If you want to get involved with VR right this minute, the cheapest and easiest way is by slotting your mobile device into one of the many inexpensive VR headsets now available.
The best known of these is, by far, the Google Cardboard, but there are a host of options for those happy to look around.
The Cardboard is great, but the real problem comes from the fact that it's made of cardboard. While it's cheap enough to giveaway for free, it's not particularly sturdy. You wouldn’t want to toss it in a bag or give to a rampant toddler.
Enter the Merge VR which, for my money, is the best low-price headset out there.
Currently it's selling for £49.99 on the Game website, and while this is much more expensive than every other device in its class, the quality that extra cash brings is obvious.
The Merge is made of a soft and durable foam that makes it fairly comfortable, but also allows it to hold its shape. It was weird to take it out of the packaging and feel some give, but it quickly bounces back to its original shape.
The benefit is that it can resist a bit of punishment. This allows you to use it regularly or on the move without fear of damage.
You have to bend the headset slightly to fit your phone in, and when it regains shape it traps the phone inside it snugly.
Most phones will fit in it, supposedly anything from the last two years, and I managed to slot in a HTC One, Samsung S5, Samsung S4 and iPhone 5s without issue. The 5s (the smallest phone) had a bit of wiggle, but it was still usable without problems.
The top has two circular "thingys" you can move back and forth to adjust the focus on the lens, although to hold the focus in place you will have to keep hold of these thingys, which is a minor annoyance, but they function as the input devices too so that's… kind of okay.
It’s not perfect, but that soft "marshmallow" material that makes it so comfortable and hardwearing also lets your thingys revert back to where they started.
It's all good, mind. Just keep hold of them while you use the headset and you'll do fine. If there's a Merge VR 2 on the horizon, that's something I'd like to see altered slightly. But it's pretty much my only complaint.
Is it for you?
Should you buy this? At just £49.99 it's an attractive proposition if you're already enjoying mobile VR. If you've got a battered and worn Google Cardboard kicking around, then you should buy one of these. It's designed to be used more than once or twice! Its comfortable! It keeps itself attached to your head!
Similarly, if you're the type of person to whom £49.99 isn't a ton of money and you want to try mobile virtual reality, this is the way to do it.
The most succinct way I can put it is this: It's already replaced the battered Google Cardboard in the bottom of my bag as a VR headset for me to carry around.