Last year, the next generation of high-quality virtual reality devices appeared on the tech market. The more prominent of this wearable tech are the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and the PlayStation VR. And as with any new technology, there will be technophiles who will be rushing to Best Buy the minute it rolls out and grab one. These are the same type of people you would see camping outside of Apple stores braving the rain or cold winds the night before the company inevitably releases the newest iPhone model.

But consumers with only a passing interest in VR should perhaps wait to see if the technology actually catches fire. Below are some of the reasons why you should or shouldn’t buy a Virtual Reality Headset yet.

Why You Should Wait

If you’re simply curious about VR headsets, and not truly invested in that type of technology, then probably the best option is to wait until more units are released in the coming years. The following are a few reasons why it is best to wait on buying a VR headset:

Still Considered as a Fad

 Virtual Reality

The path to the Oculus Rift and others is littered with the mechanical corpses of many similarly high-profile virtual reality devices. Many of these technologies possessed an equivalent level of hype as the Oculus Rift, but were still met with consumer indifference. On a side note, people continue to use screens/monitors in conjunction with their computers and video game consoles. It will take quite a revolution to change a habit that’s been a mainstay of home electronics since the 1980s.

Limited Use

 

The video game industry is one of the most vocal proponents VR technology. Many of the VR-compatible games, like Chronos for the Oculus Rift, look impressive. However, players should wait until the reviews come in for these titles. Aside from this, video game consoles have had a long history of neat-looking peripherals with meager software support. There are even more reasons to wait if you aren’t a hard core gamer. VR headsets are dominantly used for gaming, and even then, there are only few games that are available at the moment. You may want to see first if developers create software that appeals to you personally or is custom-made to your particular industry, like medicine, education, or even real estate.

Design

 

The current design for most VR headsets is impractical. Why? Because it’s bulky and all-consuming, which means you are at the headset’s mercy when you wear it. Remember the debate between rival technologies like Blu-Ray and HD DVD? The unfortunate consumers who bet on the latter are stuck with a limited library of movies and aging disc players. You’re taking a gamble by immediately buying the HTC Vive over the Oculus Rift or vice versa. You may want to wait a few months more to see which VR headset is dominating the race. You don’t want to pay big bucks only to wind up with an unsupported hunk of plastic. They might be useful additions to your steampunk cosplay though.

Price Point

 

Many VR headsets will typically set you back anywhere from $400 – $1,000. The current price of the Oculus Rift is approximately $600. The Samsung’s Gear VR is at $99.99. The PlayStation VR will cost about $400, while HTC’s Vive is almost $800. These prices are not prohibitively expensive, but they will nevertheless give some consumers pause. Consumers also have to own a high-end computer to even use the Rift or Vive. This can add as much as a thousand bucks to the overall price tag. For the PlayStation VR, you need to own a PlayStation 4 and also pony up $60 for the PlayStation Camera. Non-virtual reality is expensive enough.

Health Effects

 

There have been complaints by users that many of the virtual reality devices from the 1990s caused headaches, nausea, and physical discomfort. It is advisable for you to consult first what consumer health complaints were received with regard to the use of these VR headsets before shelling out a large amount from your savings on these products. The question of ergonomics is especially important. Over time, even using a computer monitor can cause a neck strain. What could be the similar health conditions a user might get after having a prolonged use of the VR goggles? Better let the die-hard fans buy in and suffer the chronic back pain you could have had.

Why You Should Take the Plunge

Remember when the first Game Boy was released, and how amazed we were at the technology? There’s still a lot that new technology has to offer, even if we know that it will improve in the years to come. But that’s what makes the investment in new technology awesome — we can experience it now, and essentially “grow” with it.

Just like the Game Boy, VR headsets are typically used for gaming (for now). If you don’t have the patience to wait for the current VR headsets to improve, and that you have an excessive amount of cash, there are some good headsets currently available for a range of prices. Now, there’s even Google Cardboard, which is available at Amazon for only $15, and it is exactly how it sounds. It’s a headset made out of cardboard that’s designed to transform your smartphone into a virtual reality headset. Even though it’s not truly comparable to the actual VR headsets on the market, Google Cardboard is a fun and cheap alternative that you can try out before investing in a more expensive VR headset for gaming.

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This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Saturday, January 28, 2017 at 6:14:57 AM and is filed under Sweet Tech.

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