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.

Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…
Gaming

Take a trip to a new virtual world with one of these awesome HTC Vive games

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.
Gaming

Immerse yourself in a new universe with these incredible PSVR games

The PSVR has surpassed expectations and along with it comes an incredible catalog of games. There's plenty of amazing experiences to be had so we've put together a list of the best PSVR games available today.
Virtual Reality

Think virtual reality is just for games? These awesome apps will change your mind

Virtual reality isn't all about gaming. Swim with turtles, paint in 3D, and immerse yourself in some unique experiences the platform has to offer with our curated list of the best VR apps.
Computing

You could be gaming on AMD’s Navi graphics card before the end of the summer

If you're waiting for a new graphics card from AMD that doesn't cost $700, you may have to wait for Navi. But that card may not be far away, with new rumors suggesting we could see a July launch.
Gaming

Sharing your best gameplay moments is quick and easy on the Xbox One

The current generation of consoles make it easier than ever to share your gaming highlights with the world. Here's a quick guide on how you can record a gameplay video on Xbox One.
Gaming

Blizzard’s latest hiring spree is likely for the unannounced ‘Diablo 4’

Activision Blizzard is hiring for more than a dozen positions on unannounced Diablo projects. Some of the roles are likely for the unannounced Diablo 4, the next mainline entry in the series.
Gaming

Everything we know about 'Red Dead Online', including the new mode Gun Rush

Red Dead Online will gradually rolled out to Red Dead Redemption 2 players via a beta. We've got all the details about the beta's suite of competitive and cooperative modes, as well as what to expect going forward.
Gaming

Xbox One X vs. PS4 Pro: Which console is more powerful?

Far from cooling down, the console wars are only getting more intense. We compare Microsoft's Xbox One X to Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro to help you decide which premium console is right for you.
Gaming

Fortnite V-Bucks being used by criminals for money laundering on dark web

Criminals are using Fortnite's V-Bucks for money laundering schemes on the dark web. Epic Games, apparently, is not doing enough to prevent the game from being used for the illegal activity.
Gaming

Relive the 8-bit gaming era with the best NES emulators for Android and PC

For years prior to the release of the NES Classic, emulators have offered a means to every NES game ever created without needing the console. Here are the best NES emulators for Android and PC.
Gaming

Mortal Kombat 11 Kollector’s Edition comes with a life-size Scorpion mask

The Mortal Kombat 11 Kollector's Edition will come with a human-sized replica of the mask of Scorpion, one of the most iconic fighters of the series. NetherRealm Studios has also announced the game's preorder bonuses.
Gaming

Xbox app lets you access your console while away from home. Here's how

Microsoft's Xbox allows you to access your profile information and launch media content directly from your mobile device. Check out our quick guide on how to connect your smartphone to an Xbox One.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!