Is virtual reality going to break your wallet?
Obviously the cheapest way to get into VR is through Google Cardboard, but if you want a look at what else can be done with virtual reality you're going to be shelling out some cash. Last week we showed you guys a quick specs-comparison for all the major VR headsets that are hitting shelves this year. Today, it's time to break down the price of each device just so you'll know exactly how much you'll need to save up!
Breaking down the price for each headset is no easy task, especially with the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive running off of a separate PC — you can buy one, build one, or upgrade your current computer's hardware, so costs there can vary widely.
So to make this a little easier, we're addressing this price comparison from someone who wants to take the easiest/cheapest route into virtual reality. So for the Rift and Vive, we are going to consider their 'console' to be the cheapest compatible PC that the headset makers mention on their sites.
|Headset||Samsung Gear VR||HTC Vive||Oculus Rift||Sony PlayStation VR|
|Console or Minimum PC||Samsung Galaxy S6 series, S7 series, Note 5||HP ENVY Desktop 750-220||ASUS G11CD desktop||Sony PlayStation 4|
|Console/PC price||$599, $799||$949||$949||$349|
|Add-ons w/ price||Bluetooth Gamepad (starting at $20 but completely optional)||none||Oculus Touch: TBA||PS4 Camera: $59 (required),
PS Move Controller: $49
|Total Price||$698 (Galaxy S6) to $898 (Galaxy S7 edge)||$1,748||$1,548||$848|
As expected, Oculus and HTC's headsets will cost you well over a thousand dollars if you don't already have a powerful enough PC. That being said, if you have a decent PC you may be able to swap out a few of the components to meet the minimum system requirements.
It's worth noting that the HTC Vive is more expensive than the competition because it comes bundled with a pair of infrared laser lighthouses for 3D positioning and dual motion sensitive hand controllers. As for the Oculus Rift, you'll have to play strictly with a gamepad until they announce how much and when the Oculus Touch controllers will be released.
What's most surprsing about this table, though, is that the PlayStation VR with a PlayStation 4 is actually cheaper than a Galaxy S7 Edge with Gear VR in both its standalone and bundle packages. One thing is clear, though: no matter the platform, getting into virtual reality isn't going to be cheap.
Does this table sway you towards one headset over the other? If so let us know in the comments!