2020 has been huge year for VR, with huge game title releases and more VR headsets released on the market than ever before. For those shopping for their Christmas present, VR headsets may be something on your list for Santa Claus. During the time of isolation, virtual reality is probably one of the best technology to improve the quality of life for those experiencing lockdown and bordom.
Best VR headsets of the year 2020.
Regardless if you are a first timer, or experienced VR zealot, there many options to chose from depending on your needs. If you do not have a powerful PC at home, standalone VR headsets may be a good idea. If you are already a console gamer, perhaps you can add a VR headset to your PlayStation console.
Best PC VR Headsets
With great power comes great responsibility, especially if you are trying to run heavy duty VR games such as Half-Life: Alyx. You old PC at home simply do not have the juice to run such games. PC VR is where you can plug your favorite VR headset into, and play the best VR games and experiences without any issue.
The Valve Index was first released in 2019. If you are looking for the best VR headset for PC, this headset will give you the most optimal experience. This is one headset that requires a deep pocket, much more pricey than all the other headsets on the market. However, it does provide a great mixture of performance, comfort, and overall quality.
We especially love the tracking performance, controller design, and field of view. The ergonomic adjustment capability provides a comfortable user experience. This is also the only headset on the market that possess eye-relief adjustment. This enable you to increase the lens closer to the eyes, allows the maximum field of views, which is very handy for those who wear glasses. It has a IPD adjustment between 58mm ~ 70mm, which allows precision for crisp visuals.
Compare to other headsets on the market, the external tracking system requires more work to set up, and requires the tracking sensors to be mounted on tripod and placed in opposite corners of the room. These sensors also requires a power source, so if the corners do not have power out, you will need to run extension chords.
The pass-through cameras isn’t as user-friendly as seen on other VR headsets.
HP Reverv G2
The Valve Index has a good over-all performance but it is very pricey. Another option would be the HP Reverb G2, priced at $600USD. This is a headset with excellent resolution, which is very good for seated PC VR games for driving and flight simulations.
The HP Reverb G2 delivers 2160 x 2160 display, where the screen door effect cannot be seen on this headset. This headset offers the best clarity out of any headset in the same class, despite the headset not offering as wide FOV as the Valve Index.
The G2 has a nice pair of headphones that it borrowed from their partnership with Valve. The headset also has inside-out tracking which eliminates the need to use external tracking devices. The controller tracking latency is less reliable than its fellow competitive headsets. Frankly, we like the headset, but not so much the controller.
The headset works with the Windows Mixed Reality store, yet only a few applications are available. A free plug-in is available from Microsoft officially which makes it compatible with SteamVR content.
Best Value Standalone headset
Oculus Quest 2
The Oculus Quest 2 is our pick for the best value standalone headset in 2020. Standalone VR headset means no computer or console required to run the headset, it runs standalone VR games from the Oculus Quest store. You can only run standalone games from the Oculus Quest store, but if you plug the headset into a PC, you will have access to everything else from SteamVR library, and Oculus PC. We love this compatibility feature.
You can however, run PC VR games on a Oculus Quest 2 through the Oculus Link by plugging the headset into a PC. The Quest 2 has an excellent passthrough camera feature, excellent controllers, and high resolution display. The Quest 2 is the best cost versus performance headset on the market. Facebook account is required to run this VR device.
We do not recommend the official manufacturer’s Elite Strap, as it is too short to work well for the Oculus Link. You can find a much longer and cheaper cable on Amazon.
Best VR Console headset in 2020
PSVR first hit the market back in 2016 and it was the best VR console option for PlayStation 4 fans. However, the quality and performance of the PS4 console is reaching the end of its product life cycle. The display quality, tracking, and overall performance is subpar to other available headset options.
Sony is planning to release the PS5 later this year, and Sony has confirmed that the existing PSVR headset will be compatible with the PS5 console.
Sony has confirmed that PlayStation VR on the PS5 will not be compatible with the console’s new camera. You will need to use an adaptor to plug-in the old PS4 camera to work with the headset, and a PS4 Dualshock controller to run the PSVR headset on the new PS5 console.
The good thing about being the PlayStation platform is the existing available content from the PlayStation library.
The drawback of PSVR is that certain top titles such as Blood & Truth and Astro Bot Rescue Mission are not available.