It was not long ago that virtual reality was the stuff of science fiction movies, but seems to have become a science fact almost over night. The HTV Vive and Oculus Rift have been released to the public, and many are already experiencing the rush of being transported to other worldly places via the power of modern technology. And yes, we’re all relieved that virtual reality turned out to be a great deal less deadly than shown in The Lawnmower Man. The real question people are starting to ask, and rightly so, is; what does it take to actually properly utilise virtual reality technology? Or to be more specific; what are the requirements in terms of technology?
Let’s just get this out of the way; a real virtual reality experience is not cheap by any stretch of the imagination. But given that the technology is still so new, this stands to reason. The prices are likely to come down fairly rapidly as virtual reality becomes more widely adopted by the public. But for the time being, you’re going to have to fork out a good chunk of cash. And if you think we’re talking about just the goggles themselves, we’re not. A home computer capable of properly interfacing with a pair of VR goggles in itself is not cheap to start of with, and when adding the price of a headset on top of that the price goes up into astronomical heights. There are, however, cheaper alternatives. But we’ll get to those later.
HTC Vive And Oculus Rift
If you want the full VR experience, including being able to walk around within a restricted area, and use your hands in the way of motion tracking handsets, you’ll want the current big boy in the VR scene. The HTC Vive. It’s as good as VR gets right now, and the experience is said to be pretty astonishing. What kind of home computer does it take to efficiently use such a device? Well, to put it mildly, if your PC is not already running the latest and greatest games with the settings cranked up to maximum, you might want to do an upgrade. The latest series of graphics cards are recommended, and those are not cheap.
You may also want to take into account the size of your play area if wanting to use the HTC Vive, as it is not unheard of that lamps and other household object fall victim to enthusiastic VR players. It’s a good idea to have a fair amount of space reserved for your VR experience, so a reasonably sized living room is something that should also be taken into account.
The Oculus Rift is the more condensed version of a virtual reality headset. You are restricted to staying in one place, although this may be good news for those not looking to convert their living room into a VR studio. It also doesn’t come standard with motion tracking joysticks, which means you’ll have to use a game pad or some other input device. The upside? It still gives an excellent virtual reality experience, but happens to be one heck of a lot cheaper. So as far as we’re concerned it might just be the more realistic approach, at least as far as things currently stand. But is there an option even one step easier and cheaper?
But maybe you’re thinking to yourself right now that you didn’t want the whole extremely realistic trips to other planets virtual reality experience, and were perfectly happy to just play a bit of online slots VR style, when this becomes the norm. Well, there is good news. Cheaper options are possible, and the experience is still pretty excellent. Sony has recently announced that the mysterious project Morpheus is a PlayStation 4 compatible headset that is a great deal cheaper. You will, of course, need a PlayStation 4 first, but these aren’t as expensive as they once were, and the VR aspect is not that far off from the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.
If you’re looking to go even one step cheaper there are greatly condensed versions of virtual reality that make use of a smart phone and simple headset, such as the Samsung VR Gear. You simply slip your phone into the headset and it works as the interior of the device. This is not so comparable to the better versions, but also won’t hurt your wallet nearly as much. In our opinion it’s a great way to get VR ready, if you’re not the kind of person who wanted to be gunning down aliens, but rather just relax and maybe enjoy a bit of VR roulette. Whichever way you decide to go, we’re over the moon excited about how online casinos are already said to be transforming, given that virtual reality is now a possibility, and we can already imagine just how amazing VR roulette is going to be. Watch this space; VR online casinos are already on the way.