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These past couple of weeks have been incredible for the VR community, with Oculus and Valve announcing their latest generation VR headsets! Let’s take a closer look...

Valve Index

Having teased its arrival last month, Valve has now revealed all the key details for its new Index VR headset. It’s available for pre-order, and will be released June 15th. The Index VR headset without anything else will set you back US$499 on it’s own, and US$999 with all the trimmings. Good if you already own some HTC Vive gear, you won’t need to spend that much.

As for specs, this is immediately one of the most powerful VR headsets you can get your hands on: a 1,440 x 1,600 pixel resolution RGB LCD screen for each eye, a super-fast 120 Hz refresh rate (plus an “experimental” 144 Hz option), and a field of view that Valve says is 20 degrees wider than the competition.

Here’s a lowdown of the VR headset, brought to you by ‘Adam Savage’s Tested’

You can read more about the Valve Index here: https://www.vg247.com/2019/04/30/valve-index-specs-pre-orders-release-date/

Oculus Rift S

Announced this year at Facebook’s F8 conference, the Oculus Rift S is the first of the VR headsets that are going to be released later this month, on May 21st.

The Rift S costs US$399 — the same price as the Quest, and slightly more than the old Rift, which sold for US$349 after several price drops. Its main addition is the “Insight” system, which uses tracking cameras built straight into the headset, rather than ones that are mounted around a room. Insight was first seen on the Oculus Quest, and the Rift S version is fundamentally similar. The Rift S has five cameras to the Quest’s four, however, and they’re placed differently: instead of a wide-angle camera on each corner, the Rift S has two cameras on the front, one on each side, and one on the top of the headset.

The Rift S has a slightly higher-resolution screen than the original Rift, at 1280 x 1440 pixels per eye instead of 1200 x 1080, but still not up to the level of the Valve Index as mentioned above.

Here’s a great review of the Oculus Rift S, pitted against the HP Reverb: https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2019/05/a-tale-of-two-inside-out-vr-headsets-the-400-oculus-rift-s-600-hp-reverb/

You can read more about the Rift S here: https://www.roadtovr.com/oculus-rift-s-review-good-choice-for-newcomers-difficult-choice-for-vr-vets/

Oculus Quest

The second VR device announced by Facebook at their F8 conference, the Quest is Oculus’ fourth consumer VR headset.

Like last year’s Oculus Go, it’s got a standalone design, which means it doesn’t connect to a phone or PC. But where the Oculus Go is meant for stationary TV or movie viewing, the Quest is a gaming device. It includes dual hand controllers instead of a single remote, and it’s studded with four wide-angle tracking cameras, which let users walk around a fairly large space. It will also support some of the Rift’s most popular experiences, including the rhythm game Beat Saber, rock-climbing title The Climb, and shooter Robo Recall.

When it comes to processing power, some were a little disappointed when it was first revealed the Quest would be running on a Snapdragon 835 processor. That’s because it isn’t the latest processor from Qualcomm, but it is a step up from the 821 in the Oculus Go.

A gameplay area that’s a minimum of 2 meters x 2 meters or 6.5 feet x 6.5 feet is recommended, but you can play in less than that, you’ll just need to draw out available space. Those in small homes will be happy to hear you can also bypass all of this and just play standing still or sitting in a much smaller sphere of movement.

The Oculus Quest is priced at $399 for the 64GB version, and $499 for the 128GB version.

You can read more about the Oculus Quest here: https://www.trustedreviews.com/reviews/oculus-quest

Comparison

For a general comparison of the latest VR headsets, PCGamer have put together a nice chart outlining some of the features and tech specs from each of the newest devices, as well as some older ones. You can have a look at the comparisons here: https://www.pcmag.com/article/342537/the-best-virtual-reality-vr-headsets

Upcoming Events

Here’s a list of upcoming events around the world for those interested in Virtual and Augmented Reality: http://allvirtualreality.com/events/2019-list-vr-events-virtual-reality-expo-exhibitions-conferences.html
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