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Immersive Entertainment

A Guide to Viewing Virtual Reality Sex Videos: The Hardware

Here’s how to quickly and affordably enjoy immersive sex.

A good-looking woman wears a VR headset.

Inarguably, virtual reality—that science-fiction mainstay of the 90s—has gone from being a far off dream to an actual product currently sold in stores in the space of only a few years.

Naturally—human beings being who we are—it wasn’t long before developers saw this three-dimensional technology in entertainment and thought sex!

But it’s really the announcement from PornHub, a giant of adult entertainment, that it will now feature a catalog of virtual reality movies, that’s getting many people really excited about this change in viewing adult entertainment.

However, as with many other early technological innovations, we are in a kind of survival of the fittest—or at least the most popular—when it comes to the hardware available. Think VHS versus Betamax if you really want to go old school.

Until that one platform rises above the competition, here’s a quick guide to the different kinds of virtual reality gear that’s available, or will be available soon—and which ones will be best for viewing adult entertainment

What exactly is virtual reality?

Before we get down to it, though, let’s take a moment to discuss what virtual reality actually is. In very simple terms,: it’s a stereoscopic viewing system coupled with motion-tracking technology that allows the wearer to view a projected world in three dimensions. When they move their head, what they see in front of them also changes to match their new perspective.

Beyond this, there are some additional bells and whistles. Some setups allow people to look but not interact with anything they see. Other systems, though, have controllers that monitor the position of hands and offer the ability to move virtual objects.

Meanwhile, around the corner, is the promise of force feedback, meaning we’ll one day be able to see, move, but also feel in virtual reality simulations.

Getting VR into your device

Just as with regular movie viewing, there are two major ways of accessing VR content. The first is to download a file (or files) and then run them. The second is to stream the content.

The drawbacks for the first is the size of the files and available space on your system, the time it takes to load, and possible issues with compatibility (crashes, hangs, and the like).

The issues with the second include download speed and the fact that if the site you are using goes down—or is blocked—then you’re out of luck.

There’s an extra level of complexity when virtual reality is involved: VR files have a tendency to be on the exceptionally huge side, many are tied exclusively to the VR hardware’s operating system, and some streaming files have a lower resolution and don’t offer much in the way of real interactivity—you can watch but that’s all you can do.

This is all important to take into consideration when selecting your virtual reality hardware.

For instance, if you just want a stereoscopic effect with a small amount of freedom of movement, as well as less than stellar image quality, you could do very affordable with one of the smartphone-integrated models. Pornhub, to mention the site again, has a whole category of videos designed to be streamed to a smartphone-style rig.

But if you really want that whole immersive VR thing, then some of the higher-end rigs might be more to your liking. Though it’s important to do some research on what they will, or will not, support. Picking a VR rig that doesn’t include web browsing, for instance, might seriously limit your options for adult entertainment.

As for getting the files into your phone or VR hardware, Pornhub has put up a guide [NSFW] on how to do just that—and there are other how-to’s out there for whatever rig you end up using.

Lastly, one thing to be aware of with the higher-end VR rigs is space—and not of the virtual variety: many units use sensors that are placed around a real environment to monitor where the wearer is looking as well as where the interactive controllers are. So if you’re living in a very tiny space you may have a tendency to bang into the walls and furniture. Ouch!

High-end good times

At present, the adult entertainment variety of VR is of the voyeur variety, not yet providing a sense of control of what’s happening. That, without a doubt, is going to change very, very soon—but until then if you’re interested in exploring virtual reality in mostly an erotic manner, it might make more sense to invest in simpler, and more affordable, gear setups.

But if you do plan on using VR for more than video viewing, there are quite a few very high-end rigs available.

One of the earliest leaders in virtual reality is the Oculus Rift from Oculus VR. A Kickstarter success story, the Rift was funded at $2.5 million dollars and then bought by Facebook to the tune of $2 billion. The consumer version began shipping on March 28. New orders won’t ship until July.

Currently, the base unit for an Oculus Rift sits at around $600, which includes the headset, sensor, remote, cables, and an Xbox controller.

For most, the major drawback to the Rift is that use it you’ll need a hefty-and-then-some PC to run it, which could set you back possibly more than twice the cost of the Rift itself. The good news is that the Rift is browser compatible;though, as it uses a room sensor you will need a good-sized space to have fun with it.

Beyond the web, Rift owners can rest easy adult-entertainment-wise. As Palmer Lucky, the CEO of Oculus has said, “The Rift is an open platform. We don’t control what software can run on it, and that’s a big deal.” This means that many adult entertainment companies are already working to make their content Rift compatible.

With many of the same bells and whistles as the Rift, next up is the-the HTC Vive. Considerably more expensive, the Vive runs for about $799—and, once again, you need some serious hardware to use it. It does have the benefit of being tied to Steam’s huge library of games, though. As with the Rift, you can also web browse but it’s not a great choice for micro-apartment dwellers.

There are other high-end rigs, of course, waiting to hit the market,and seemingly more every day. There’s the FOVE VR ($349), set to ship in the fall, and—from the powerhouse of Sony—the PlayStation VR headset ($399), which will launch sometime later this year. While Sony’s headset has the advantage of not requiring a capable PC, you’ll still need a Playstation 4 ($360) to use it and it might be limited when it comes to web-based VR adult entertainment.

Bottom line: if you want to game and enjoy sexually explicit VR, then one of these models might be of interest. But if you just want to get down to it, erotically speaking, then there much more affordable options out there

Fold and play

Here’s is where we come to what some are crediting as starting our current VR revolution: cardboard—Google Cardboard to be precise.

At first a beta project, Google’s affordable (and then some) test rig became so popular with people interested in virtual reality that there are now dozens and dozens and dozens of versions of its basic design available in plastic as well as traditional cardboard.

The idea is ridiculously simple: take your favorite smartphone, put it into the rig, fire up a VR movie or site, and you’re ready to go.

If you want to do any interactivity, though, you’ll either have to have an extra Bluetooth controller or, if you have an Android, you can use a rig that features a magnet—and interacts with the phone—to do the same.

From Samsung comes their Gear VR, a head-mounted display, which runs about $99 and uses their smartphones. In a similar vein, the Zeiss VR One ($120) also uses your phone to work it’s VR magic; though—unlike the Gear VR—it can work with both iOS as well as Android.

Another example is Freefly ($79), which has the benefit of coming with a controller, though obviously it’s not as sophisticated as the big ticket rigs.

Keep in mind that a fairly high-quality smartphone really is needed: if it doesn’t have accelerometers built in then it won’t be able to track your head movements. You can still see things in 3D but forget about turning your head to gain a different perspective.

It may not be as stylish, flexible, or even comfortable as, say, the Rift, but Google Cardboard and its myriad of derivations are still a more-than-valid way to sample what’s virtually out there.

Strap it on for a good time

While we are in the middle of this survival of the fittest when it comes to virtual reality hardware—and there is a risk of backing the wrong technological horse—the good news is that for the cost of some cardboard and your own smartphone you can, at least, sample adult virtual reality entertainment.

The question then is what you actually do with your new VR setup?

Next up is the second part of our guide to virtually real sex: erotic games and the next-generation of virtual worlds.

Image source: Paula Iannuzzi

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