Virtual Reality Update: The Headset
Today’s homes are filled with technology that keep us entertained and comfortable. From lights that turn on without lifting a finger to pocket-sized screens that enable us to chat face to face with our friends and family, convenience has become, well…more convenient. Now, thanks to the growing market of virtual reality, we have the ability to virtually teleport ourselves to any location in the world. Three industry leaders who are pushing these immersive gaming experiences to the next level are: HTC, Oculus, and Valve.
Oculus Evolves To Quest
Set to release on May 21st, the wireless and PC free Oculus Quest enters the market with a starting price of $399 USD. The Quest was announced last year with many gaming communities questioning how well a product, powered by a cell phone processor, will work without the full power of a gaming PC. The most notable feature about the Quest is its use of a five camera inside out tracking system built into the headset that now removes the need to place tracking cameras in your play area. This ease of setup along with an established gaming marketplace make the Oculus Quest a great headset for anyone looking to get started with VR.
HTC Debuts Cosmos
With already great products such as the Vive and Vive Pro, HTC has announced a new consumer level virtual reality system called the Cosmos. There have not been many details on this system, but HTC has announced that the Cosmos will feature inside out tracking and will require a PC to operate. One notable feature is its ability to flip up the screen without removing the headset completely and a change to joysticks instead of touchpads on the controllers. There is no official word on the cost or when the HTC Cosmos will be released but we expect to see this launch by the end of the year.
Valve Enters The VR Game
Entering the VR hardware realm for the first time, long time gaming company Valve has announced the spec dominating Index. Featuring dual 1440×1600 RBG LDCs, the Index has screens that present a clearer picture because of a higher density of pixels compared to OLED used on other headsets, notably lessening the “screen door” effect while playing. Additionally, these screens have refresh rates at 120 Hz with “experimental” support for 144 Hz, making images move seamlessly to improve realism and optical comfort. With a the full kit (headset, controllers, base station) setting you back $999 USD, the PC connected Valve Index is the headset for the power gamer looking for the best virtual reality experience. The Valve Index is slated for release (as of this writing) in late August 2019.
Virtual Reality Heads Home
With a new generation of VR headsets to please anyone from entry level consumers to power gamers, the VR market continues to grow. Will this be the year that we begin to see VR in a growing number of homes?
Brandon Westhoven is a technology and gaming guru journalist for MiLLENNiAL. When he’s not writing, you can find him mobbing on the dirt bike track.