Tech

Consumer's guide to VR headsets

Virtual reality technology is taking the tech world by storm.

Since 2012, big companies such as Facebook-owned Oculus, HTC and Sony have poured big bucks into the technology that pundits are saying will change the way people interact with the computer.



OCULUS RIFT

PRICE US$599 (S$860)

RELEASE DATE Pre-orders started in early January, ships in March 2016

Oculus started the global interest in consumer virtual reality technologies back in 2012 and has since been acquired by Facebook. It is widely regarded as the current leader and has released a more basic version, the Gear VR, in partnership with Samsung.


HTC VIVE

PRICE To be announced

RELEASE DATE April 2016

The Vive is a joint endeavour with Valve, a video game and distribution company that dominates the PC market. It is touted as a more premium version of VR, and the technology goes one step ahead of Oculus by allowing positional tracking - it can detect where you are in the room. It is also expected to be more expensive than the Oculus.


SONY 
PLAYSTATION VR

PRICE To be announced

RELEASE DATE 
First half of 2016

Originally called Project Morpheus, this headset is the ultimate accessory for PlayStation owners. Its hardware rivals that of the Oculus and the HTC Vive, but little else is known. More information is expected later this year.


RAZER'S OSVR HACKER DEVELOPMENT KIT​

PRICE US$299 for the development kit. Price for the final version to be announced.

RELEASE DATE Development kit is available now. 

At present, its hardware pales in comparison to the more premium offerings, but it is expected to cost less and does not require a top-of-the-line computer. As an open-source headset, the OSVR is upgradeable, potentially matching the other headsets in specification.


GOOGLE CARDBOARD

PRICE $10 to $40

RELEASE DATE Available now from various manufacturers.

Meant to be a low-cost way of experiencing what VR is all about, the Cardboard is literally a cardboard container that functions as a headset. Just pop in your smartphone and download the numerous VR apps available.

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