There are more and more different options on the market when it comes to virtual reality. At the start, people were dubious about using a VR headset. But nowadays, they’re becoming more popular.
And whilst the current array of virtual reality headsets are impressive, they’re only going to get better and better in the current years. With all the different companies vying to build a range of the best next gen VR headsets, more and more features will arrive too.
So, what have we got to look forward to in terms of next generation VR headsets? We’re going to take a quick look at what’s around the corner when it comes to VR.
Next Gen VR Headsets in 2021
Whilst 2020 saw the official end of the Samsung VR headset, many said that this might start to be the downfall of virtual reality in general. There’s ton of articles online about Samsung abandoning VR, and this signalling that it’s been overall, a failure.
What they fail to mention in this point is that the Samsung Gear series, which has been discontinued after not releasing a new model in years, runs on the Android platform. And last year, more than half of all VR headset sales were actually of the Oculus Quest series – which is also based on the Android source code as well.
So where Samsung has failed, others have prevailed. Virtual reality isn’t like 3D TV – hyped up to be the next big thing and ultimately failing and disappearing into obscurity. Whilst it may be a slow starter, this is just the beginning.
And its ascendency will rely on those currently in the market to release newer and updated versions of their current virtual reality headsets and models. Here are some of the most popular models, and when we’re expecting them to be updated or new versions to be released.
PSVR – Likely release sometime in 2022
As you’d expect when it comes to VR headsets, one of the most talked about models is the PSVR. Although it has sold millions of units, it’s fair to say that it’s probably not hit the heights that Sony expected from their take on the VR headset.
Some might remember that there’s actually already been a newer version of the PSVR that’s been released, but for the most part, it was the same as the previous version. The update just dealt with smaller issues, like working better at producing colours for 4k resolution.
One area that they will have to improve upon is the motion sickness issue that many people felt was an issue with PSVR. Reducing this is definitely one of the keys to the success of the newer generations of Playstation VR.
Making a wireless version would be another factor that might help to make the PSVR more popular too.
But with the PS5 being released at the end of 2020, it got people talking about a newer improved generation of the PSVR being released. At the moment, it doesn’t look like it’ll be released any time in the near future – well, this is what Sony have said anyway.
However, looking forward to 2022 and beyond, it’s highly likely that Playstation will revisit their PSVR headset and release a much updated and improved version of the headset.
Update: Playstation have since confirmed that there will be no release of PSVR 2 for the PS5 throughout 2021. So, it definitely looks likely that we’ll have to wait until at least Q3 or Q4 of 2022 for something new from this line.
However, they did let us know that the newer version of PSVR will be improved in a few areas, which includes;
- The main thing that we’re excited about is a much better display, and Sony have said themselves that it’ll be improved. We’d like to see a faster refresh rate for fps, as well as a wider field of view, as the original PSVR only has a 100 degree FOV.
- We thought that it might be a wireless headset, but unfortunately it’s not. It’s been confirmed to having just one cable to connect to your PS5. It’s better, but it’s not perfect.
- It looks like there’s going to be a boatload of new games coming for us to use with the PSVR. It makes sense – Sony have focussed on releasing the PS5 in 2020, with some big games being released in 2021. It makes sense that VR might get a bit more light in 2022 and beyond.
Oculus – Something in 2021
Oculus are at the forefront of everything that’s happening in the virtual reality realm. The Facebook subsidiary are growing fast, as so much so that they make up a large percentage of all of the virtual reality headsets sold.
The Oculus Quest 2 was only released in October 2020, so it hasn’t been long since the launched of the updated VR headset. But they do have a habit of released a headset very often – in fact, they tend to release them at a rate of at least once a year.
So, this means that we can likely see a new headset released by Oculus in 2021. They released the first generation of the Oculus Rift back in 2016, and it might make sense that they’d continue with this. However, Oculus have said that this generation of Rift is the last, and they’ll stop selling it in 2021. They’re moving away from PC only headsets.
What will Oculus release in 2021/22? Who knows at the moment, but we can be sure to see something interesting from them at least.
Valve – Just dropped
All of Valve’s recent promotional efforts have gone into their newest virtual reality headset to be released. Their partnership with HP has been long talked about, this their collaboration headset released as of November 2020. Time will tell whether it proves to be a winner or not.
The Reverb G2 was released in partnership with both HP and Microsft, and it’s intended to be a PC virtual reality headset. You’ll be able to use it both with SteamVR and also Windows Mixed Reality. You will also need to use it with a decent computer too with a good graphics card.
But what does the future hold for Valve in 2021 and beyond? Well, if the Valve Index is an indicator of what the company can achieve, then we have to say that the future does look pretty bright for them. It’s fair to say that demand is actually out-doing supply for the most part, with every batch of the Index selling out very quickly.
We might even see an Xbox release at some point over the next few years, in another partnership between Valve, Microsoft and HP. But for now, we’ll need to make do with the Reverb G2.
Although nowhere near as big as Sony or Oculus in terms of sales, it’s still worth mentioning HTC. Variations of the HTC Vive have been released in 2019 and 2020, with the Pro Eye and the Focus Plus being two of their major models.
The good news is that with HTC, is does look like they’ve got a new Vive VR headset in the works. Though nothing is fully confirmed at the moment, we’ll be keeping our eyes peeled on them throughout 2021 and beyond.
Overall, the main players within the virtual reality field have all had pretty big years in their own field. Whilst Oculus and Valve have both released new headsets, Playstation have been a little bit pre occupied releasing the highly anticipated PS5.
Looking forward to the future, it’s a good idea to keep the crosshairs on Oculus, who have been leading the way right from the very beginning. It’ll be, at the very least, fun to see how the VR industry changes over the next year or two, and what next gen VR headsets are released.