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The top-end VR headsets and systems money can buy

Young asian woman exciting in VR headset looking up and trying to touch objects in virtual reality at home living room, Teenager girl playing VR headset, people and leisure virtual reality technology

Nearly a decade ago, virtual reality was predicted to become the next big thing, a game-changer across many industries, but mostly due to the cost of the equipment and its early restrictions, VR struggled to take off properly. Now, however, virtual reality is thriving in gaming, headed by the likes of the PlayStation VR with more major gaming companies like Valve looking to bolster virtual reality gaming with their own gear. Due to the costs involved and the experience delivered, virtual reality gaming is seen as a luxury by many gamers and one which offers a superior way to play.

Valve weigh-in with Index VR

A video showing IGN’s review of the new Valve Index VR Kit, showcasing the powerful tech and labelling it as a premium product that validates its lofty price.

Virtual reality gaming appears to have finally found its footing in the video games industry, with Sony and Nintendo giving the format a big push in 2019 as well as other systems like the Oculus and Vive going strong. Now, there’s a new contender in the realm with Valve, founders of the PC gaming platform Steam, bringing in a deluxe, luxury virtual reality gaming kit.

To start fresh and get into the PlayStation VR experience, the console and starter kit costs around $600. For the Nintendo Switch system and Labo VR kit, you’ll be charged $420. The Oculus Rift S comes in at $400 for the whole gaming bundle, and the HTC Vive Pro costs around $1100 for the headset, controllers, and SteamVR 1.0 base station. Wanting to make its mark as the premium way to enjoy VR gaming, Valve’s new Index VR kit – which includes the headset, SteamVR 2.0 base station, and controllers – costs $1000. It flies under the price of the HTC Vive Pro, but the tech within is top of the range.

Young asian man wearing virtual reality glasses at living room for admiring virtual reality.
Virtual reality gaming appears to have finally found its footing in the video games industry, with Sony and Nintendo giving the format a big push in 2019 as well as other systems like the Oculus and Vive going strong

The Index VR kit boasts incredible tech to produce the best VR gaming experience on the market, toting 120hz/144hz refresh rate, dual 1440×1600 LCDs for sharper image quality in the headset, and controllers that track individual fingers. Valve’s venture into VR has set a new standard, but reaching this optimal level of virtual reality gaming can certainly be considered a luxury with the $1000 set-up costs to achieve the premium experience.

Valve’s Index VR kit warrants its price for the technology utilised in the product, and as far as your average virtual reality gamer goes, they would likely be happy to spend $1000 on the best experience on the market. Unlike other forms of gaming, virtual reality gaming is seen as a luxury due to its ability to play to all of the user’s senses. Many people cite playing video games as a method of escapism to help them deal with daily work pressures, and virtual reality delivers the ultimate escapist experience, engulfing the player in the game by blocking out everything else. Playing video games has become quite standard, with VR gaming now being the premium luxury of the industry.

The best games that virtual reality has to offer

Cited by many to be the best horror VR game, The Exorcist: Legion VR lives up to the billing established by the novel and movie, delivering a truly terrifying gaming experience.

With the likes of Oculus, Index VR, PSVR, Nintendo Labo, and Vive pushing virtual reality gaming, the library of VR games and VR experiences continues to evolve at a staggering rate. Each year, VR gaming seems to take another step forward as developers become accustomed to utilising the experience that comes with a virtual reality headset.

One of the biggest genres in virtual reality gaming, which has been all but ignored by console gaming since Electronic Arts got bored of its Fight Night series in 2011, is that of boxing games. VR libraries boast a great range of games for the wannabe pugilist, with the likes of Creed: Rise to Glory, BoxVR, and Knockout League being rated among the best VR games of 2018 alone.

Along with the boxing titles, science-fiction games have become very popular, with the developers building ways for the player to see vast and beautiful worlds while interacting with its peculiar fauna and flora. But without a doubt, the most sought-after genre of games in virtual reality is horror. People love to put on the headset and experience real fear, often with friends watching without a headset on, and see what a true supernatural phenomenon may feel like.

The best of these horror games has to be The Exorcist: Legion VR for the Vive, Oculus, and PSVR, with other titles like Resident Evil 7, Narcosis, The Persistence, and Until Dawn: Rush of Blood also delivering very clever and frightening gaming experiences. Now that games such as these have established that there is a strong virtual reality audience, big-name brands are looking to get involved in the software side as well, with the most notable upcoming release being Marvel’s Iron Man VR game.

Can virtual reality gaming go even further?

A video showing the cinematic trailer of GTA Online’s new content, The Diamond Casino & Resort. With a video game casino already established as being incredibly popular, how long will it be before a virtual reality casino is created?

One of the biggest gaming releases of this year was a free update for a game released back in 2013. GTA Online – the online multiplayer mode of Grand Theft Auto V – finally opened the doors to the Diamond Casino & Resort, which has proven to be a huge hit with gamers. It proves that there is an audience, and a rather large audience at that, which enjoys casino gaming within the M-rated game. While Grand Theft Auto V doesn’t have a virtual reality port just yet, the massive popularity of its new content could show real gambling websites that the world of video gaming has an audience for their services, particularly as casino gaming tends to exude class and luxury – making virtual reality platforms an optimal landing spot.

If people could walk around a casino in a way similar to that of GTA Online but with the immersive VR headset in play, it could make playing popular games of European roulette, French roulette, Lucky Keno, and top slots like Starburst, Divine Fortune, and Dragon Kingdom even more enjoyable. If a brand that boasts many of these popular online slots were to get involved in such a project, it could create the most luxurious gaming experience on the market. Given how competitive the online gambling industry is right now, offering myriad deals such as free spins no deposit bonuses, it wouldn’t come as a surprise if it was announced that a top brand was working on creating a real-money virtual reality casino.

Man wearing virtual reality VR glasses watching soccer football
There are now a whole host of VR headsets available to purchase

Due to the cost and quality of the technology involved, virtual reality gaming is certainly considered to be a premium form of gaming, with the immersive gaming experiences provided by top titles also making it the most luxurious form of gaming. As the luxury way to play continues to grow in popularity, more developers from across the realms of gaming will be looking to make ways for the premium VR audience to enjoy their products.

As it stands in terms of popularity, power, and game selection, the most elite, top-end VR systems that money can buy right now have to be PlayStation VR and the newly released Valve Index VR kit.