If you’ve read my previous article then you’d know that the age of mainstream virtual reality is finally upon us. Everybody and their mother is releasing their own VR headset this year, from giants like Sony and Samsung to relative unknowns like HTC. With practically dozens of headsets, AR goggles, holographic displays and God knows what else, it’s perfectly understandable if the average consumer is a bit confused about what to buy. The situation is only made even more complicated by the fact that each headset costs hundreds of dollars, so there’s really no room for error here – you need to get it right on the first try! And if you’re thinking that you’re not going to be needing VR for anything in your life, then think again – Microgaming’s VR roulette prototype is proof enough that the big gambling developers are perfectly willing and able to experiment in that area. While we’re probably not going to be seeing any VR gambling games available this year, I’m fairly certain that sometime next year I’ll be reporting on one right here.
So, which VR headset would be right for online gambling? Honestly, there’s really only two choices here – the HTC Vive or the Oculus Rift. Why? Well, because all other VR headsets are either of lower quality or will be incompatible with gambling games. You can absolutely forget about any headsets that require you to plug your phone in, such as the Google Cardboard and the Gear VR. The thing is, contrary to popular belief, not all screens are created equal – the screens that comprise the “lens” of most high-end VR headsets have been specifically designed to be located very close to the user’s eyes. Phone displays, on the other hand, have not, and that can result in subpar visuals and even health side effects, such as headaches, eye strain and vertigo. While they may seem like a fun, cheap way to try out VR, you’re much better off just skipping them altogether.
The same goes for Sony’s PSVR. I’m not going to lie – Sony has probably the best headset on the market in terms of accessibility and price range per quality. They’ve somehow managed to create a headset that rivals the Vive and the Rift (even if it never quite measures up to them, parameters-wise) while also being extremely affordable. In any other situation I’d say go with that one, but when it comes to gambling, the PSVR will be useless. As the name suggests, that headset will only work with a PlayStation 4, and since gambling is illegal in Japan, it makes very little sense for any real gambling game to ever grace the PlayStation console – it never has in the past. Sure, we’ve gotten a couple of gambling simulations over the years, but that’s about it. No, for real online gambling you’ll need to stick to PC.
And that leaves us with the Rift and Vive, and honestly, that’s a bit of a tough question. My personal recommendation would be to go with the Rift. While the two headsets have similar stats, the Rift was designed to be worn while seated, while the Vive’s primary function is to create a three-dimensional field for you to walk around in. You obviously won’t be doing much walking while playing VR roulette, so the much more expensive Vive simply isn’t worth the investment. If VR gambling is all you’re buying your headset for, then the Rift will work out just fine!