Close to the Metal Ep. 12: Should you give the gift of VR for the holidays?

Matt Smith
Close to the Metal Ep. 12: Should you give the gift of VR for the holidays?
Virtual reality isn't cheap, but that might make it the perfect gift for your favorite geek -- or not. The tech is still in its infancy, and you need powerful hardware to use it. So, should you buy, or wait until 2017?

The holidays are incoming, and you know what that means – it’s time to spend a lot of money on your favorite someone! And what costs a lot of money? Virtual reality!

Yes, it’s still expensive. But it’s also sure to be a favorite gift. Every geek is excited by virtual reality, yet it’s not the kind of tech anyone needs, which can make the cost difficult to justify. You’re looking at $600 for the Oculus Rift, or $800 for the HTC Vive. And that’s assuming you already have a PC fast enough to handle virtual reality. Even the PlayStation VR is $500, if you don’t already have Move controllers to use with it.

So, you’d better really, really like the recipient if you’re giving this as a gift. But even if you can afford it, is virtual reality worth buying in its current form? Early adopters often get burnt, after all, when a far superior version of the first edition comes out. While Oculus and HTC have yet to announce a new version, there are some modifications on the way, such as Oculus Touch – new motion controllers that should add a whole new element to the experience of using the Rift.

And what about Samsung’s Gear VR? Though it’s known to be inferior to its more expensive cousins, it also has a much, much more affordable price of entry – if you own a compatible phone. Is it something you should consider for the holidays? Or are you better off waiting until you can buy one of the big boys of VR?

We’ll talk about all this, and more, in today’s VR-focused episode of Close to the Metal.

Close to the Metal is a podcast from Digital Trends that focuses on the geekier side of life. It tackles the topics PC enthusiasts argue over in language everyone can understand. Please subscribe, share, and send your questions to podcast@digitaltrends.com. We broadcast the show live on YouTube every Wednesday at 1pm EST/10am PST.