Virtual reality has finally gone from science fiction to actual, at-home reality. Here’s a look at the best VR headsets available right now.
It took a while, but now, all of a sudden, virtual reality (VR) technology has gone from an expensive sci-fi dream to affordable, real-life home entertainment. And we mean it when we say “affordable”, you can now buy VR headsets for less than R250, and still enjoy the mind-blowing possibilities.
VIRTUAL REALITY ON A BUDGET
The reason some of those headsets are so affordable is that they’re powered by your smartphone. Take the Volkano VR Headset Matrix (R199, Makro & Incredible Connection, pictured), for example. The headset fits comfortably around your eyes, and all you do is slide your smartphone into place. Just like that, you’re surrounded by images and games in a full 360-degree or 3D environment. It’s compatible with 3.5- to 6-inch phones – in other words, most of the phones on the market.
The Swiss Mobile VR headset (R350, DionWired, pictured) and Volkano Matrix Pro VR headset (R399, Makro) are the next step up, both in terms of capability and in terms of price. The Swiss Mobile set has peripheral sockets for most aux ports, data lines or chargers, and it’s also compatible with the Google Cardboard app – which opens up a world of app options.
That’s where the Samsung Gear VR (R1 999, Incredible Connection) and VR Lite (R1 999, DionWired) come in. The Gear VR is compatible with most Samsung Galaxy devices, and you really just plug and play, with your device acting as the headset’s display and processor, while the Gear VR unit itself acts as the controller, tracking your head movement and field of view. What makes it different, though, is the touchpad and back button on the side, and the proximity sensor that detects when you’re wearing the headset.
BEST ON THE MARKET
At the top end, there’s the big daddy of VR headsets, Sony’s PS4 VR headset (R6 499, Makro, pictured). Yes, it needs the rest of the PlayStation 4 setup – the console and controllers (R7 299, Incredible Connection) and special VR camera (R899, Makro) to give you the full experience… but what an experience that is, seamless, immersive and hyper-realistic. VR games are coming in thick and fast – from VR Worlds (R599, Makro) to Robinson: The Journey (R899, Incredible Connection) to Eve: Valkyrie (R899, Incredible Connection)– and they’re all part of a living, breathing, virtual world. You can even replicate your own world with the 360-degree photos and videos.
Those apps, games, photos and videos are what VR is all about. The experience is completely immersive, placing you in – in most cases – a full 360-degree virtual environment. If you haven’t gone exploring or battled baddies in a virtual world, you don’t know what you’re missing.
SWIPE YOUR RCS CARD TODAY AND UNLOCK A WORLD OF VIRTUAL REALITY
Swipe your RCS Card and step into a whole new reality with VR technology. The RCS shopping network covers over 23 000 retailers, including some of South Africa’s leading tech stores – so don’t delay, apply for an RCS Card today!
* Prices were correct at time of publication, and are subject to change.