2015 is the year of virtual reality. Facebook’s Oculus Rift has recently started pre-orders for its device, which officially goes on sale at the end of March. A lot of people were turned off by the $600 price tag, but WISN ABC claims the price tag is just fine.
“Oculus had two options. The first was to release a product similar to DK2, complete with a lower resolution screen and less-than-optimal ergonomics and price it In the $300-$400 range. The second option was to release the highest quality consumer version possible and price it accordingly. Of course, the company chose option No. 2.”
If you thought the Oculus Rift was expensive, then you’re probably not going to want to purchase the HTC Vive virtual reality headset, which could cost about $1500. DroidLife tries to analyze the price.
“If the price does in fact stay at $1500, let’s discuss why this may be. It is still unclear what will come with the Vive package, at least in terms of hardware. At this point, custom Oculus controllers for Oculus Rift won’t be available until later in 2016, but HTC could market Vive as a complete package, including the headset, a set of two controllers, and a standalone motion sensor for whatever room you install Vive in.”
Perhaps the $1,500 comes with a PC that can handle the Vive. Putting the price aside, the HTC Vive has impressed people who have tested the developer’s version of the device.
“The gaming is truly immersive thanks to the ability to walk around in the space, and the reduction of wires from the base stations and controllers is hugely welcome. Gaming using this, even with short demos, still leaves me with a massive grin, and I can’t wait to try a more active game using these controllers.”
Jeffery Van Camp from Digital Trends says the HTC Vive offers the best virtual reality experience ever. He said that when he first tried the Vive nine months ago, it completely changed his perception of virtual reality. He said he felt it was frightening, astounding, surreal, and unforgettable. He says that the latest version of the HTC VIVE has a new camera on the front that shows you an outline of objects and people in the room who are with you, just so you don’t get completely lost in the virtual reality environment.
The HTC Vive has other competition and it’s not just from the Oculus Rift. The makers of Oculus have released the first commercial virtual reality headset, the Gear VR, last November. Unlike the Vive and the Rift, the Gear VR is completely mobile, but relies on a Samsung phone such as the Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6, or Galaxy S6 Edge Plus to provide the screen. However, unlike the Vive’s 1080p screen resolution, the Gear VR provides a Quad HD screen resolution.
The lower-than-4K screen resolution of the the first batch of virtual reality devices is preventing them from being truly immersive. While 1080p and Quad HD screens look good from a distance, they reveal a “screen door effect” where one can notice individual pixels when the screens are pressed right against your eyes. Perhaps, the next generation of virtual reality devices will reveal 4K screens. Still, devices like the HTC Vive, the Gear VR and the Oculus Rift are groundbreaking and will blow your mind away if you haven’t experienced virtual reality yet.
[Photo by Mike Pont/Getty Images]