MTBS' Ultimate Virtual Reality Shopping Guide

  • Print
Neil's Messy Basement

Welcome to MTBS' ULTIMATE Virtual Reality Holiday Shopping Guide!

Where better to do it than from Neil's Messy Basement?!?  What a mess indeed!

This guide was specially designed for people that don't know the first thing about virtual reality or computers and want to learn more.  We think this will help VR shoppers at all technical levels, and as messy as Neil's basement looks (ok, it's not THAT messy), this won't require a mad scientist's understanding to get the most out of this.  You'll be jumping into the metaverse in no time!

Neil is a long winded dude, so you will be pleased to know that it's unnecessary to watch every video.  We even divided the longest videos into shorter chapters according to your personal shopping needs and technical interest.  We want you to have a simple and pleasant shopping experience, so this was all done for your benefit!

Feel free to post your comments and experiences below if you think it will help other VR customers, and be sure to share this guide with all your friends, family, social contacts, and the occasional family pet.

Some things to be aware of:

  • The discussed pricing is subject to change without notice.
  • We won't be held accountable for any market changes, fluctations, or errors.
  • The retail and vendor policies are subject to change without notice.
  • The reviews are strictly personal opinions based on available data and expertise.
  • The most important review is your own.  Try before you buy!

This is the recommended order videos for consumers that are unfamiliar with virtual reality or the technology that supports it.
 
  1. Introduction, VR Basics
  2. Mobile VR Solutions (Samsung Gear VR, Google Daydream Viewer, ImmersiON-VRelia GO)
  3. Console VR Solutions (Sony PlayStation VR)
  4. PC Based VR Solutions (Oculus Rift, HTC Vive)
  5. Room Scale (Understand the Commitment)
  6. Where to Try, Buyers' Protection
  7. Personal VR Computer: Upgrade, Bundle, or Buy on Your Own
  8. Extra Purchases For Your VR System
  9. 15 Minute IT Lesson (for PC Based VR)
  10. The Science of VR

Have fun!


This is where it all begins!  If you don't know the first thing about virtual reality, it's best to watch the video from beginning to end so you can appreciate what all the excitement is about.

If you are somewhat familiar, the individual chapters are detailed below.


Learn about:

1. The basic terminology of virtual reality
2. The different solutions on the market
3. What you can actually do with VR today
4. Who VR is and isn't appropriate for (age groups)




Mobile VR is the most inexpensive option for virtual reality.  MTBS' Neil Schneider and Tom's Hardware's Kevin Carbotte talk about the premium mobile solutions readily available today.  Brands featured include:

1. Samsung GearVR
2. Google Daydream Viewer
3. Immersion-VRelia GO







The Sony Playstation VR solution is very popular because it approaches what can be delivered on PC, and it is far superior to what is available through mobile.  The price isn't too shabby either!

Neil Schneider from MTBS and Kevin Carbotte from Tom's Hardware break down the features and price of:

1. Sony Playstation VR (PSVR)
2. The NEW Sony Playstation VR Pro
3. They talk about how to save some money too!






PC based virtual reality is by far the BEST VR experience.  Neil Schneider sets the expectations and gives an in-depth review of the Oculus Rift CV1 and the HTC Vive.  Which is the right solution for you?

Now is your chance to find out!





Room Scale is considered by some to be a must-have feature for virtual reality.  This refers to the ability to literally walk around the room physically and in your virtual reality world.  However, it's ROOM SCALE which means there is a commitment involved.  Neil Schneider demonstrates what a room scale experience is really like so that consumers understand the commitment before finalizing their purchase.





Virtual Reality is a significant purchase, and it's important that consumers get the chance to try the technology before they buy.

Here are the individual product try before you buy search engines

Google Daydream Viewer
Sony Playstation VR
Oculus Rift CV1
HTC Vive

Detailed below, Neil Schneider secret shopped at Best Buy, Amazon, Gamestop, and the Microsoft Store.  In addition to showcasing where to try VR devices before buying, Schneider outlines what customers can expect from each retailer.  This also features an amazing interview with Yorkdale, Ontario Microsoft Store Manager Donna Ball.

Special update!  We just learned today that Microsoft Stores also sell the Oculus Rift, and they offer the same 30 day satisfaction guarantee that the HTC Vive receives.  As of this writing, this customer satisfaction policy is unique to the Microsoft Store when compared to other Canadian retailers like Best Buy Canada, EB Games Canada, and to an extent Amazon (Amazon is a case by case negotiation) that don't offer the same easy returns on opened VR items.






If you are committed to buying a PC VR device like an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, you may need to upgrade your computer or buy something completely new.

Neil Schneider outlines three possible paths to making this happen.  Upgrading what you have, buying a VR Ready computer bundle, or going out on your own to get the right stuff.  Neil outlines every step and shares his recommendations.



Divided in chapters, this video covers:

I. How to determine if your computer needs an upgrade, and the cheapest way to do so.

Hardware testers referenced:
Oculus Rift Compatibility Tester
Steam VR Performance Tester (HTC Vive)

II. The available VR Ready computer bundles on the market.
III. How to go about buying a non-branded machine and getting the most for your dollar.




You're ahead of the game after you bought your VR device, and there is even more available to enhance your experience.

Neil Schneider from MTBS and Kevin Carbotte from Tom's Hardware discuss a range of purchases that will increase the enjoyment of your virtual reality devices, allow you to take better care of them, and improve the overall hygiene of the products.





You put the what in the what now with how many gigahertz of speed?  That makes no sense.  Fortunately, it doesn't have to.  For those that are curious, Neil Schneider put together this fifteen minute tour of what's inside your computer and how it works.  You'll also get excellent tips on some hardware to purchase.

This video is only necessary if you are buying a new PC and you want to have a better understanding of how the computer works.  This video isn't necessary for completing your purchase; it's just for the curious.





Did you actually make it this far?  That's amazing!  Here is your reward.  This video explains how this whacky virtual reality technology works.  Very interesting - we promise!

Whatever happens - don't panic.  What you learn here should not impact your purchasing decision.