Walmart Is Selling A $30 SteamVR Headset And $80 Standalone

by David Heaney • February 28th, 2019

US retail giant Walmart is selling a range of ultra low price VR headsets.

SteamVR Headsets

Three models of the SteamVR headset are listed. A 960×1080 per eye model for $20, a 1280×1440 per eye model for $30, and a 1440×1440 per eye model with IPD adjustment for $45.

walmart steamvr headset

Like most other PC VR headsets they connect to your PC via HDMI and USB. But unlike other PC VR headsets, they do not feature 6DoF positional tracking. That means you can rotate your head, but not move around.

The refresh rate of the displays is 60Hz, so you’ll see smearing in the image. They all use cheap, small lenses so don’t expect a wide sweet spot or good sharpness either.

walmart vr gamepad

All three models come with a USB gamepad, so in theory you can play any SteamVR game which doesn’t require tracked controllers- as long as your PC is capable.

Standalone Headsets

Two models of the standalone headset are listed. One uses a 1080p screen for 960×1080 per eye, the other has the same 1280×1440 per eye resolution as Oculus Go.

walmart standalone vr headset

The headsets run a modified Android OS. The app store is called Nibiru– used by various Chinese mobile headsets. Therefore the content available won’t come close to Oculus or Daydream.

They’re powered by a low end chipset from 2014. That makes them significantly less powerful than other standalones. Stunningly, the GPU in the chipset is actually an overclocked variant of that used on the iPhone 4S back in 2011. If you think normal mobile VR graphics are bad, you probably don’t want to use these headsets.

You control the headsets with buttons built onto the top. Or if that gets tedious, you can pick up a remote for $20 extra.

You Get What You Pay For

While we haven’t tried them ourselves yet it’s hard to recommend buying these headsets given their likely quality. They’re a great example of how low the price of VR could get if too many compromises are made.

Hopefully people who do buy them realize that they don’t represent what VR truly has to offer.

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