs. It has been named a CES 2023 Innovation Awards Honoree and is expected to mass launch in July-August 2023. You may consider either the development kit at $849 or the Enterprise edition at $1,299.

These are just a few of the new VR headsets that are expected to be released in 2023. It is an exciting time for the VR industry, and it will be interesting to see how these new headsets perform.

What Are The Future Direction For Virtual Reality Headsets

The future of virtual reality (VR) headsets shows very promising, with continuous advancements in technology and increasing adoption across various industries. Some directions for the future development of VR headsets include:

1) Improved hardware: Future VR headsets will likely feature higher-resolution displays, wider fields of view, and better refresh rates, enhancing the visual experience and reducing motion sickness. Additionally, improvements in processor and battery technology will enable more powerful standalone headsets with longer battery life.

– For example, the development of microLED displays could lead to VR headsets with higher resolutions and better color accuracy, enhancing the overall visual experience.

2) Lighter and more comfortable designs: As materials and manufacturing techniques advance, we can expect VR headsets to become lighter, more ergonomic, and more comfortable for extended periods of use.

– Companies like Facebook Reality Labs are working on concepts like the “Half Dome” prototype, which aims to create a slimmer and more comfortable VR headset design.

3) Advanced tracking and input systems: Future VR headsets may incorporate more precise tracking technologies, such as eye-tracking and full-body tracking, to provide more immersive experiences. There will also likely be improvements in controller design, allowing for more natural interactions within the virtual environment.

– Eye-tracking technology, such as that developed by Tobii, is being integrated into some VR headsets, enabling more precise interaction and potentially reducing eye strain.

4) Wider adoption in various industries: As VR technology matures, its applications will expand beyond gaming and entertainment, finding more widespread use in industries such as healthcare, education, training, architecture, and tourism.

– In healthcare, VR headsets are being used for medical training, such as surgical simulations, allowing doctors to practice procedures in a risk-free environment.

5) Integration with other technologies: We may see greater integration of VR headsets with technologies like augmented reality (AR), artificial intelligence (AI), and haptic feedback to create more realistic and engaging experiences.

– Haptic feedback suits, like those developed by Teslasuit, can be combined with VR headsets to provide users with a more immersive experience, allowing them to feel sensations like touch and temperature within the virtual environment.

6) Social and collaborative experiences: The future of VR may involve more social and collaborative experiences, enabling users to interact with others in virtual environments for both work and leisure purposes.

– Platforms like Mozilla Hubs enable users to create and join virtual meeting spaces using VR headsets, facilitating collaboration and social interaction in a virtual environment.

7) More accessible and affordable devices: As technology advances and competition increases, we can expect VR headsets to become more affordable, making them accessible to a larger audience.

– The release of standalone VR headsets like the Meta Quest 2 has made high-quality VR experiences more affordable and accessible, without the need for an expensive gaming PC or console.

8) Better content and experiences: As the VR market grows, developers will create more diverse and high-quality content, catering to different interests and needs. This will lead to richer experiences and increased user engagement.

– Companies like Resolution Games are developing innovative VR experiences, such as their virtual reality fishing game “Bait!”, which offers engaging gameplay and unique environments, appealing to a wide range of users.

In Summary

Judging from the popularity of Meta Quest 2, most consumers feel that the price of a Virtual Reality Headset should be around $300~$400 price point. This is the value they are willing to pay and they feel that the VR headset is worth its value.

The more expensive the VR headset cost, the higher the value you are likely to place on it.

Personally, I find that those VR headsets that price above $800 and above must have very convincing and unique features. Otherwise, it is not worth paying for a premium price like this.

Comparing it to an Apple iPhone which cost $1,000 and more, there are still many consumers willing to buy it. The reason is, the iPhone allows them to do many things and they carry it 24/7 and use it multiple times within a day. It has become their companion and cannot live without it.

Will you carry a VR headset with you 24/7 and use it for multiple tasks? Obviously not, but you will carry a smartphone with you all day long, and use it for many applications and activities.

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