What’s the harm in buying the cheapest VR headset you can find?The absolute coolest thing Google has done with VR is make it something truly accessible to everyone. Earlier this year, Hallmark started building Google Cardboard headset into some of its premium cards, just to give you an idea of just how accessible this simple bit of immersive technology is now. While $13 and tax is a little much for a greeting card, it’s right on par with some of the cheapest VR headsets you can buy today, and that level of accessibility is amazing.
That having been said, just because you can buy a VR headset for less than an average movie ticket doesn’t always mean you should. Here’s what you gain and lose by looking at the cheapest form of VR as your default purchase option.
The cost of immersion
Good VR isn’t cheap, but cheap VR can be pretty good.
There are two big things that make VR interesting, and they both have to do with that sense of immersion. A successful VR experience tricks you into thinking, if only for a moment, that you are actually a part of the thing you’re watching or interacting with. Immersion is a lot easier with the big Desktop VR headsets, with motion controllers and the ability to walk around in the virtual environment. With portable viewers like Google Cardboard, those moments of true immersion rely on your ability to shut out the world around you for a moment.
A big part of this can be resolved with audio. A set of decent headphones connected to your phone can make you feel more present and immersed in any VR experience. The other thing is comfort, which is often difficult to accomplish when holding an actual cardboard box to your face with both of your