VR may be seen as a niche gaming hobby still, but it provides plenty of fun for enthusiasts and casual fans alike, and there’s a lot to get excited about for the future. We just reviewed Sony’s newly released PlayStation VR 2, which delivers a best-in-class console VR experience for PlayStation 5 owners. The several-year-old Meta Quest 2, a self-contained $400 headset that’s wireless, is still the best VR headset for most people. The Meta Quest Pro is too expensive, but the upcoming Meta Quest 3 could be worth waiting for.
The cost of a new branded vr headsets is going up these days, and the Quest 2 jumped in price last year. Even so, the device still offers a completely wireless experience, with access to a great library of fantastic games. It can also be connected to a PC to play titles like Half-Life: Alyx, or to run a variety of PC VR applications. Meta keeps improving its software over time with added extras.
Anyone in the VR/AR industry who’s looking to explore next-gen face tracking or mixed reality might consider the Quest Pro, but its high price means it won’t make sense for anyone else right now. Keep in mind, Meta is releasing the Quest 3 this year, at a price expected to be similar to that of the Quest 2 and possibly with some features that are on the Quest Pro. (The Pico 4 gives some hints of how the Quest 3 could be upgraded.) You might want to wait for it, or for the other VR headsets on the horizon.
Apple is expected to have some form of advanced VR/AR headset this year, which could be super expensive. We will likely see more standalone VR headsets in even smaller sizes, with extra mixed reality features that blend the virtual and real worlds using cameras that blend your surroundings into the experience. The Quest Pro does this, and so does the upcoming HTC Vive XR Elite.
VR remains an impressive but still limited proposition for most people. Thanks to tremendous advancements in the visuals, tracking and overall performance of VR hardware, the best VR headset options have become more realistic and immersive. More advanced metaverse platforms and social worlds have given VR owners more to explore, too. Even so, VR still hasn’t become a necessary product yet.
VR’s strongest applications tend to be gaming and fitness. For fitness, a standalone headset like the Quest 2 is practically mandatory, to avoid wire tangles and make sure you can move around.