In the consumer arena, the most important market for virtual reality today is gaming. virtual reality, so this guide is primarily aimed at gamers.
However, it is possible to do many other things, such as watch movies in 3D or 360 °, watch your favorite movies as if you were in the cinema, explore the catalog of Netflix or Prime Video while sitting in a virtual living room, explore the world with Google Earth, etc.
Virtual Reality is not the same as 3D
Too often virtual reality is associated with the 3d effect of the cinema, which has also been brought to video games thanks to Nvidia. But you should know that both things are very different.
With 3D the images simply come off the screen, with Virtual Reality you are inside the virtual world, and in addition to your head you can also put your hands in with the movement controls.
All of it allows a degree of immersion unattainable for 3D, and unthinkable interaction possibilities for experiences on a monitor. The downside is that VR goggles are still quite bulky and heavy, certainly more than a simple stereoscopic vision goggles.
But research and development continue apace, and in the coming years they will surely hit the market. more ergonomic and lighter visors.
How to choose a VR headset
Moving on to games, 3-degree-of-freedom viewers (like the Oculus Go, or those cheap devices you put your smartphone in, which you have to avoid like the plague) are not enough.
They can follow the rotations of the head, but not the linear movements of our body and hands. To do this, we need six-degree-of-freedom scopes with hand-tracking controls.
One key thing to do before choosing a device is to check the manufacturer’s website for see what DPI range the viewfinder can cover. The DPI (interpupillary distance) is the distance between our pupils, measured in millimeters.
It can be known with precision in an optical center, or with a good approximation with a ruler in front of a mirror, measuring the distance between the center of the two pupils. If our DPI is out of range that covers the visor, we will not be able to focus the virtual objects well, which makes it useless.
No problem for those who need corrective lenses: practically all visors available on the market can be used with glasses or contact lenses. There are four main viewers, depending on your needs, that I recommend to a VR beginner.
Function to play online
Although online interactions with other people are not new, the inclusion of this feature in VR games should be considered by parents when choosing content for their children.
These interactions can greatly enhance the VR gaming experience, but as always, parents should also be aware of the potential dangers that exist on the network.
Since it’s difficult to see the interactions someone experiences in a VR game, a little more attention and consideration is warranted. Settings are provided to enable or disable these features on each of the systems.
These should be applied as you would any other device. Once again, one of the best ways to allay fears with online gaming is test games before younger family members play them.
Oculus Quest 2
The Oculus Quest 2 It is the most versatile viewer on the market today. By 350 euros (with 64GB of storage) you get an all-in-one device that includes a manual track controller that doesn’t need a PC or console to function. The Quest 2 doesn’t even use external sensors for tracking, which is handled by the 4 cameras on the viewfinder body.
Oculus Rift S
The Oculus Rift S It has been the best value for money PC viewer for months. It costs 450 euros but often it can go down to 400 euros. We would like to underline the fact that to use it you need a gaming PC, to which the Rift S is connected with the cable using a USB 3.0 port and a display port.
For those who own a PlayStation 4 (preferably the Pro version) this device could be the most sensible. After all, Sony’s viewfinder can now be bought at ridiculous prices (you can often find for less than 200 euros new).
Sony’s strong point is games, even in its VR version: gems like Blood and truth and Astro Bot they are only available on Playstation, and may be worth buying the peripheral on their own.
Although new and innovative technology may trigger parental concern, with the proper setup and use of Virtual Reality games can be an extremely positive experience for the family. Not only does it offer a new way to have fun together, but it also develops new skills and understanding in a variety of challenges.