If you’ve been paying attention to the VR space at all in 2019, you’ve likely noticed the increasing buzz, no doubt thanks to four major VR headsets set to launch over the course of the next few months. Here’s the quick breakdown of what we know.

Oculus Quest

Image courtesy Oculus

What is it?

Quest is Oculus’ first standalone VR headset that includes 6DOF tracking on the headset and controllers. That means the movements of your head and hands are tracked in all directions, just like you’d expect on a high-end VR headset, except Quest doesn’t rely on an external PC or trackers—everything is built right in.

This is similar to Oculus Go, except that Go only tracks rotation of the head and hands, which means it can only offer static, seated VR experiences. With full 6DOF tracking, Quest will run some of VR’s best games, like Beat SaberSuperhot VR, Job Simulator, Moss, Robo Recall, and more.

Because it doesn’t have the power of a beefy PC, you can expect graphics to have a decidedly ‘mobile’ feel, but nevertheless it’s very possible to get lost in VR on Quest, even if the graphics are far from what you’d see on a PC VR headset.

Who is it For?

Quest is made for gaming, and most apt for the VR user who isn’t willing to invest in a gaming PC that has enough power to run a PC VR headset. Quest can only run Quest-specific content available on the Oculus Store (Oculus Rift and Oculus Go also have their own separate content libraries).

Given that it is totally standalone, it’s also portable which makes it a great choice for someone who wants the ability to take it from place to place and share the fun with friends.

It’s also likely to be the lowest point of entry for anyone who just wants to be able to play Beat Saber (which has been confirmed as a launch title) for fun or exercise, and it is very likely to be great for that purpose.

When is it Coming Out and How Much?

Oculus says Quest will launch this Spring, but hasn’t offered a more specific release date. With Facebook’s annual developer conference coming up at the end of the month, we’re expecting to see the company either launch the headset at the event outright, or provide a final launch date.

Oculus has confirmed that Quest will cost $400.

[Update] Read our full Oculus Quest review

Oculus Rift S

Image courtesy Oculus

What is it?

Rift S is Oculus’ second PC VR headset, and the company is positioning it as an easier to use version of Rift—with a few upgrades. The biggest change is that the headset now uses an on-board tracking system which means the external cameras required by the original Rift are not longer necessary. That change will reduce the complexity of setup and the friction of use compared to the original Rift.

Another upgrade over the original Rift S is a new display with a higher resolution that will make graphics sharper and reduce the ‘screen door effect’ (the unlit spaces between pixels), which will make for a step up in clarity. The change in display does come with two downsides though: the move to an LCD display means that darker scenes will look more washed out than with the original Rift, and the headset loses the ability to adjust the distance between lenses (also known as IPD), which reduces the range of users who will fit within its suggested eye-range; you can read more about the supported Rift S IPD range here.

Who is it For?

Rift S is a gaming focused headset that’s best for someone who has or is willing to invest in a gaming PC to get access to the great looking (and playing) content in VR. Rift S can play games from the Oculus Store and SteamVR, which gives players a wide range of options. And, being powered by a PC, graphics are going to be a big step up from any non-PC powered headsets out there like Quest or PSVR. With on-board tracking, it’ll also be easier to set up than headsets which rely on external tracking.

When is it Coming Out and How Much?

Just like Quest, Oculus is only being as specific as “Spring” for the Rift S release date, be we expect that the headset could launch at Facebook’s upcoming developer conference at the end of the month, or at a minimum that we’ll get a specific launch date for Rift S.

Oculus has confirmed that Rift S will cost $400.

[Update] Read our full Rift S review

HP Reverb

Image courtesy HP

What is it?

HP’s Reverb headset is the company’s second PC VR headset which runs Microsoft’s ‘Windows Mixed Reality’ platform, and can also play SteamVR content through an official plugin. Like Rift S, Reverb uses on-board tracking and doesn’t rely on external sensors for tracking.

The biggest upgrades that Reverb brings to the table are an all new design which offers on-ear headphones, as well as new displays which offer a big jump in resolution compared to pretty much any other headset on the horizon.

Who is it for?

HP is positioning Reverb as a professional and enterprise focused headset, but will also sell directly to consumers. Reverb can play VR content from the Windows Mixed Reality store and SteamVR.

With a leading resolution, Reverb seems like it could be a great choice for sim enthusiasts who already have a gaming PC and are looking for maximum clarity. However, because Reverb uses an LCD display, those looking to play space simulators like Elite Dangerous might not like the washed out dark colors compared to a headset with OLED displays.

Because Reverb’s on-board tracking uses just two cameras, its controller tracking coverage isn’t as reliable as Quest or Rift S, which means it might not work as well for certain games which demand maximum reliability, but most content will work just fine.

When is it Coming Out and How Much?

HP says that the Reverb release date is late April, but hasn’t offered a more specific launch date just yet. Considering it’s already the 22nd, we expect to be hearing more very soon!

HP has confirmed that Reverb will cost $600 for the consumer edition and $650 for a professional edition for enterprise use.

Read our latest HP Reverb hands-on

Valve Index

Image courtesy Valve

What is it?

Although Valve contributed significant R&D to the HTC Vive, the company’s upcoming Index will be the first PC VR headset made and sold by Valve. Though only limited information is available so far, it seems that Valve is positioning Index as a flagship headset for SteamVR, and it’s thought that the company could announce a least one first-party game to launch with the headset, but we’ll have to wait and see. The headset will launch with the ‘Knuckles’ controllers which Valve has had in the works for many years now (though they plan to call them ‘Valve Index controllers’ moving forward).

Much is still unknown about Index—even the basics like resolution, field of view, and price. While it’s almost certain that Index will use SteamVR Tracking (the same external tracking tech used by the HTC Vive), it’s possible that the headset could offer some form of on-board tracking (considering the cameras seen on the headset), but that’s still entirely up in the air.

Who is it for?

Because there’s still a lot of question marks surrounding Index, it’s hard to know who it will best fit just yet. Our best guess is that Index will be positioned toward existing PC VR enthusiasts, and those looking for a high-end VR experience who are willing to put up with mounting external trackers in their VR space. We’ll be able to refine our expectations soon enough as pre-orders for the headset will be open soon, and by then much more ought to be revealed.

Valve Index can play content from SteamVR. For those not worried about using an unofficial workaround, it will also likely play content from the Oculus Store (via Revive), albeit with some caveats.

When is it Coming Out and How Much?

Valve has confirmed that Index pre-orders will begin May 1st, and by the time that happens we expect to get some essential details about the headset. The actual Index release date is set for sometime in June, though a specific date has not been confirmed. The price of Index is still unknown.

[Update] Read our Valve Index hands-on preview

Update (8:00 AM ET): And what about HTC’s upcoming PC VR headset Cosmos? At the time of this writing, the company is still quoting an ‘Early 2019’ launch window for the headset, so there’s really no telling whether it will compete in the rash of VR headsets confirmed for Spring 2019 launch or not.

Should HTC confirm a Spring launch for the headset, we’ll update with a section dedicated to Cosmos here. In the meantime, here’s a quick breakdown of Cosmos:

The tethered, SteamVR-compatible headset contains four on-board optical sensors that track both the user’s head and controllers positionally. There’s been talk of Cosmos working with smartphones, however HTC hasn’t revealed much more than a single photo of the headset next to an outline of a mobile device. The company is staying tight-lipped on all aspects of Cosmos for now, including price, resolution and recommended specs. Despite its CES 2019 unveiling, there’s been no hands-on with the headset. With what we know, it’s possible Cosmos could compete in the same market segment as Rift S, however with little else to go on, that’s simply conjecture at this point.

Cosmos has passed FCC testing however, so more info could be just around the corner.

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Got more questions? We’ve got more answers. Drop us a line in the comments below!

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • Bob

    HTC Cosmos Ben?

    • Grey Lock

      I was thinking the same thing!

    • Hi Bob. We’ve included a section at the tail-end of the article talking more about Cosmos. In short, it’s not clear when it will launch within its ‘Early 2019’ window. All of the headsets above have confirmed Spring 2019 launch windows, so until we have a better idea when Cosmos is coming, we’ve left it off this specific list for now. That said, it certainly deserves mention; thanks for raising your voice!

    • Andres Velasco

      Meh, is HTC

      • JustNiz

        Yep agreed. Customer support for Vive is on it’s own scale of bad. I’ll never buy another HTC product.

    • Jistuce

      “HTC Cosmos: It is called Cosmos. That’s still all we know.”

      • bennymann

        “”And its from HTC. That we also know.””

        • Jistuce

          I concede the point. We know about twice as much as I thought we did.

  • The Bard

    Only Reverb and Lenovo with manual IPD and 2k*2k make some sense due to resolution. Basically, HP Reverb is the Rift 2 everybody was looking to. Fantastic resolution bump from gen 2 panels. But still LCD. For anybody deciding to buy VR headset I would still recommend Samsung Odyssey+ for 299$ as it is the best device. Microsoft should improve their code of WMR tracking though.

    • Nejham Mosquera

      I wouldn’t mind the bad tracking if they had even bother on developing useful and comfortable controllers. They are the worst that WMR has, battery lasts about 3 hours, the buttons layout is not good.
      They decided to do the easiest and effortless thing they cloud. The new touch controllers are a good example of controllers made for inside-out tracking.

      • The Bard

        I give you eye opener :) Buy PKCell 1.6V rated batteries. They will work several days, before you need to recharge them, They are cheap and come with special charger. The full charge is 1.81V. WMR has the best controllers as you have thumbstick for one time of games and clickable touchpad for others titles. Both solutions is a must in controller. Also, great to put away the controller on table by putting it on that big wheel in vertical position.

    • Gonzax

      Wit those controllers? no, thanks.

    • Zerofool

      HP Reverb has a fixed IPD of 63 mm.
      What Lenovo headset are you referring to? Maybe you’re talking about the Acer ConceptD OJO, which has mechanical IPD adjustment, but it’s targeting enterprise applications, which probably means that it won’t be as cheap (I expect around $1000 or more).

      • The Bard

        Yes, I meant the Acer. Let’s see its price.

    • JustNiz

      HP Reverb might have been good if it was SteamVR not WMR. Also, similar pricing but not as good as Pimax 5k+.

      • The Bard

        ALL WMR headsets are Steam VR. My Odyssey+ works flawlessly with Steam VR, Oculus Store games, Vive titles. WMR is the most versatile platform as ALL platforms work with it.

  • nasprin

    I’m really curious about the Valve Index headset. If it has a better resolution (than 1st gen), a little bit more FOV and supports the base stations I already have, I would be ready to pay around 800-1000 for a bundle with the Knuckles-controllers.

    • JustNiz

      Pimax will have still higher FOV.

      • Moe Curley

        I hope the index improves on the build quality, text readability and ease of setup of the Pimax though.

        • JustNiz

          Really? I haven’t had any such issues with my 5k+. PiTool is braindead easy to install and use. It’s far easier to launch games from piTool than from SteamVR. Text readability is amazing. I’m not seeing any build quality issues either, it seems just as well-built as my Vive.

          • Moe Curley

            Spreading the pixels over that large of a FOV and not utilizing the full panel (they use an oval section) results in a lower PPD. I love the FOV but I’ve seen through the lens images which show the Odyssey+ renders things like aircraft gauges more clearly and reviewers have that said setup and tweaking was a pain. Have to credit them for pushing the technology forward though. I bet no one would even be attempting to make 140 FOV headsets at this point if it weren’t for Pimax.

          • JustNiz

            Nothing is ever perfect, but Pimax is by far the best headset out so far, including the Odyssey. WMR sucks and there’s no way I could go back to 110 FOV again.

          • Moe Curley

            Well chalk one up for PIMAX. They just implimented Fixed Foviated Rendering in a very good way on RTX cards. Proves they’re putting in high effort. They may be a dark horse.

          • JustNiz

            There’s really nothing dark about them at all. There’s plenty of news, reviews etc out there. I really don’t understand how so many people still have this wierd ignorance of them/their products.

          • Moe Curley

            I’ll wear my “wierd ignorance” as a badge of honor. Thank you. “Dark horse” is a compliment. Don’t take the “dark” part out of context.

  • judgeman

    ‘ Because it have the power of a beefy PC ‘ about Oculus Quest :)


  • Seriously, why don’t you start proof-reading?

    “Because it have the power”?

    • Hi Tomasz. Sometimes a missing word can get by an initial proofreading pass. Not a good look, but it happens. In this case, it was supposed to read “Because it *doesn’t* have the power.” As always, we appreciate readers pointing out any and all inaccuracies. Thanks again!

      • @disqus_R0IM0uDvk3:disqus , since I don’t say that often enough — please know that I appreciate and admire you guys’ efforts and I only leave those comments because I care — and I want your site to be one that I can rely on and safely share with my VR-curious friends :)

        Nothing but love <3

    • Moe Curley

      Because there are people out there who are infallible and never make errors who’s job it is to find the smallest mistakes other people make and point them out rather than appreciate the fact that they put in a large amount of effort to find this info and bring it to them as quickly as possible.

      Reading this sentance is probly going to drive you crazy.

    • Moe Curley

      I’m sorry, I was incorrect Tomasz. You do much more than I saw at first. Your photography is beautiful! Some very creative pictures of Poland! You are very talented! https://www.flickr.com/people/tomaszbrodecki/

      • Wow @moecurley:disqus , I appreciate you going back and giving me a second shot ;)

        Please be assured that I contribute quite a lot, just in the fields where I feel equipped to do so ;) So if you ever need help with 360 imagery or video, I’m glad to lend a hand :)

        I only leave those “nitpicky” comments on both RoadtoVR and UploadVR because I respect them both as news outlets and want them to continue being reputable sources that I can safely share with my VR-curious friends :)

        • Moe Curley

          We all do those comments at times. Thanks for offering to help with my photoraphy but I’m beyond help when it comes to photography. Maybe you can do something with an idea I’ve had. I’ve always thought that someone could make something as kind of a lunchtime break for the cubicle workers or a small storefront quick “total Recall” escape featuring 360 video of sitting on the beach or walking through the forest. Just an escape from life. A meditation. in and out. Install them in corporate offices or the like. Or even hospitals. I’m not capable (obviously this would take a talented photographer or cinematographer ;)

  • Allen Skurow

    Dude, proofread. Several typos here.

  • HomeAudio

    As an owner of CV1 definitely I will buy Oculus Quest. Other interesting headset (from my perspective) is the Pimax 5k+ (OLED version). In a current stage of VR I am not interested in buying anything else.

    • JustNiz

      Quest is ghetto VR.

      • HomeAudio

        Freedom == ghetto ???
        Interesting opinion… :)

  • grindathotte .

    Anyone else noticed the camera positions on the Cosmos and Index? The Cosmos cameras seem to be positioned in front of the eyes with a typical IPD. This suggests that they are designed to be used for AR, possibly as well as tracking. The Index cameras are wide and low, suggesting that they are primarily designed for tracking. This probably means that it will be useable without external tracking (the flight-sim and racing crowd tend not to have their hands behind their backs, so could save a bit/lot of money).

  • Rudl Za Vedno

    I really hope Index can pull 2160x1600px OLED panels and +135 FOV out of the hat. If not, I’d have to buy Pimax. Nothing else looks promising right now. Maybe consumer based XTAL, but I don’t believe they will sell it under a grand.

    • Cl

      OLED RGB

    • Moe Curley

      From the press release images so far unless their dual lens patent leads to some revolutionary ability to cram a super wide field of view into a narrow headset I think the Index will be limited to around 140 FOV .

    • JustNiz

      > I don’t believe they will sell it under a grand.
      Nor do I. Not even close as its currently $5500.

    • johann jensson

      Luckily the Index is expected to have low latency RGB LCD panels.

      • bmichaelb

        I’d rather have OLED over LCD any day of the week. LCD cannot replicate blacks as well as OLEDs, and on my Go, there’s a slight rainbow effect while watching videos. You can also see the screen door effect more on LCD.

        • Francesco Fazio

          Yes but colors on LCD screens is way better than on Oleds

          • bmichaelb

            Not even close.

          • Moe Curley

            I think your talking about OLED vs LCD in brightly lit livingrooms.

        • Sion12

          what? All OLED VR display use pentile(unless something changed recently) which make the SDE effect worst than LCD of same resolution

          • bmichaelb

            lol…LCD uses RGB, and you can see the pixels just as clearly as OLED. Don’t be a fool. The only difference is the arrangement.

          • Sion12

            when did i say LCD doesnt use RGB? and its it the arrangement/structure of pentile OLED that makes SDE worst compare to LCD. Every VR article agree OLED is worst in terms of SDE, so i have no idea what you talking about.


          • bmichaelb

            Did I say you said it didn’t use RGB? No. I merely said you can still see the pixels just as clearly. I have Rift…OLED. I also have a Go…LCD. The only difference is the arrangement and the pixel densities…as the LCD in the Go has a higher resolution. You can still see the damn pixels though. On top of that, the LCD has less blacks, and colours look washed out because of it. But with the screens getting higher and higher resolutions, pretty soon you won’t even see the SDE on either OLED or LCD. After that…it comes down to colour quality. OLED wins out everytime.

          • Sion12

            The point is you said “You can also see the screen door effect more on LCD” which is untrue and the actually the opposite

          • bmichaelb

            So you’re telling me my eyes don’t know what they’re seeing? lol…whatever dude. Go away.

          • Sion12

            yeah sure, we should trust your eye as fact despite all the evidence online

    • bmichaelb

      Vive Pro and Samsung Odyssey are 2880×1600, and the Index supposedly uses a ‘similar’ resolution. The 135 degree FoV supposedly comes from the lenses, though nothing’s been confirmed yet. But if the panels are the same as the Vive Pro and Odyssey, then they’d be the same 110 FoV as the Vive Pro and Odyssey.

  • Firestorm185

    As an owner of the CV1 I’m excited for Oculus Quest, but as far as PC goes I’m leaning heavily towards Index, even with as little information as we have now, besides the pictures and Index Controllers. Every review I’ve heard of the new Touch controllers has mentioned that they messed up the ergonomics to make the ring work, and ergonomics is very important to me (my hands cramp up easily). Especially with owning the current gen Rift, I have no reason to buy something inferior (for the controllers) and am excited for what the Index controllers can do.

    • Yeah have to agree with you, looks like Valve is about to slam dunk this one.
      And Oculus are about to do the same with regard to Quest.
      Both of these headsets are going to prove incredibly important to the next surge in VR adoption I think.

      • Trenix

        I really think people are overhyping the Quest. Wireless and gaming, never go good together. A real gamer is going to be disappointed having their headset shut off during a game or having to wait to recharge it. I remember when I bought a wireless mouse and keyboard for my computer, terrible idea. I can’t count the amount of times my crap just stopped working.

        • Bob

          You can play the quest tethered, as it charges. Hopefully a powerbank will suffice and it will never be an issue.

        • morfaine

          Battery packs are a thing. It’s already common for people to use battery packs with the Oculus GO.

          Also not the same as wireless peripherals such a mice and keyboards, because the Quest is not a peripheral.

          • Adderstone VR

            True Quest is not a peripheral, moaning about Quest being wireless but forgetting that all the hand controls ….literally all of them, actually ARE wireless peripherals and nobody would ever want them wired….nobody.

        • Adderstone VR

          “Wireless and gaming, never go good together”
          Nintendo DS – 154 Million sold
          Game Boy – 118 Million sold
          Playstation Portable – 82 Million sold
          Game Boy Advanced – 81 Million sold
          Nintendo 3DS – 74 Million sold
          Nintendo Switch – 32 Million sold
          PS Vita – 15 Million sold
          Sega Game Gear – 10 Million sold

          ….but eh….nobody wants that.

          • Trenix

            Those things could mostly last longer than a few hours.

        • It’s not like Quest is going to just cut out on you without any forewarning, and it’s certainly not going to have the jank and connection issues of disparate wireless PC peripherals.

          Worst case scenario, you get a warning that your battery will die soon, plug into a nearby wall socket or a battery bank, and keep playing. :/
          Early impressions seem to suggest Quest will have a similar battery life to Switch which has gotten by alright by most accounts.

    • fuyou2

      Oculus Quest.. You’re excited?? How old are you 6?

      Oculus Quest IS A FUCKING JOKE…

      • Jayjay

        Your quote should hopefully be as iconic as:
        “No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.” – CmdrTaco, 2001

  • Shazbot

    What about Pimax?

    • mellott124

      PiMax is already available.

  • οκ

    2019 is the best year for VR. Many major headsets are releasing with software major releases coming along. Even grannys will have headsets

    • Moe Curley

      So true. And from the rate of development right now it seems as if every year for the next few will be “the best year for VR” ;)

  • Marius Stubberud

    I’m looking at the picture of the HP Reverb, and those are definitely on-ear headphones, not over-ear.

    • benz145

      You’re right, my mistake! Will fix.

  • Trenix

    I like the explanation for the Rift S, here is the shorter version. “It’s for people who have a computer and can’t follow an extremely easy and basic video guide for setting up outside-in tracking sensors”.

    • Xron

      Are you kidding me? Its complicated for casual user to do it and if you need to redo it each time you use rift, it becomes tedious and you just stop using it.

      Ipd adjustment and no microphones are failed decisions, I can agree on that aspect.

  • fuyou2

    Oculus Knows THEY FUCKED UP!!.. Excuses, Excuses…

    VR and Mobile Graphics, what a fucking joke.

  • fuyou2

    QUEST IS DEAD ON ARRIVAL…….Mobile graphics!! shitty CPU, shitty all around..

  • fuyou2


  • Mike

    I dig the article. May I make a suggestion you add a table / matrix listing the headsets and features and resolutions etc they support for easy comparison?

  • Adil Hadri

    Put a 4k panel into the rift S and it will by far my first choise :)
    Otherwize I choose Reverb and I keep my CV1

  • M0rph3u5
    • Cypher

      All on “INDEX” is possibly
      why do you thing they go on 1440×1600 with 90Hz?

      All we know, so far, ist that the knuckles are coming with it and they use Light House…

      • James Cobalt

        Because an early leak, which proved accurate in most of its information months later, suggested this would be the resolution, albeit over a wider FOV, resulting in PPD similar to the original Vive. So unconfirmed, and possibly once true but no longer… but it’s the best we have to go on till May 1st.

        • johann jensson

          But if they really use better optics (stacked lenses), Index will have less unused display pixels and give a better PPD, possibly on Vive Pro level. (See XTAL)

    • ale bro

      vive pro starter kit is £960 right now

      • M0rph3u5

        Where is that? its still same price on Vive.com and even on Scan.co.uk its £999

        • ale bro

          overclockers are selling it for 959

  • Callsign Vega

    Pretty silly to not list the resolutions for the different headsets. Like the Rift S is a decidedly low-end solution, something that isn’t clear in the article.

  • Francesco Fazio

    I currently own a Rift with my GTX 1080ti and i7-8700k. Now the right upgrade for me would be the Hp Reverb. The only thing I am very very concerned about is the tracking … it has ONLY two cameras (thing I really dont understand why) and I am afraid the tracking will be bad and far from the precision of the Rift :( What do you think guys ?

  • Jorge Gustavo

    Not buying a new headset this year. I will keep with the CV1 and wait for better options.

  • Shamim Hussain

    Nice article. Thanks a ton.
    If i purchase any VR Ready PC (https://freetechreviews.com/pc-vr-ready/), will i be able to use any VR headset which you mentioned in this article.