How Much is a Virtual Reality Set (2020 Buyers Guide)


How much is a virtual reality set in 2020?

Virtual reality immerses the user into an environment that is totally different from the real world. It was basically used for gaming. But due to its ability and diversity, it is now used in multiple industries. Before we discuss, “How much is a virtual reality set?”, we would like to give you a brief introduction of VR and its history so you can understand why it is expensive and which things are responsible for its cost.

Introduction to VR

Virtual reality creates an environment that allows the user to feel a presence in a different world where he cannot interact with the real world. The user can only interact with the virtual environment; he cannot see the real world. This is the main difference between virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality. This is achieved through multiple sensors that include wide-angle video, motion, and position tracking and directional audio. These features are pretty important to develop a responsive virtual reality environment.

The difference between AR and VR is very simple. Augmented reality is a digital graphic that lay on real-world objects. In AR, the real world is the main subject, onto which augmented reality is applied. While virtual reality is a completely new environment.

Features of VR

It allows the user to isolate from the real world and enter a new virtual world. In VR, the user can also interact with 3D objects that make it much more effective and interactive than augmented reality. Both have their own importance but when it comes to the advancement of technology, then VR takes the lead.

The main objective of virtual reality is to enter a world or a place that does not exist in real life. To do this, smartphones, computers, gaming consoles and headsets are used. We can see that virtual reality is changing the world. The ability of a VR headset to create different scenarios according to the desired condition enables the user to interact with things that don’t exist. Let’s dive into a brief history of virtual reality.

History of Virtual Reality

We know that hard work has some worth. Virtual reality has undergone a lot of changes in the past decades, it is not something that is created overnight. So, we would like to discuss the history of VR so you can understand, “How much is a virtual reality set?”. You can easily understand why VR is expensive when you know the hard work behind it and its importance.

The concept of virtual reality arose in the middle of the 19th century. It is in practice since then. During the last few decades, VR has been revolutionized by the developers. It has now become a symbol of excellence and technology.

Contributors of VR

Ivan Sutherland made a huge contribution to the world of virtual reality. He built the Sword of Damocles, the first-ever head-mounted display (HMD). It enables a user to see a 3D cube floating in front of him in the real environment. It is indeed augmented reality but back in the day, it was a huge step towards virtual reality.

Following this lead, the medical and military industry implemented VR technology in their respective industry. Whereas Andrew Lippman built an environmental simulation in 1978 known as Aspen Move Map, it worked in the field of architecture and design.

The History of VR

In the late 1980s, the VR sector took a step forward. Providing training to people. NASA and Airforce developed a virtual simulation. Through these simulations, the pilots were given training in-flight conditions. It was a huge success as no life was put in danger because of this training. In 1990, VR caught the public’s attention. Since then, VR has been improving every day and its usage can be seen in many industries.

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Uses for VR

VR now helps in training medical professionals to treat patients that are suffering from anxiety and stress disorders. The clinical staff is getting training on how to perform surgery with the help of VR.

Furthermore, not only the entertainment and gaming industry are using VR, but VR has become an important aspect of every industry. VR is now available cheaply as people can use VR even with their smartphones. There are multiple VR headsets with different features. Let us discuss some types of VR headsets and why VR headsets are expensive.

Different Types of VR Headset

While talking about, “How much is a virtual reality set?”, it is important to know what makes it so expensive. Many sensors and tracking devices are pretty expensive. There are many types of VR headsets. Some might cost you around $50 or even lower while some might cost you $1000 or move. This is the reason why an understanding of different types of VR headsets is important.

Smartphone VR Headsets

Smartphones VR Headsets are the most commonly available and cheap VR headset. The headset consists of a phone compartment where the user can slide his phone. The display is mainly of the smartphone. The VR headset just has a pair of lenses that create an in-depth vision of virtual reality.

You can easily buy a good smartphone VR headset under $100 depending on the quality of lenses and material or the headset. But make sure that you use the latest model of a smartphone as it will have a good display and resolution that will help in enhancing your VR experience.

Standalone VR Headsets

These VR headsets are a little interactive. Smartphone VR headset did not have this advantage. The standalone VR headset provides a more real experience of the virtual world. They simply require charging and smartphone while setting it up for the first time. Other than that, Standalone VR headsets require nothing from you.

Standalone VR headsets are also known as all in one headset. Because these headsets have a built-in display, sensors, processors, battery and even a storage memory. These headsets are also wireless, enabling the user to roam around with it.

These Standalone VR headsets may be amazing, but they have a low refresh rate and average graphics. But they are more expensive than smartphone VR headsets and may cost you hundreds of dollars.

So, how much is a virtual reality set? Well, the great news is you can find one that best suits your needs on Amazon.

Tethered VR Headsets

Tethered VR headsets are the most expensive type of headsets. They are physically connected to a PC using a USB or an HDMI cable. They provide the user with the most immersive display as compared to the other two types of headsets. These headsets deliver the best experience of sound quality and video clarity.

While being the most effective VR headset, the restriction or disadvantage of this headset is that it requires a proper setup. It requires a high-end gaming PC to which it will connect. It also limits your moving capability. As these headsets are wired to your PC, you cannot move from one place. There are many hidden costs of controllers, remote, camera and sensors that come along with these headsets.

So, these were three types of VR headset, on the basis of the type of the headset we can understand, “How much is a virtual reality set?”.

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Why Are Virtual Reality Sets Expensive?

As now, we have a basic understanding of different types of headsets. We can now answer the question, “How much is a virtual reality set?” Let us just briefly compare the features and prices of different types of headsets.

First, let us talk about the most expensive VR headset that is Tethered VR headsets. The reason their price range is above $600 is that they have built-in features of sensors, processors, storage and custom display screens.

This is not the only expensive, you have a buy a high-end gaming PC that will even cost you more than a thousand dollars. All these expenses will provide you a more immersive display than any other VR headset. But is it really worth it?

Smartphone VR Headsets

If you just want to watch movies on a private screen, then Smartphone VR headsets are perfect for you. The reason for this headset being cheap is because your smartphone is the main source of display. Those VR headsets only consist of lenses that are cheap and light in weight. A good quality smartphone VR headset can cost you around $100 or you can get en extremely cheap one for $10.

If you want to experience a good quality VR environment, Standalone VR headsets are to go for. It is a perfect blend of cheap and high-end VR headsets. It provides a slightly immersive experience than smartphone VR headsets.

Lastly, these headsets include a built-in display, battery, memory storage, and sensors. You just need to set it up once and start using it. There is no extra cost of controllers and remote. It is a perfect way to experience virtual reality at a fairly good price.

Comparison of Virtual Reality Sets on the Basis of Their Price

To answer the question, “How much is a virtual reality set?” in more detail, we would like to compare the headsets on price ranges.

Cheap

The simplest form of virtual reality headset is nothing but a pair of magnifying lenses and a piece of cardboard. It uses a smartphone as a screen. The basic idea of this cheap version of the VR headset came from Google. Google made its VR headsets using cardboard only. It is available for $15. Not all companies that manufacture VR headset follow this cardboard trend but these cheap cardboard VR headsets can be made at home. They assure you to work well with compatible apps.

One of the biggest advantages of these headsets is no hidden charges. You just need a headset with lenses and that is it. The rest is done using your smartphone. There is no need to upgrade your phone to experience virtual reality. Applications are widely available on both PlayStore and Apple App Store. It is an advantage for Apple users as Apple is making no move towards the progress of virtual reality. But still, iPhone users can use these headsets and watch VR videos.

Additional Benefits

These VR headsets are portable and very light in weight. They do not require any space or any high-end PC. They are wireless as they have a phone compartment, where the user can slide his phone and watch VR using his phone. Moreover, they are easy to carry and you can take them anywhere with you.

The most interesting fact about these headsets is not their cheap price, but they are also widely available. Many companies are building headsets that are compatible with any smartphone. If not, then you can build yourself one. The smartphone will only require applications that will support you to watch VR content through it. Apps are widely available, depending on the nature of the content you want to watch.

Mid-Range

A more improved form of VR headsets is the Standalone headsets. The design of these headsets is more sophisticated and elegant. With built-in sensors, battery, processor, and display. These are a little more expensive than smartphone VR headsets. These are the perfect VR headsets for anyone who wants a little more immersive experience with slight interactions.

The advantages of these headsets are, they are wireless and easy to use, everything is build-in, and they come with 3D sound effects headphones. These headsets have a dedicated app store.

Ease of Use

From where the user can download any kind of 3D content that fits his likings. They are very easy to use and comfortable to wear. The Standalone headset does not require any extra space. It is free and the user can walk around while wearing.

These mid-range VR headsets are perfect to experience virtual reality. They are not too sluggish and lagging. They provide the user with an immersive experience that can isolate him from the real world. Many controllers are available in the market that are compatible with these headsets. The aftermarket controller is just an additional feature but not compulsory equipment. It will only improve the user interaction with the virtual world ensuring a better VR experience than smartphone VR headsets.

High End

The high-end VR headsets ensure the best quality VR experience. The cheap and mid-range VR headsets are unlikely to perform like these. The high-end VR headset offers better graphics, motion-flow, and high screen resolution. These headsets are used via a PC through an HDMI cable.

They are more comfortable as they have extra foam on the inside and are very light in weight. These headsets have a better blocking system (blocking any outside light to enter the VR headset).

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Can VR Headsets be Expensive?

Of course, these headsets are expensive, but they are only for tech enthusiasts and gamers.

These high-end headsets will cost you between $600-$800. But as more these devices are in development, we can expect the price to drop down a little bit. These headsets have a major hidden cost.

We know, these headsets require PC to run. Everyone has a PC in their home but these headsets require a very high-end gaming PC with ultimate graphics. To be precise, the PC requirement is a must for these headsets to work perfectly. This hidden cost may be around $1000.  

Additional Features

The most important feature you get with these high-end headsets is the ability to move. Although these headsets connect with PC using wire, you can walk around in virtual reality as you do in real life. These headsets need space to work properly.

These high-end headsets are known as tethered VR headsets and these headsets focus more on gaming. The motion controller and position tracking of these headsets set them apart from other VR headsets. This allows the user to feel more realistic while playing games.

Invest in Yourself

These expensive headsets are widely available, and they are HTC Vive, PlayStation VR, and Oculus Rift to name a few. With a hefty price tag, these headsets give the user a perfectly immersive experience of VR that cannot be felt on any other platform or headset.

But don’t you worry, as technology is advancing the prices of these headsets will eventually decrease allowing people to buy these headsets.

The Future of Virtual Reality

The development of virtual reality from scratch is a tremendous achievement. As it is expanding further, the immersive user experience will keep on improving. Field of View, refresh rate, FPS, GPU, and processing power will also increase each day.

It will enable the user with a more realistic experience than the real world itself. As there are many types of headsets discussed above, there is not a chance of another type of VR headset, but an improvement of the VR headset is guaranteed.

In the last decade, prices of the VR headsets were very high. But as progress is taking place, the prices of the headsets are coming down. As smartphone VR headset is in the reach of every other person, there will surely come a time when all these headsets will be in the affordable price range.

The VR development companies ensure its users that the prices of VR headsets and equipment will decrease.

Conclusion

“How much is a virtual reality set?” is a very common question. Virtual reality is a completely new sensation that a user can feel and interact with. As VR devices and headsets are available in the market, we need to understand what makes these devices so expensive. There are three types of VR headsets mainly that we can classify on the basis of their feature and price.

The first most cheap VR headset is the smartphone VR headset. The reason for it being cheap is that the headset has cardboard or plastic outer body with two magnifying lenses. These lenses are very cheap. You can make this headset at your home. Smartphone VR headsets are easily available for $10-$60. The second but a little expensive VR headset is the Standalone VR headset. It has built-in display, audio, processor and memory feature. Everything is available in the headset itself. This is the reason why it is expensive and costs around $200-$400.

Last but the most expensive VR headsets are the Tethered VR headset. They have better graphics and high screen resolution. But an extra cost of the PC that is required to run this headset. The overall cost of this whole set is around $1500-$1800. We have explained everything in detail, we have answered the question, “How much is a virtual reality set?”. We hope now you know everything about the cost of VR headsets.

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