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The best VR headset

There were two. Now there's really only one.

While both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are considered complete bundles, the Rift is ahead in terms of fit and finish. Oculus also announced that the Rift bundle (headset and Touch controllers) is now at an all time low of $399. This makes the Rift significantly more attractive than the Vive.  

HTC however is diverting most of its attention to improving its VR products. The company recently sold off its mobile phone division to Google for $1.1 billion, and HTC plans to use significant portions of that money to its VR efforts.

The real issue with VR however is content—and we haven't seen major breakthroughs yet this year. Gaming content has improved since a year ago, and there are some excellent titles to play with. Oculus also just launched its new dashboard, which allows interactive interface to the Windows desktop. The company is putting more resources into developing content and experience than any other company in the VR space, so we feel solid about an investment into a Rift headset.

Keep in mind, though, that the gaming ecosystem for VR is still in its infancy. Developers are still trying to learn best practices and more investment in content is required for VR to really take off. Despite this, Oculus is inspiring confident in its product by continuing to push R&D.

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The best VR headset today

  • Now permanently $399
  • Better perceived resolution than Vive
  • Touch controllers now come bundled
  • Comes with remote and Xbox One gamepad
  • Roomscale size not as big as Vive's

We can pretty much thank Oculus for making VR a reality. With Facebook snapping up the startup for $2 billion, Oculus has a huge war chest for pushing VR forward. They're investing in game development and research to help the present and future of VR thrive. The Rift headset is the most polished VR headset on the market today, and really demonstrates how far along we've come in bringing VR to the mainstream, but we're not quite there yet, and neither is Oculus.

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Price made all the difference

Right now there are two major players for VR headsets for the PC. No one else has demonstrated products that are consumer ready other than HTC and Oculus. There's Sony with its PSVR headset, but that isn't for the PC (at least until modders get their hands on it).

HTC Vive

While both headsets previously held close positions in our hearts, Oculus made all the difference by bundling its headset with the Touch controllers and dropping the price significantly. This was the deciding factor in choosing the Rift as our new preferred headset. Circling news of HTC bailing out of the VR space also made recommending the Rift a no-brainer. Anyone who's buying a VR headset today should only buy a Rift.

Facebook is also definitely pushing more content for the Rift. There still aren't many compelling games available for either platform but with Facebook's massive war chest funding development of VR titles, the Rift gives us more confidence. We also expect that eventually, nearly all VR games will be made to work on both. If you're concerned about content, the safe bet is to spend your money on regular ol' PC games for the next few months and watch for more development on the content side.

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