Virtual Reality in 2021
My journey with VR headsets through the years has been similar to most consumers I would say. I had my run-ins with the Samsung mobile phone VR headsets called Samsung Gear VR. These headsets were also made with oculus back in the mid-2010s. Before these headsets, you would usually have to go to an amusement park or for my home town we had a place called the FunPlex and it had a 4D simulator that was pretty awesome.
When the became a thing I quickly got my hands on a Samsung Note 7. But as many people know now that was a phone that was prone to exploding or setting itself on fire at the least. My Note 7 had yet to do this in the few months that I owned it but damn did it get hot. During the 2 months that I did own the phone and its respective VR headset, I found myself enjoying the ability to mostly feel inside of a game or more accurately a VR experience. You have to understand that in the mid-2010s and even now most of the VR “games” are really just experiences
Even though the experience was short-lived with the recall of the Note 7 and my need for a phone I did end up going back to the iPhone at this time. Without the device needed for the Gear VR, I had little reason to keep pursuing VR as a medium at this time. I was also a bit worried about spending upwards of $1,500 for a PC VR headset and a computer/laptop that could drive it. On top of that price tag, I would have to include the games to actually enjoy the experience.
A Few Years Ago:
Fast forward to the end of 2019 and my best friend Bobby starts to really look into the Oculus Quest (1) and how the amazing wireless room with no PC was doing. I was personally skeptical as just 3–4 years back $500 wouldn’t get you a true VR experience. After some research done on the good ole YouTube and a lot of blog posts, I was down!
Now that both of us knew we wanted to buy one we started looking online. This was the first road bump as we came to find out that many other people were also fond of this device which kept it in short supply. I thought maybe our local Best Buy might have one or two and sadly they did not. So sad and broken we went home and set up in-stock alerts to hopefully grab one as soon as it was available. With some time and patience, we were able to secure the headsets.
Now you may be asking yourself “why do I care about how you got your Quest 1”. To that I say, look at the past year. 2020 into 2021 was a crazy year with the pandemic and everyone being stuck at home the VR scene has exploded. But even more crazy is the idea of availability for the Oculus Quest 2 which launched at the end of 2020.
The price was cheaper and the specs arguably a lot better than the previous model. Now some modders may like the OG headset more but for most average consumers with some dabbling in say will do just fine. You would think that availability for this device would be extremely hard to find but in actuality, the Oculus Quest 2 has been more readily available for purchase than most other VR headsets within the first 6 months of launch. This boom in availability and demand created the perfect storm for Facebook/Oculus to gather a large network of users.
VR User Base:
Now, why does user count matter? I mean past the whole making money thing. So the more users that are using the Oculus market and network translates into a better experience for the end-user aka You. Think about it like this — would you try to jump on an online FPS game from 2012 and expect people to also be in the queue? Probably not because those players are on different and newer games. If you have a multiplayer game on VR your also fighting with people’s time. When playing a regular PC game you may play for 3–4 hours at a time but on VR you might be like me and can only do about 1–2 hours before getting tired. With this in mind, VR needs even more players than a conventional video game system.
Ok so getting away from how the user base can make or break VR.
How has VR actually impacted me?:
VR has made a large impact on me as the mental aspect of being able to jump into a room on or and just talk with other people is pretty amazing. Now I’m definitely not the biggest user of this but having it there and using it as I please makes being stuck at home that much easier. Combining both mental and physical health playing games like and Synth Riders keep the body moving and releasing those ever-important endorphins.
Can it be used for real-life stuff?:
When it comes to real-life stuff I’m talking about doing my work or even doing research while in a VR space. I do really enjoy video streaming in VR and doing light research but for the most part, a true mouse and keyboard are what I need to navigate quick enough. I know there are some apps that can help you get your actual keyboard to show up in VR but I’m not much of a VR superuser.
Get Free/Cheap Games:
For the Oculus Quest headsets, you can download a program called SideQuest that will allow you to put free usually in-development games on your headset. This is great for people who have a limited budget and what to experience the most VR games as possible. There are also streaming sites like but that comes with its own setup as well.
Would You Recommend in 2021?:
For the vast majority of folks, I would definitely recommend the Oculus Quest 2. It has all the features you need to get started out of the box and the games are priced pretty fairly and the Oculus Store has a great refund policy that I invite you to check out before your first purchase.
List of Games I would recommend coming soon!
Grab a Pair(Link supports RNRT):
64 GB Oculus Quest 2 — https://amzn.to/3vLdR0O
Originally published at https://www.realnerdsrt.com on June 3, 2021.