VR: Is it worth it?

Written by Ali Karimi

Virtual Reality, VR, is still a relatively a new technology. It is still in it's baby stages. It offers a mild to good experience, but with a big price tag. Many people, such as myself ask, is it worth it? If so, which one should I buy?

Let us first talk about the most optimal and fortuitous outcome we may see in the coming years.

In many recent forms of media, such as books, shows, and movies, there have been plots which revolve around the idea of virtual reality. In many cases, they receive much praise and recognition, which speaks volumes about the popularity of such an idea.

One such case is "Sword Art Online." According to one source, it is the best anime ever (his words not mine) and is a story of epic proportions.

The story follows Kazuto, also known by his in game avatar as Kirito, in the near future. The technology of VR has progressed so far that they can fully immerse all 5 senses into the game. However, thing take a turn for the worse when they find out there is no way to manually log out. If you die in the game, you die in real life! The only way to exit is to clear all 100 floors.

Of course, this is the most extreme case. The most important part in this case and in many others is that they were IN the game. Imagine it - putting on some head gear, lying in bed, and you woke up in the actual game. Your real body was still static and untouched in the real world, while you fought with swords and magic in another world.

That's nice and all but it's really only wishful thinking. There are articles online debunking the idea but I digress. I will still keep my hopes up.

So where does that leave us now? Today we don't have the 'Nerve Gear' but we do have products such as the 'Oculus Rift,' the 'HTC Vive,' and 'PSVR.' Below are the said products and their prices.

Oculus Rift HTC Vive PSVR
Photo of Oculus Rift Photo of HTC Vive Photo of PSVR
(As of 10/20/17)
$399 $599 $449
Requirements NVIDIA GTX 1050Ti/AMD Radeon RX 470 or greater Graphics Card Required and a RAM of 8 GB+ NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon RX 480, equivalent or better and a Ram of 4GB+ A Playstation 4

Unfortunately for most people, a high end PC that can utilize the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive to it's fullest potential would run them about another $1000. If you build your own PC, you may be able to cut corners at the loss of some performance.

Picture of Money
Both headsets come with a headset, pair of controllers (one for each hand) and 2 sensors. The Oculus Rift is a bit lighter than the Vive and also has an integrated headset. However, the Vive has a superior tracking system,though it requires a bit more room. Each product has it's own list of pros and cons.

The PSVR runs about right in the middle in regards to price, but the cost of a single PS4 is less than half the price of a high-end PC. Sony's option is the most affordable and most mainstream today, because most people already had a PS4 prior to.

By some accounts, VR is the greatest thing ever. It sure sounds like it. An immersive experience like no other is what people want. And though its not quite there yet, it can still be immersive. However, by other accounts, its just not worth it. As a novelty, it's a great idea; but it is unlikely to be used on a regular basis.