Via Publication: The Verge @
By Adi Robertson | Photography by James Bareham
If you go back to the 1990s and start reading about “virtual reality,” you’ll quickly realize that the term could refer to anything from a full Lawnmower Man simulation system to a 3D model on a computer screen. Things have gotten simpler since then: outside a few special circumstances, we’re now almost always referring to things you see inside a VR headset like the Oculus Rift. Unfortunately, this definition implies that all headsets are roughly equivalent — that a $30 Google Cardboard will do the same thing as an $800 HTC Vive.
But as VR headsets start appearing on store shelves, the very real differences between them will start to matter — a lot. So if you’re looking into VR, what should you check out? There’s no one, specific device that’s right for each person; in fact, once you get down to the cheapest headsets, there are way too many for us to name here. It’s too early to even recommend specific products, given how many aren’t out yet. But we can give you everything you’ll need to sort through the options: what you’ll be able to do in different kinds of virtual reality, how much you can expect to pay, and which features you should look for.