Since last year there have been quite a few more HMD’s released out on to the market. However, there’s a few things that make an HMD the best Head Mounted Display available. Not only does it have to not get in the users way, but it also needs to have good compatibility with games, a large base of games developer for it, and come in at an affordable price. Here’s our pick for the very best in this year’s VR Awards on VRFitnessInsider.com.
List of Current Commercially Available HDM’s
* The Oculus
* HTC Vive
* Gear VR
* PlayStation VR
* Cardboard VR
Best Ease of Use: Cardboard VR and Gear VR
There’s no doubt that the Cardboard is the easiest one to use with minimal effort involved, but it’s minimal effort is matched by Gear VR, which is basically a nicer version of the same thing. The other VR HMD’s require that you set them up with chords, so it makes sense why these two mobile VR headset would be easy to use.
Best Compatible HMD: The Oculus
For those HTC Vive users that aren’t aware, The Oculus can play all other VR games because it’s so open. Even “HTC Vive Exclusive” games can be worked to where they will play on The Oculus. However, the HTC Vive cannot play some Oculus games no matter how hard you work them. This is because the sensor information from the HTC Vive can be simulated in The Oculus due to the fact that it is omni-direction, but the HTC Vive cannot because it requires separate input streams to combine into one workable stream. Likewise, these two can do anything the other less high-quality VR HMD’s can do.
Largest Official Base of Games based on Fitness: The Oculus
Once again, The Oculus wins in this category because it is nearly always compatible with its competitor’s games, The HTC Vive. Not only does it have a multitude of years ahead of it’s competitor in terms of games, most of the HTC Vive games are not exclusive to HTC Vive and can officially be played on The Oculus. Mobile VR hasn’t exploded like it has on the PC, which is why these two HMD’s have more games. Give it another year and PC won’t be able to compete here is my guess.
Lowest HMD Price: Cardboard VR
By far the cheapest because it just requires a phone and the HMD, which is made out of Cardboard. I had to do some digging with this as the price tag is misleading. Since you have to account for the price of the phone AND the HMD, I needed to make sure that the phone wouldn’t cost as much as The Oculus. Luckily, the two big VR machines haven’t come down in price so the lowest priced phone that can support Google VR, or Cardboard, is still the cheapest provided you by the cheapest phone. However, and this is a big however, if you want to be able to play the big games then you have to buy some of the newest phones. Therefore, I also had to account for the prices of the newest phones. Considering the Samsung S7 is around $800 and you could buy the Oculus, with a game controller, for $700, The Oculus would win in the higher price bracket if it weren’t for the PC that’s needed with it that automatically adds a grand to the total price.
Overall Winner: The Oculus
This feels cheap because technically it’s a tie. You know what, no. Nope, this is not a tie because these HMD’s are selling for two completely different markets. Therefore, they are both the Best HMD’s for their markets.
Best Mobile HMD: Cardboard VR
Best Non-Mobile HMD: The Oculus
That feels better considering it was a tie. While it is true that The Oculus is the overall winner because of the amount of games available to it, the Cardboard deserves some credit for its ingenious design.
Maybe next year, the mobile scene will see a lot more games come out for it than we saw this year. Either way, with more games, wireless accessories, and better graphics it’s no wonder why The Oculus would be the top out of all of them. If you believe something was missing, please feel free to leave a comment to let us know.