It is officially gift-giving season, and Parcel's mission is to empower you with the tools needed to find your home in the metaverse, which is why we offer the easiest way to buy, sell, and build on virtual real estate. However, a home isn't just a house — it's about the things you can see, do, feel, and experience in the space that you call your own.
That's why augmented (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are critical to enabling the next chapter of the metaverse. Even if the current metaverse landscape is limited graphically, and primarily accessed through phones and computer screens, the evolving AR/VR technology powers a future of the spatial web that is based on immersive experiences while concurrently supporting this generation's need to multitask.
Those experiences have tremendous potential appeal for retail and corporate consumers, which is why major tech companies find themselves in the middle of an AR/VR hardware arms race, and announcing a slew of new advances as the holidays approach.
Here are some great examples of headsets to gift yourself, a family member, or that one friend that won't stop talking about this thing called the metaverse.
Meta Quest 2 ($399.99)
Buy now at Meta.
If you’re looking to go where the people are, go no further. The Meta Quest 2 VR headset by Meta accounts for a majority of VR users on the popular digital game distribution service Steam, according to data from Valve’s Steam survey. Part of the reason? It’s a great bargain, offering both quality and a price point that’s affordable for many potential travelers, while offering six degrees of freedom, 4K resolution and 120 Hz refresh rates.
As one of the more established brands out there, Meta Quest 2 already has a great game library and broad compatibility with various virtual worlds. For instance, the headset is compatible with Somnium Space, an open VR world with land currently selling at a floor price ~1 ETH on the Parcel marketplace.
Meta Quest 2 owners can also connect to the Steam VR store and PC tethering capabilities to play popular games like Half-Life: Alyx. Plus, Meta is currently running a promotion: those who buy before the end of 2022 will also get the popular VR rhythm game Beat Saber for free.
PlayStation VR ($200)
Order the bundle with Marvel’s Iron Man VR on PlayStation's website.
Similar to the Meta Quest 2, the PlayStation VR headset is optimized for those looking for the ideal VR gaming experience. It comes with all the perks of a product in the PlayStation ecosystem, including access to exclusive PlayStation compatible games, such as STAR WARS: Squadron and Marvel's Iron Man VR. Plus, PlayStation VR offers 3D audio and a built-in headset microphone for simple, seamless communication with friends across the metaverse.
Keep in mind that Sony is releasing the long awaited VR2, boasting sharper details, eye tracking for heightened senses and reactions during immersive gameplay, and a 110-degree field of view with customizable spacing between lenses to fit your face shape. If you are eager to get on the pre-order list, find it here.
The Apple mixed reality headset (Price Unknown)
Expected release: Q1 2023.
You know how Apple products work by now: the tech leader has revolutionized sleek and simple design, from the original iPhone to Airpods and, now, its upcoming mixed reality (MR) headset which will support both augmented and virtual reality. The MR headset is slated for early 2023, rumored to be released in March, with Apple glasses set to come later. And while we still don’t know all the details about their latest products, Apple has hired hundreds of employees to deliver on what is expected to be a polished, lightweight design maximized for comfort. As far as the price? We’ll have to wait and see…but Mac Rumors reports it won’t be cheap, suggesting a price point potentially higher than $2,000.
The Orzly VR Headset for Nintendo Switch ($20)
Get it now on Amazon.
This is a fun one: Turn your Nintendo Switch into an affordable VR gaming device with a headset that’s as cheap as it gets. The add-on allows you to play VR-compatible games, from Super Mario Odyssey to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. You can also explore apps across the web: for example, the Orzly VR Headset can be used to watch YouTube videos too, making it a great way to introduce your kids to the metaverse and AR/VR tech without breaking the bank.
Spectacles 3 by Snap AR Glasses ($380)
Order from Spectacles.
For those looking to access the metaverse while on the move, adopting the futuristic Spectacles 3 may just be the solution. Available with prescription lenses, these glasses enable you to take 3D photos or video with two HD cameras and four microphones for recording high-fidelity audio. With content wirelessly syncing to your phone, you can edit and post through 3D Effects on Snapchat, relive the memory on 3D Viewer, and invite a friend to experience it on YouTube VR.
Google AR Glasses (Price unknown)
Keep an eye out on Google Glass.
Typically, you go to Google searching for answers…but try searching for information on the next generation of its AR glasses technology, and you may return with even more questions. Currently in the development phase, the products — which may include Google Glass 2 and a headset known, for now, as “Project Iris” — aren’t expected to have photo or video taking capabilities. Instead, Google is focusing on adding a virtual layer to our perception of the physical world around us, with novel features such as instant translation, transcription, visual search and navigation, and real-time reviews of businesses as you pass them.
Meta Quest Pro ($1,500)
Order the advanced headset at Meta.
Meta has done it again and released a new version of its VR hardware, the Meta Quest Pro. Before considering the technicals, there are a few glaring differences compared to its predecessor: the price and target demographic. In contrast to the $400 Meta Quest Pro, this headset weighs in at a whopping $1,500 and 722 grams. Although Meta is marketing this to corporate buyers, many users argue that the headset provides a great gaming environment because it is significantly more dynamic and technologically robust than prior iterations.
One question remains: which headset are you purchasing for that special someone this holiday season?
Are there any other headsets that you would have included on this list? Let us know on Twitter @ParcelNFT
Interested in the convergence of AR, VR, and gaming? Click here to read Parcel's research on the landscape.