The best VR headsets at CES 2019 could bring the technology to the mainstream

oculus quest headset gets me into vr ces 2019 op  3
Oculus Quest

At some point, we will have to stop calling virtual reality a nascent technology. Quality headsets from the likes of Sony, HTC, Facebook, and Google have been on the market for years. Still, VR hasn’t quite found its footing outside of niche audiences. Admittedly, audiences are growing thanks to a spate of quality games that, importantly, offer experiences you cannot find in traditional games (i.e. Moss). Still, VR hasn’t quite hit its mainstream stride yet.

But CES 2019 showed us that could soon change.

While there weren’t a ton of exciting VR headsets on the display, the three we were most impressed with us gave us reason to think that VR is about to really have its moment. Here are the best VR headsets at CES 2019.

Oculus Quest

oculus quest review 2

The Oculus Quest could very well be the future of VR. Why? Well, while the Oculus Rift is a great PC VR headset for enthusiasts, the Oculus Quest doesn’t require a fancy gaming PC to work. This fact alone increases its appeal and potential audience by a metric ton. While Oculus already has experience with stand-alone headsets thanks to the Oculus Go, the Quest is quite a bit more powerful, bringing it closer to PC VR experiences that have been mostly reserved for serious enthusiasts up until this point.

As the first all-in-one VR gaming headset, the Oculus Quest removes the barrier for entry that has plagued high-quality VR thus far. The mid-range device uses only the cameras on the headset. What you see is what you get. Besides setting up the Oculus mobile app, you don’t have to fiddle with any additional parts or contraptions. This means the headset is a portable, fast option for getting in and out of VR experiences.

It comes with two controllers that are very similar to the ones used for the Rift. We only had a chance to check out Superhot and Project Tennis Scramble, but we came away mightily impressed by its performance. Our experience with Superhot mirrored that of other, more powerful VR headsets. So far, we know that 2018 standout platformer Moss, The Climb, and Vader Immortal are coming to the headset. But given that those games will run on the mid-range headset, it’s clear that the Quest will be capable of playing many of the great PC and PSVR games already available.

With a more friendly $400 price, the Oculus Quest might just push VR into the mainstream when it arrives in 2019.

HTC Vive Pro Eye

HTC Vive Pro Eye review

The HTC Vive Pro is the best VR headset money can buy. Because of that, the PC headset comes in at a super premium price. At CES 2019, we learned that the Vive Pro would take the next step to further itself more from the competition. The HTC Vive Pro Eye is essentially the same headset that launched in 2018, with one crucial additional feature: Tobii eye-tracking.

The premise sounds futuristic. With Tobii eye-tracking, the Vive Pro Eye lets users control in-game experiences using eye movements. In our hands-on demo at CES, we checked out MLB Home Run Derby with eye tracking. Holding only a baseball bat, we had to track pitches with our eyes to know where and when to swing the bat. It’s something you have to experience yourself to really appreciate the nuance of the technology.

As far as how this technology will mainly be used, however, the Vive Pro Eye is geared more toward businesses. Businesses can use programs such as Ovation and Vive Studio to track in real time where users are looking. While that does sound kind of weird, the technology itself is very impressive. Hands-free controls could be the future of immersive experiences in VR, and HTC is paving the way with the HTC Vive Pro Eye.

Pico G2 4K

pico g2 4k vr headset ces 2019

The latest headset from popular Chinese VR headset manufacturer Pico Interactive aims to bring 4K resolution to virtual reality. The Pico G2 4K is a business-use headset with the same specs as Pico’s other G2 headsets, but it trades 1,440 by 1,600 resolution for true 4K. As a business-use headset, the Pico G2 4K has at least three features made for making work life easier. Kiosk mode locks the headset into a demo mode with a single application and some applications even have hands-free control functionality (it comes with a remote, too). You can also swap out the face pads for cleaning, which is really essential in a business environment.

The Pico G2 4K will be available for businesses in the first half of 2019.

Product Review

Nintendo’s Labo VR Kit may look silly, but it really works

During our hands-on with the Nintendo Labo VR Kit, fears of a gimmicky product from Nintendo were quickly dispelled. While not a direct competitor to Oculus or HTCs own headsets, Labo VR brings a clever, new way to experience VR that makes…

Nintendo Labo: VR Kit has a ton of games you can play with starting April 12

Nintendo Labo: VR Kit has a plethora of games to play after you're done building the Toy-Cons. From an on-rails alien shooter to a deep sea photography adventure, here's what you can play with Labo: VR Kit. You can even make your own games.

Oculus shows off the Rift S, plans to phase out its original VR headset

Oculus plans to phase out its flagship Rift VR headset for its newly created Rift S. The Rift S made its debut this week at the 2019 Game Developers Conference and is expected to be released in spring 2019.

New Sony patent suggests a wireless PSVR headset could be on the way

Images and documents in the Japan Patent Office appear to suggest that Sony is planning a wireless version of the PlayStation VR headset. It isn't clear which system it will be used for.

Find the buried treasure with our Fortnite weekly challenge guide

The Fortnite season 8, week 4 challenges are now out for all players around the world. The big one this week tasks players with searching for Fortnite buried treasure using the buried treasure map item. Here's where you can find treasure on…

Here's our Champion's guide to picking the best character in Apex Legends

Apex Legends' use of heroes with different abilities helps separate it from other battle royale games. To help you choose your legend, we've put together a legend guide detailing their abilities, strengths, and weaknesses.

Get Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice for free when buying an Xbox One

You can get Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice for free when buying an Xbox One from Newegg. Eight different bundles are available for this deal, so you can walk away with Sekiro and another game such as The Division 2 or Anthem.

The best Nintendo Switch deals and bundles for March 2019

Looking to score Nintendo's latest console? We've smoked out the best Nintendo Switch deals right here, including discounts on bundles that feature must-have games like Super Mario Odyssey, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Zelda: Breath of…

How to break Posture and deal a Shinobi Deathblow in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is an incredibly difficult game, and managing the Posture system is a key part of improving and tackling the latest From Software title's most challenging sections.

Here's what we know about the Dark Souls developer's next game

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is the latest game from Dark Souls and Bloodborne developer From Software. Here is everything we know about the new game, including its setting and combat changes.

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in Destiny 2: Forsaken

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.

Here's a look at how the Epic Games Store is sizing up to the competition

The Epic Games Store has picked up exclusives left and right since its launch last December. From AAA games like The Division 2 to wonderful indies like Hades, the Epic Games store has an impressive library of exclusives.

Master Shinobi combat with our Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice beginner's guide

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is one of the hardest games of the generation, and it can be overwhelming, even for those who have played From Software's other games. Here is what you need to know to get started.

World of Warcraft's allied races will make you want to start a new character

The Horde and Alliance are seeking new allies in their struggle for control of Azeroth. Whether you pledge your allegiance to the Horde or Alliance, we've got a guide to help you unlock every allied race that's coming in Battle for Azeroth.