What parents need to know about the VR gear their kids want

What parents need to know about the VR gear their kids want

From Google’s cheap VR card display to Sony’s new PlayStation VR, this guide will help you know what your family’s interests, needs, and budget make sense. Here are the options if you want to immerse your big toe in water, bandage yourself deep in your knee or really swim with the big VR fish.

Keep in mind that virtual reality is a rapidly changing technology, so always check out corporate websites and professional reviews on companies. places like CNETand user comments before making the jump.

Virtual reality viewers are inexpensive and inexpensive handheld devices that offer three-dimensional visualizations and the feeling of being in a different place. Spectator lenses work by enlarging the depth of still or animated images, but they don’t allow you to interact with your surroundings. To use them, download any app named “VR” in iTunes or Google Play, launch the app, and insert your smartphone into the viewer. Most viewers use the phone button or other basic input to control the action.

Key features

• cheap

• Compatible with most smartphones and iOS or Android apps labeled “VR” (except View-Master, which uses specially designed apps)

• It’s more like a 3D movie than a real VR movie

• Best for educational content and games

• Currently, the selection of high quality applications is quite limited. Try it New York Times: Virtual Reality Stories i these recommendations.

Products in this category

Google Cardboard ($ 14.99)
This portable device, which you created literally out of cardboard, is a fun and innovative way to experience virtual reality. Use it with any smartphone and with iOS or Android VR apps. Google offers many different viewers, including permanent viewing Google Tech C-1 Glass VR Viewer ($ 14.99).

It is a comfortable viewfinder with adjustable lenses, strap and an easy-to-use shutter entry. Includes with a cardboard, portable motion controller that adds a bit of play to games. Works with most smartphones and any iOS or Android VR app.

Designed to learn more than to play, the View-Master is available in a variety of packages that will allow you to explore dinosaurs, space, wildlife and more. Each package includes insertable image rollers (the phone provides power). It works with most smartphones and with specially designed View-Master iOS or Android apps.

VR headphones: best for adults and seniors

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The price increase and features are VR headsets. They are similar to viewers so you can download VR apps from the app store and insert the phone. The headphones work with the same apps as viewers (except for the Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream Viewbut which give you a more immersive experience.

The advantages of headphones are that they are more comfortable to wear for a longer time, fit better (avoid light leaks), have better lenses and often have headphone ports. That’s why some people like to use them to watch videos. They don’t make the videos three-dimensional, but they do offer a personal experience in film-theater. They usually also have game controllers built into the headset, or work with handheld controllers, which give you more options in applications than you would have with a simple viewer.

Key features

• More expensive than viewers

• Compatible with most smartphones (except Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream View) and iOS or Android apps labeled “VR”

• More credible experience, but little ability to interact with your environment

• Good for games, educational content, and movie viewing

• Currently, the selection of high quality applications is quite limited. Try it New York Times: Virtual Reality Stories i these recommendations.

• Headphones have minimum age requirements set by the manufacturers; check the age before you buy.

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Products in this category

This large purple headset is made of flexible foam and has audio ports and dual input buttons for easy game control. Works with most iOS and Android VR apps.

Google Daydream View ($ 79; shipping November 2016)
This lightweight, plush headphone fabric is designed specifically for Google’s new Daydream VR platform. The platform includes Daydream-enabled phones (such as the company’s Pixel phone), apps, and drivers. Daydream View comes with a driver and the company says there will be 50 applications at launch, including games, educational content and streaming services.
Samsung Gear VR ($ 99)

Designed exclusively for Samsung phones, the Gear VR includes an input pad next to the headphones and works with bluetooth controllers, both of which allow you to easily navigate games. Works with Gear VR compatible games (including Minecraft Gear VR Edition).

Individually adjustable lenses, the perfect fit and a tray of smartphones that you can customize on your phone make the Kix a good choice for quality VR on any smartphone. Works with most iOS and Android VR apps.

Consoles: Best for 12 and up

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Right now, the only VR game console offered by Sony. The company’s PlayStation VR headset works with the PlayStation 4. If you no longer have a PS4, you could buy a PlayStation 4 Slim or a PlayStation 4 Pro (also brand new for the holidays) and the PSVR. The headphones plus the power provided by the console offer an interactive VR interactive experience.

Key features

• Car

• Limited to Sony PlayStation

• Fully immersive and interactive; disease potential for movement

• Games tend to be mature but plentiful, including Batman Arkham VR, 100ft Robot Golf, Final Fantasy XV VR, Battlezone and Resident Evil 7.

• Recommended by Sony minimum age of 12 years.
Stroll through a roller coaster of virtual reality

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It includes everything you need to turn your PS4 into a VR machine, including a headset, a camera, two motion controllers, a game, and cables.

PlayStation 4 Slim ($ 299.99); PSVR sold separately

A newly designed and thinner version of the PS4, it has improved graphics, a brighter controller and runs quieter.

PlayStation 4 Pro ($ 399.99); PSVR sold separately

Better graphics, faster action and optimized to work better with specific “Pro-Enhanced” games

Super powerful headphones: best for teenagers

You may have heard of Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. These are the ultra-powerful VR headphones that provide a totally immersive experience; some call it the “Holodeck” in reference to the alternate reality of Star Trek. Both require powerful high-end PCs (costing more than $ 500).

Key features

• Super car

• Require compatible games (e.g. Everest VR is an exclusive Vive) and high power equipment

• Complete interactivity with your environment

• Games tend to be mature, including The Assembly and Deus Ex Human Divided.

• Best for families with teens; The minimum age of the Oculus Rift manufacturer is 13; Valve claims Vive is not “for kids.”

Products in this category

It offers a “room-scale experience.” If your kids play on the Steam gaming network, they’ve certainly seen ads for the HTC Vive, as the same company, Valve, owns Steam. Steam offers some Vive games just designed to take advantage of its unique features.

It provides everything to make virtual reality VR, except the computer: a headset, a sensor, a remote control, cables, an Xbox controller and a game.

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