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HolidayBuyer's Guide

VR: new worlds, magic glasses

Samsung Gear VR

Google Cardboard

Oculus Rift

HTC Vive

Sony Project Morpheus

Oculus Touch

Virtual reality is here! It just needs a slightly bulky headset and a system it can run on. Phone VR is here now, but game console and PC VR is on its way fast.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung and Oculus created a VR headset that uses a Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge phone to stunning effect. Panoramic movies, 3D games, and weird virtual worlds are all available, but you need to interact with a game controller or a side-mounted touchpad.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

Unfold it, put it on your phone, and go on a magic carpet ride: Google Cardboard is the most affordable way to try VR right now. It works with tons of iPhone and Android apps, but you have to hold it up in one hand like a pair of opera glasses.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Oculus' PC-based virtual reality platform arrives in 2016. Its lightweight headset, 3D audio, and advanced Touch controllers with free finger motion offer incredible precision and fidelity.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

CNET reporter Roger Cheng adorned with the Vive headset and wireless controllers. The Vive lets you wander a whole room: laser sensors warn you if you're about to hit a wall.

Caption by / Photo by Nigel Manuel/CNET

Sony's PlayStation 4-compatible VR headset system works with its own games and uses older PlayStation Move controllers. Graphics look a little lower-res than PC-based rigs, but still impressive. Eric Franklin, seen here, gives them a shake.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

Oculus Touch is one of several next-wave controllers designed for virtual reality. Advanced motion controls, vibrating haptic feedback, and 3D room-sensing cameras will help create new ways  of interacting in the next few years.

Caption by / Photo by CNET
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