Despite all you’ve heard about it, virtual reality is still very much in its infancy. No doubt we’ll get to the point where we’ll look at clunky, old-fashioned VR headsets the way kids now look at stand-up coin-op arcade games. But satiating your curiosity around VR isn’t always easy, with a lot of the gear seeming to be impenetrably complicated.
But rest assured, no matter what level of tech savvy you are, there is a way in to VR. From simple standalone devices to smartphone add-ons, there are some keys to whole new worlds.
Your first step into a larger world. Amazon
There are a few barriers to access when it comes to VR, not least of which is convincing people to strap giant monitors to their faces. Adding in lots of cables and connectors and base units is just too much on top of all that. The Oculus Go, however, makes getting your virtual feet wet a lot easier. A simple, standalone device that doesn’t require a PC or wires or other connector hassles. Its simple, easily adjustable head straps are comfortable, and the built-in spatial audio surround sound will make you a VR convert in no time.
No, she is not wearing her headphones wrong. Amazon
Some people have a hard time working up the nerve to strap a restrictive VR viewer to their faces, which limits their ability to at least see what all the fuss is about. The Avegant Glyph is a great solution. It actually looks like an oversized set of headphones, but the band contains two small viewscreens that produce a VR experience. The Retinal Imaging Technology can also adjust so that near- and far-sighted people can use the device without their glasses – the Avegant is also lightweight and less restrictive than the average VR headset. The added light is a hindrance to super crisp images and wide viewing ranges, so the hardcore users will likely not be won over, but for those just looking to kick the tires without too much machinery, it’s a fun way in.
It isn’t playing around. Amazon
A really sophisticated VR experience usually needs some kind of computer anchor to deliver truly immersive games and experiences. If you already have a PS4, this bit of hardware is easy to hook up and start using immediately, with truly impressive results. The adjustable headset is surprisingly comfortable despite not being among the lighter models, and the ear buds deliver incredibly deep and detailed sound. Pair with either a standard PS4 controller or a PlayStation VR wand and you’ll be able to unlock entirely new gaming experiences—even in some games you may already own. Star Wars: Battlefront, for example, contains a special VR X-Wing mission that is accessible once you hook up the PS VR. It’s an all-around knockout experience. Plus, multiple game and VR bundles are available.