The war between Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive is ongoing with price drops on both sides and a new announcement from HTC with the Vive Pro. Both of these headsets offer a killer VR experience, as long as you are willing to spend hundreds of dollars to get your hands on everything. You will still spend, on average, around $400-$600 to get started. The Vive Pro will cost more than that. Not everyone can afford to spend that kind of money on VR just yet, especially since you also have to have a VR ready PC to connect everything to, on top of it all.
Thankfully, Zeiss has a solution they are getting ready to release that will cost much less, and allow you to jump into all of your favorite VR games with. It’s called “Zeiss VR One Connect”, and it was recently announced at CES 2018 in Las Vegas, earlier this month. Not only that, but they had demos set up for everyone to get their hands dirty with, and we had a lot of fun doing just that.
The VR One Connect allows you to make use of your phone while plugging into that VR ready PC, to get your gaming on with. It includes two wireless motion controllers that connect to your phone via Bluetooth, and you simply slide your phone into Zeiss’ VR One headset (or any other VR headset that would fit your phone really). You then run a USB cable between your phone and your PC, and you are ready to game.
“This solution is a first of its kind in the VR space,” said Franz Troppenhagen, senior product manager at ZEISS. “Users will now be able to access games on SteamVR™ in a much different way than previous options, and they’ll also have access to traditional VR apps and 360 video content.”
It supports the ability to play games through SteamVR, allowing you to tap into that market at a much lower price. The VR One Connect will only run you $129 (much better than $400-$600). As mentioned you do need a headset as well. If you choose to go with Zeiss’ VR One Plus headset, it will run anywhere from $55 to $100 on average at the moment (the normal version with a tray for nearly any phone between 4.7 to 5.5-inches is at a hot price of only $55.97 right now on Amazon). You can see additional versions here. You do get the benefit of Zeiss optics when you use their headset, versus the cheap glass you find in lower quality options (but that’s up to you).
So using nothing but their equipment, worse case scenario, you are still only spending $229 or less to go VR. Big savings compared to your alternative options. Especially if you have one of the latest flagship phones as screen PPI/resolution goes a long way toward you getting the most out of having a phone strapped to your face.
VR One Connect will work with Android or iOS phones (Windows users, sorry you’re out of this one–is there are any left out there). You can obviously go further than just SteamVR by using other “traditional” VR apps as well as control 360 video content.
It isn’t out just yet, as it won’t be releasing until this spring. So you won’t be able to get your hands on everything until they launch it. However, the VR One Plus headsets have been available for awhile now, and you can find them via storefronts like Amazon. You can learn more about VR One Connect here at Zeiss’ website, and you can bet we will have more to cover when it comes out as you know we will have to test it out some more.