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State of VR

This last week, Sony revealed the specs for the PlayStation VR2, the follow-up to their previous headset. I thought this would be a good time to look at the various Virtual Reality options and what’s available.

I currently have an Oculus Rift S. It’s the most recent product in the Rift family and it’s discontinued. At this point, it’s pretty clear that Meta (Facebook) has dropped the Rift family in favor of the Quest. The Quest 2 is their current device, and it sold really well over the holidays. It originally came out in October of 2020, so it hasn’t been around that long. I suspect that it sold well over the holidays due to the lack of stock for new PlayStations and Xboxes. Also, I’ve heard that they’re really pushing it via commercials.

What really differentiates the Quest and Quest 2 from other products is that they are standalone. My Rift S along with other headsets like the HTC Vive, and Valve Index require a fairly powerful computer to use them, and PlayStation VR requires a PlayStation. The Quest and Quest 2 can be used with a computer for more demanding games, but they work perfectly well as a stand-alone unit.

Honestly, it’s a pretty good product, the biggest downside of it is that it’s owned by Facebook and is tied to your Facebook account. They’ve said that options will be coming to allow it to be used with an Oculus account that isn’t tied to Facebook. Of course, it’s still a Facebook product and I’m sure that all the privacy concerns are still there.

As an enthusiast, I’m personally intrigued by the PSVR 2. There are a handful of VR games on PlayStation that are not available for me on the PC. Also, it’s not owned by Facebook Meta and looks like it’ll be a fairly comparable product to the Quest 2. Spec wise it’s fairly comparable aside from the fact that it’s not a stand-alone unit.

As for pricing, You can get a Quest 2 for $300. I’m guessing that PS VR2 will also be close to $300. Nothing else comes close to that price. Of course for the PS VR2, you’ll need a $400-$500 PS5 to power it. If you already have that, then the prices are comparable. If you don’t, then that makes the PS VR2 considerably more expensive.

In the end, if you’re asking my advice for a VR headset, I would probably tell you to either get a Quest 2 as long as you don’t mind Facebook Meta being involved. You really can’t beat the price. It’s possible that a higher-end Quest 3 or Quest Pro will be announced soon if you want to wait. If you don’t want Facebook to be involved in your Virtual Reality, then waiting for the PS VR is probably the best option unless you’re willing to fork out a lot more money for a Valve Index ($999) or HTC Vive Pro 2 ($800).

Cool Stuff Video Games • January 10, 2022