The virtual reality (VR) revolution which commenced a few years ago has matured now, and has established VR as a strong playing field for the bigwigs to invest in. As a result, a great number of VR headsets have swarmed the market, spoiling potential buyers for choice. In India too, there are quite a few such headsets that you can buy to satisfy your virtual reality needs. Whether it’s for gaming or for just taking in the experience of being at a different place, virtual reality headsets are catering to both these purposes and a lot more. Let’s check out the best ones you can buy in India right now.
The HTC Vive delivers unprecedented experiences you cannot have with any other virtual reality headset. However, there are a few things you need to remember before buying it. Apart from a capable enough gaming PC, it also requires a big open room for it to work properly. This way instead of using a controller to move your character around, you can actually move yourself around. This adds a whole new level of immersion into the mix. The controllers faithfully reproduce your hand movements in virtual space, making you feel like your hands are actually there. And, the fact that it is built partly by Valve means that you can expect great games for it as well.
After fiddling with virtual reality with its extremely affordable Cardboard platform, Google ventured into serious territory with its Daydream View headset. You can pop your phone into it, and it’s good to go. A tiny remote control is also provided to help you navigate the VR interface. It’s this convenience that is the most appealing aspect of the Daydream View. Plus, it’s super affordable as well. You can use it to play games, roam around the world with Street View, watch 360-degree videos on YouTube, watch movies on Netflix and other services, and a whole lot more.
Think about this only if you already own a PlayStation 4 console. If you do, it will enable you to experience your games better than ever before. Since it’s aimed towards the PS4, you can be rest assured that a massive library of games is at your disposal. This well-designed piece of hardware can also be worn with glasses on, which is pretty impressive. Once worn, it transforms your games into virtual reality versions of themselves, and allows you to move your head in order to look around. Controls can either be handled by your DualShock controller or the PS Move accessories that are sold separately. Additionally, the PlayStation VR also requires a camera which too is sold separately.
With its hefty price tag comes a superior experience, which makes the Oculus Rift a toy meant for serious VR enthusiasts. It needs a high-end PC to work, apart from a set of controllers that are sold separately. The main advantage of this headset is that it’s targeted straightly at gamers, and hence, a lot of content is available for them to dive into. Once you fire it up, the Rift magically immerses you into its games, making you feel as if you’re actually inside them. Of course, it does offer content other than games, in the form of photo and video apps.
The Gear VR is Samsung’s idea of a smartphone-based virtual reality solution. It works only with select high-end Galaxy phones, which is a bit of a letdown. That said, this limitation allows the company to ensure that it works perfectly with all of them. The strength of the Gear VR from Samsung is the controller that ships with it. This ergonomic device is great for playing games, especially due to its trigger button which makes tasks like firing weapons feel more natural. The Gear VR too has a large selection of apps and games for you to choose from.
The VR headsets available today can be divided into three categories. The first kind includes the cheap Cardboard-based sets that do not have proper software support. The second kind of headsets also make use of your smartphones but have dedicated software and affordable price tags. And then there are the super high-end VR headsets that provide top-notch experiences for a huge price tag.
Before buying a VR headset, take a good look at what you already own. While some headsets work with something as simple as a smartphone, some require high-end PCs and consoles. If you’re going for a headset that requires a PC, remember to check if the minimum specifications are being met.
For gaming-focused VR headsets, controllers play a huge part. Most virtual reality sets do not ship with their own controllers, so do keep this fact in mind while setting your budget.
|Google Daydream View||7,999||8.1|
|Samsung Gear VR||10,889||7.6|
We’ve curated this list based on our own expert reviews, overall user reviews from shopping websites like Amazon and Flipkart, and expert reviews from trusted websites like Trusted Reviews, Tech Radar, and Digital Trends.
As far as the weighted averages of our final expert scores are concerned, the split is: 50% for expert reviews, 25% for expert reviews from our trusted websites, and 25% for user reviews.
For example, in this list, the HTC Vive — our favourite virtual reality headset by far — had a score spilt of:
Expert review: 9/10
Expert reviews from trusted websites: 9/10 (Digital Trends, Tech Radar and Trusted Reviews)
User reviews: 8/10 (Amazon and Flipkart)
Overall expert score: 8.7/10 (rounded off)
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