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HTC Vive & Oculus Rift: Buy Now or Wait for Second Generation?

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htc-vive-and-oculus-rift-total-system
Is all this hardware worth buying any more? Credit: roadtovr.com

The answer to this question comes more from a personal perspective and/or preference, rather than some logical reasoning. Let’s examine both of the popular headsets.

Oculus Rift with Touch Controllers

The initial price tag of $800 is now sitting at $500. The most recent Summer of Rift price cut to a very affordable $400 price point is now over, but the price for the Oculus Rift coupled with Touch Controllers has been permanently lowered to $499.

If you’re really short on cash, you might even consider buying the Oculus Rift headset separately from Oculus Touch controllers. You will save additional ~$40, a decent “discount” by all means.

Besides the price, Oculus VR head of content and marketing Jason Rubin has stated that Oculus Rift users of today will get to enjoy their favourite VR headset for years to come.

“Rift does not have eye-tracking. Rift might add some sort of wireless that can be a peripheral. Eye-tracking is more fundamental, as would be inside-out tracking, because Rift doesn’t have a camera system inside. So if Rift is going to be around for a while, that tells you something about how long we feel it’s going to take for those things to become integrated and part of a full release.

I want to be clear: we are dropping the price to get more people in Rifts because we expect the next years to be very Rift-focused and Rift-centric.

To answer your question about all these other technologies: People should not hold their breath and wait, it’s not coming in a minute.

Oculus Rift Touch controllers
Better get used to this thing – it ain’t going away any time soon!

Basically, Oculus won’t be introducing Rift 2.0 any time soon. So, there’s no reason to wait another 2-3 years for it come when the current generation of the headset is live and kicking.

So, the only reason left not to finally get off the fence is the price. Rift is definitely more affordable at the moment, but Black Friday and Christmas buying frenzy are coming around the corner. It might be prudent to wait a bit longer and see if Oculus would be willing to slash $100 or even more off the price again.

HTC Vive

HTC Vive has also got a $200 slash to its dizzying $799 price tag. You can find used ones in very good condition for even less than $599. This price change was likely a reaction to Rift gaining market share on Vive with its recent summer sales and price cuts.

To assure the public that this most recent price cut isn’t in preparation for Vive 2.0, Vive US general manager Dan O’Brien stated:

“We want to really significantly boost VR adoption now across the globe. We think now is the right time to reset the price.

This is not about clearing the channel to make room for another product. We do expect this version of Vive to stay in market well into 2018. We don’t want users to feel like they’re always having to be [up-sold] into new hardware. We do want to make sure that things that we make around the Vive today continue to work with it.”

HTC Vive System
Not every one of these is exactly the same…

HTC Vive has received iterative changes over the time, but no official declarations of new hardware have ever been announced. O’Brien said that these types of changes will likely continue for the time being.

However, compared to ambiguity surrounding Oculus’es next-gen headset, he did mention 2018. Does that mean we’ll see a new product next year? Hard to say, but with critical developments such as Valve’s new “knuckle” motion controllers already in the pipeline, it’s certainly a possibility.

Pimax 5K and 8K on Kickstarter

The new lineup of Pimax headsets supporting up to 8K resolution is in full swing on Kickstarter. If not a true next-gen VR headset, Pimax 8K is certainly a step-up from Rift and Vive.

Amongst a myriad of features, the most notable ones in the 8K headset are 4K resolution per eye (2 x 3840×2160), insane 200 degrees FOV, supposedly no “screen door” effect, SteamVR readiness and compatibility with a single Vive lighthouse for 360 degrees positional tracking.

There’s also a 5K version for those less obsessed with pixels and resolutions, which is still way more than Rift and Vive’s 2K.

Pimax 8K
Looks edgy, right? Well, everything in and out of this headset is edgy at the moment.

The Chinese manufacturer has had a 4K headset on the market for a while now. The market reception has been rather moderate, with about 30,000 sales worldwide. Customers have posted mixed reviews so far.

Now, they claim they refined and tuned their technology and manufacturing to support 5K and 8K resolutions. After about a week on Kickstarter, the $200k goal has been blown by additional $950k, sitting at $1.15 million at the moment.

Best of all? The 5K headset can be obtained by pledging as little as $349, while the 8K version comes at just $499. The supply is limited though. Some reward packages are already not available, so if something like this peaks your interest, you should hurry up.

The Best Virtual Reality Anger Rooms

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Best Virtual Reality Anger Rooms
Smash those digital objects without any remorse!

The world we live in is hectic and filled with stress on a daily basis. Cumulative stress can result in a build-up of anger, frustration and negative energy. Therefore, a new method to relieve stress – Anger Rooms – is becoming increasingly popular around the world.

Some experts point out that unleashing your rage by breaking and demolishing objects can make you even more angry, so this is a rather questionable approach. Nevertheless, it would be awesome if you could just put on your VR headset on, and get inside the Virtual Anger Room. Well, some developers thought about this too, and created some interesting titles convenient for anger relief.

Smash Party VR

This is pretty much the complete VR Anger Room experience, only with a hilarious twist to it. The game is free to play, and is designed in a cartoon-ish manner packed with funny looking characters.

In Smash Party VR you get to demolish a variety of familiar objects. You are cheered by a virtual audience as you satisfy your desire for destruction. There is also a multiplayer angle of the game where you can compete with your friends. Obviously, the winner is a person with the highest score when it comes to most property damage.

Before you immerse yourself into the Smash Party VR, make sure to clear out the room and secure the space necessary, so it doesn’t become Smash Party IRL.

VRobot

In VRobot you are in control of a gigantic robot, and this time around you don’t get to crash only familiar household objects, but the entire cities! Basically, assume the role of something like King-Kong or Godzilla in VR, wreaking havoc all over the city. The only difference is that you control a really huge bot and you have some really cool gadgets to deal with anyone who stands in your path of destruction.

For example you can tear the city down with the help of tornado you release from the Tornado maker. You will also have an “Arming Tractor Beam” that lets you pull anything towards you and then shoot it in any direction. This is very useful and fun against helicopters, and will make sure you don’t end up like King-Kong!

GORN

GORN is extremely violent gladiator simulator game brought to you by Free Lives. The game features an unique combat engine, and there will be blood in any direction you look.

There is a variety of weapons at your disposal, maces, swords, bows, two hand hammers, axes and even nunchuks. Additionally you are able to engage in these savage fights with your bare hands. The supply of animated opponents is infinite, and the only limitation of this carnage is either your imagination or exhaustion, since the game is quite demanding physically.

Drunkn Bar Fight

The title Drunkn Bar Fight is pretty self-explanatory, so we will just pass down our impressions of the game. It is great if you are having people over and you want to have some good old bar fight experience without really putting yourself in jeopardy.

Still, there is a lot of untapped potential, since the bar feels a bit small and you get to throw fists only in this one bar. And yeah, you do get to fight everyone in it, so prepare those fancy slips and jabs before you enter.

GreatCool 3D VR Headset Review

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GreatCool 3D VR Headset Glasses Featured
Headset with a controller for $12? Sign me up!

A few years ago, if you mentioned the word Virtual Reality, everyone would stare at you in daze. However, these days you get everyone chatting when mentioning VR Headset. If you have never tried any VR device, you are definitely missing on an immersive experience.

One of the perks of living in 2017 is that you can buy hosts of these devices. One of them is the GreatCool 3D VR Headset. Let’s see just how good GreatCool 3D VR Headset is in our review here.

The GreatCool 3D VR Headset Test: Is it a Winner?

The first impressions you get when looking at the GreatCool 3D VR Headset are durable, sturdy materials. The manufacturer has made it portable enough for you to take it with you when needed. Compared to the Google Cardboard headsets, this one wins by far at design and price. The next question is how well it compares when you use it. Let’s find out.

How comfortable is it to wear?

First, the appearance of GreatCool VR headset is aesthetically pleasing. A world map pattern is found on the front. The headset has three modifiable straps. You can set the straps according to your head. The great thing is the straps are designed to fit different head shapes and sizes. Further, the face pad is constructed of quality leather. This helps increase breathability when used.

GreatCool 3D VR Headset Glasses Comfort
It misses the nose padding, but you can DIY some soft material in there…

GreatCool VR headset will not fall off your face easily during those exciting, thrilling moments. It uses a magnetic buckle to keep the mobile phone secure. There is an adjustable button design for ease of mounting and removing your phone. This is a handy feature as it prevents the phone from falling down. It works with any and all Android or iOS phones with a 3 – 6-inch screen.

You can enjoy playing 3D games, visit cities, view movies, or even become your favourite animated character. For heat dissipation, GreatCool VR headset has vent holes on both sides, keeping your face cool and preventing the lenses from fogging up.

How great are the lenses?

GreatCool VR headset uses 42mm diameter lenses for the best viewing experience. The lens focal and pupil distances are easily adjustable. This allows you to enjoy your 3D games and movies regardless of your interpupillary distance.

GreatCool 3D VR Headset Glasses Lenses
Optimal viewing experience

The lens is perfect to wear without glasses and reduces glare and any deformities, allowing your eyes to stay refreshed and well rested. This helps you enjoy playing your games for longer.

On the lens, the manufacturer used a blue coating technology that helps block electromagnetic radiation. Further, the lenses are polished five times and are protected by eight layer nano-coating.

Does the VR Headset Include Apps?

This is where the GreatCool VR Headset falls short. For one, you do not get instructions on how to use the device. However, mounting your mobile phone is easy. There is no mention of apps you can use to walk you through the process of using your phone with the headset.

We recommend you look at the Fulldive VR app available on Google Store. It is free to download and use. Once you have downloaded the app, it walks you through the entire process of setting up the headset. After setting up your device, you can use the charger and headphone simultaneously and you can find different apps to use in Google Play Store.

Features and Specs

  • The GreatCool VR Headset has a breathable black leather
  • The virtual reality headset supports 3-inch to 6-inch Smartphone screen sizes
  • Suitable for use with Android and iOS devices
  • Thee adjustable straps to fit any type of head size
  • To keep your mobile device secure, there is a magnet buckle system with adjustable button
  • The focal and pupil distance knobs for easy adjustments
  • 42mm lenses for comfortable vision
  • Blue coating technology with eight layers of nano-coating
  • Bluetooth remote control – the remote control is perfect to use with Android 4.0 and above, iOS, and PC systems. Further, it supports the wireless mouse, TV box, PC, and Selfies Shutter.
GreatCool 3D VR Headset Glasses Bluetooth Controller
Controls for smartphone VR games

Customer Feedback

GreatCool 3D VR Headset reviews from verified customers claim the headset to be on the heavy side. Further, they feel the manufacturer can design it with a little bit of foam on the nose section for comfort. Customers love the durable design, breathability, and versatility the headset offers. Overall, it received it a 3.4-star rating.