Want to buy a VR headset? This is all you need to know

We can’t go on vacation, we better not go to an amusement park and even the cinema is just a bit too risky for some people. In short, sitting at home is the motto. While the fact that it shouldn’t be ideal, sitting at home can be made significantly more comfortable, for example by adding virtual reality to your life. With a VR headset on you can plunge into all kinds of other worlds, right in your living room. This is what you need to know about VR and what to think about when you want to buy VR glasses.

Virtual reality

Virtual reality means that you are not looking at a rectangular TV screen, but that your eyes are completely surrounded by screens. To make this as efficient as possible, virtual reality often comes in the form of VR glasses, where you have screens around the eyes. This way you can place yourself in a world and look 360 degrees around you. So you not only see a whole virtual world in front of you, but also behind you and to the side. You are always in the middle of it.

For example, you can go underwater in a cage and swim with sharks with virtual reality. Not really, of course, but if anyone has ever started diving with sharks with a 360 camera, you can fully immerse yourself in that world. Sometimes you experience it as the maker experienced it, but sometimes you have much more freedom to move yourself. Of course, if you wear VR glasses you cannot walk meters – usually -, but sometimes you can use controllers for this.

VR headset for PC: much more is possible

For many people, virtual reality seems like a kind of distant future, but that is not so bad. You really don’t have to be an ultra computer geek to enjoy it. In fact, you don’t even need a PC. Although most high-quality VR headsets work with a computer, there are also variants that are specific to a game console (PSVR for example, for PlayStation).

Oculus Rift and Oculus Quest , Valve Index, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR are the most commonly used virtual reality glasses. PlayStation VR is really meant for PlayStation. Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Valve Index are for PC and Oculus Quest is another headset that you use on its own. While PlayStation VR is a great invention, the general consensus is that virtual reality on PC is best. There are many different experiences available, but they are also a bit more expensive in price. However, don’t let the idea that it is complicated on the PC scare you away. You can use them just by plugging them into the USB port and the HDMI port. You then use an app that can help you perfectly with the rest.

There are also Samsung Gear VR and Google Cardboard, but these are actually simply holders in which you put your smartphone, which then functions as a screen. That in itself can be fun, but it does not offer nearly as immersive an experience as the virtual reality glasses that are equipped with screens.

Nausea from virtual reality

Precisely because you have all screens around you, virtual reality is considerably more intense for your brain. It requires more concentration and you will notice that, for example, you can keep playing a game that you simply play for longer without virtual reality. You get tired of having long sessions, but that’s not all. It can also make you nauseous. Certainly if you do virtual reality games where you use a lot of speed or, for example, you are underwater, you may become nauseous. That is not surprising: your vestibular organ of course gets a bit confused: your eyes register movement, but the body stands or sits still.

If you are very nauseous, don’t worry. You can get used to virtual reality. Put the glasses on every day for a little longer. Or choose games and experiences that are a bit less intense. That way you can get used to the idea, to that other reality, and hopefully you won’t be so nauseous in the future. Also make sure you drink enough, it is sometimes reported that people get headaches from it. In any case, always stop as soon as you notice that you are getting nauseous or getting a headache: it is intended that a virtual reality experience is fun of course. Taking a break is not bad at all.

VR headset with controllers

Although there are certainly VR headsets that you use without controllers, you have just a little more freedom of movement and freedom of choice with controllers. There are also VR headsets that can see where your eyes are focused via cameras, with which you can select things from the menu by waiting. However, controllers are more useful: they are even quite essential if you also want to play games on your virtual reality headset. Each brand has its own controllers, but also its own freedom of movement. Some VR headsets let you set up a sort of square that you can move around in, which will appear with a sort of grid if you get too close to the edges. Most VR headsets do have a wire, so don’t get caught in the heat of battle.

Buy VR headset

With the holidays approaching, getting a virtual reality headset isn’t such a bad idea. Still, after reading this article and seeing a video, it is better not to click and buy immediately. We strongly recommend that you give it a try for real. VR headsets are still quite high in purchase price (you really spend a few hundred euros on them). Moreover, even if you don’t have acquaintances or friends who have VR glasses, you can go to a VR house, for example. There are providers of VR experiences in every major city where you can not only see what it’s like to simply view an aquarium in virtual reality, but also play a game. Some games are even very extensive, where you stand in a room with other people.

It’s very easy to fall in love with VR that way. At the same time, it is also very easy to play a lot the first period after you buy VR glasses and then ignore them. That is a shame, because there is a lot to experience on a VR headset. Especially now that we cannot go on vacation, you can use it to visit virtual, distant destinations, experience film experiences and of course play dozens of games. Plus: you can let others enjoy a virtual reality experience and there is nothing more fun than that. Especially if someone is not really a gamer, then it is great to see the first reaction of someone who takes their first steps in virtual reality comfortably at home. Lots of fun!