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High-end mobile VR is virtually here

Mike Elgan | June 21, 2016
A new category of virtual reality is emerging -- somewhere between tethered consoles and smartphone add-ons

Another class of VR hit E3 in the form of a truly mobile VR console.

Immerex showed off their VRG-9020 product, an integrated VR headset and battery-powered console. The console part looks like an old-school CD player from the 1990s. The company promises a VR experience that's better than the smartphone-based ones.

The Immerex VRG-9020 comes with a controller, but users can also deploy their smartphone as a controller.

Interestingly, the headset fits like glasses, rather than a strap. The goggles are relatively small and light. Immerex says their VRG-9020 will offer a higher-quality VR experience than the smartphone-based devices.

While the Immerex VRG-9020 doesn't look all that promising, the company is devoted to remaining proprietary, making the whole system and all the games themselves. The general category of truly mobile VR that's better than smartphone-based VR will probably be a winner over the next few years.

The good news and the bad news

The good news is that after years of waiting, virtual reality is finally real. By the holidays, you'll be able to walk into a local store at the mall and buy high-end VR systems and games to play on them. You'll also be able to buy low-end, smartphone-based VR headsets and have real choice in that category.

The bad news is that the VR experience you really want, which is high quality but mobile, is still a year or two away at the earliest.

At least we'll have our PlayStation VR consoles to literally fall back on.


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