Essential tech for VR gaming

Virtual reality is one of the biggest gaming trends of 2016. If you’re thinking of investing in a headset you’ll need the right tech to get set up…

24 Aug 2016


Gaming is embracing virtual reality full-force, and a new set of VR headsets from the likes of Oculus, HTC, Samsung and PlayStation means you can play from the comfort of your living room. Are you VR-ready? We take a look at the four major headsets out this year and the tech you need to enjoy them…


Oculus Rift

In a nutshell: A high-tech immersive experience best for serious investors 

Oculus Rift gives you a truly immersive experience with a full 360° view of the game’s virtual world. It’s also incredibly comfortable to wear thanks to a lightweight design and lenses you can adjust to fit your face. Oculus Rift comes with an Xbox One controller – with a Touch controller to be released later in the year. The headset also comes with headphones, which you can easily replace with your own if you’d prefer.


What games can you play?

Oculus Rift comes as a package with platforming game Lucky’s Tale. Once set up, you’ll find a library of around 40 titles – including games such as EVE Valkyrie and Elite Dangerous.

The nuts and bolts:

  • What do you need to run it? A powerful Windows 10 PC (Intel Core i5/NVIDIA or AMD graphics/8GB RAM)
  • How much does it cost? £549
  • When will it be released? September 20th You can pre-order now for delivery on release day. Check out the Oculus Rift 

Oculus Rift

HTC Vive

In a nutshell: The priciest headset of the four, but worth the investment for the advanced tech and Steam partnership 

The super-powered HTC Vive is at the top end of the market for VR headsets. Your games will look incredibly realistic on the better-than-Full-HD screen. Seamlessly switch between your game and the real world thanks to the wide (110°) field of view and a front-facing camera

Similar to Oculus Rift, you’ll need a high-powered Windows 10 PC with a few tech add-ons to run the HTV Vive. Unlike Rift, however, the infra-red base stations of HTC Vive mean you can roam around a 3D world in the comfort of your own living room while being tracked all the time. The connecting cord is 15ft long – so you’ll have plenty of space for room-scale VR.


What about the games?

The selling point of HTC Vive is its partnership with online gaming platform Steam, which offers a huge collection of games such as Hover Junkies and The Gallery: Call of the Starseed.

The nuts and bolts:

  • What do you need to run it? A powerful Windows 10 PC (Intel Core i5/NVIDIA or AMD graphics/8GB RAM)
  • How much does it cost? £769.99
  • When will it be released? You can buy it right now

 HTC Vive

Credit: HTC

Samsung Gear VR

In a nutshell: A low-price option for those new to VR – but you will need a flagship Samsung phone

Created in collaboration with Oculus, the Gear VR works by attaching your phone to the frame. This means the graphics are purely down to the screen resolution of the phone.

You control the Gear VR by a touchpad and back button on the side of the headset, or an optional Android controller. While the touchpad works well for basic functions, it’s recommended that you use a controller to make the most of the headset.


What about the games?

There are a number of free games to play on the Gear VR, as well as some that require you to use the optional controller. Top picks include Anshar Wars, James’s Legacy: The Prologue, and Shooting Showdown.

The nuts and bolts: 

  • What do you need to run it? A Samsung Galaxy Note7, S7, S7 edge, Note5, S6, S6 edge or S6 edge+ smartphone
  • How much does it cost? £79.99
  • When will it be released? You can get your hands on the Gear VR now

Samsung VR 

PlayStation VR

In a nutshell: Ideal for PlayStation owners, an affordable headset with a great range of games

The PlayStation VR works by connecting to your PS4. You’ll get a much smoother gaming experience as a result of the superior refresh rate – that’s how fast the pictures flash on the screen. The PlayStation VR is somewhat limited in screen resolution and field of view in comparison to the HTC Vive.

On the other hand, it’s a lot less expensive to buy a PS4 than it is a high-end PC, which is something to consider if you’re put off by the spec for the Vive.


What about the games?

More than 50 VR games will be available in the first few months. You can check out some of them in our E3 round up.

The nuts and bolts:

  • What do you need to run it? PlayStation 4, PlayStation Move Camera
  • How much will it cost? £349.99
  • When will it be released? October 2016. You can register your interest now


Credit: Associated Press

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