After my first foray into VR reviews with VirtualRealPassion, I was feeling somewhat more au fait with the world of VR porn. Enough so that when I was asked review the VRotica headset, I immediately agreed. Nonetheless, I’d still classify myself as technically-capable, rather than a technical wizard.
Still a little sceptical about the whole premise of having a headset devoted purely to porn use, the VRotica’s hubristic tagline ‘Join the VR Porn Revolution’ didn’t do a whole lot to help. After all, VR porn isn’t exactly new (having been around for two or three years) and it’s already possible to access it through Google Cardboard fairly easily for a much lower cost (providing you have a phone capable of VR) or at the other end of the spectrum via something like the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive.
The VRotica headset is a self-contained unit that gives access to content from various (currently 9) porn studios, and retails at $250 plus shipping, which seems a relatively modest price in comparison to a high-end VR setup, but scenes are purchased additionally – there are a few included to get you going though. More on that a little later.
VRoctica Review: Design and Content
The headset has a full HD 1920*1080 resolution display with a frame rate of 30 FPS and an internal memory of 32GB, enabling the user to download and store “tens of videos at a time” – presumably there’s some sort of compression going on as just 10 HD VR videos could be anything between 10GB and 30GB. The whole thing weighs 420g, meaning it isn’t too heavy or cumbersome and measures 176mm x 122.5mm x 92mm, with a 5.5 inch screen.
It’s fairly comfortable to wear for long periods too, as far as having things strapped to your head generally can be. I certainly didn’t find it a particular distraction while viewing content, and you get a fairly decent four hours of use off a full charge, which takes about an hour.
The VRotica headset is pretty generic in appearance, it actually looks not so dissimilar to the headset I used in my previous review, although the visor design is plainer and the VRotica logo is stamped on the top alongside the 2 dials used to adjust the lenses for screen and interpupillary distance. As it is Wi-Fi enabled, no cables are needed and it comes packaged in a rather attractive and sturdy box with a USB charger, a set of earbuds and a screen cloth. The headphone jack and a charging port are on the underside of the unit.
There are four buttons on the left side, two for volume control, one is a power button and the other takes you back to the home screen. On the right side are two buttons, used when viewing the content. One is a back button and the other one is used to select a function (pause, rewind, stop etc.). One small gripe I have is that other than the function button which is round, they are all oval shaped with no texture or anything to differentiate them, meaning I sent myself swiftly back to the home screen or even shut down the headset several times while watching, which was a teeny bit frustrating – especially if one is at an *ahem* crucial point.
The videos I got to watch were all heteronormative, male POV and all very much male gaze. The nine included providers are: BadoinkVR, VRBangers, Reality Lovers, VRCosplayX, VRBGay.com, VRBTrans.com, VixenVR.com and YanksVR. I did attempt to use the categories provided and watch some content in the Trans and Lesbian sections but this didn’t work for me. Generally, the scenes ranged from around 20 to 45 minutes long, with the majority clocking in at around the 30 minute mark.
If you already have a large catalog of VR scenes that you’ve downloaded, they won’t be any use to you here as you can only sideload content from preloaded USB drives, not your computer. That alone will put many people off.
So back to content pricing. The films can be bought on a per title basis with credits which cost $1.23/€1 apiece. Each scene costs from 3-10 credits. There are also bundles available when purchasing the headset, these run between $24.66/€19.99 and $37/€29.99. So it’s feasible that costs could creep up, it entirely depends upon your porn consumption really, and whether a title can hold your interest enough to make you keep it saved to your library. Apparently content can also be obtained on USB sticks purchased from adult retailers, but I wasn’t able to source any additional information on this.
VRotica Review: tl;dr?
In summary, I thought the VRotica headset was easy to use and worked fine for the most part – categories notwithstanding, I didn’t have any issues with functionality at all other than the gripe about the buttons, but I suppose if it’s something you use frequently then you’d soon recall where they were, and I personally found it comfortable to wear and easy to adjust to my own requirements. The price of the headset itself is pretty cheap and I think this is reflected in the specifications. With regards to resolution and frame rate there is much better out there, but if you aren’t too much of a tech snob or don’t have a high-end phone already then it will probably suit your needs just fine. I do feel that the cost of content could potentially get pricey; when you look at what VirtualRealPassion, for example, you can get a film for only $2.95. Or at a site like SexLikeReal you can regularly buy scenes on offer from just 99 cents. By comparison, on the VRotica you’ll be paying a minimum of $3.70 and more annoying still, you can’t sideload your own scenes you already own or buy from other stores.
Ultimately, your enjoyment of the VRotica is how much you value ease and convenience – if that’s more important to you than price, then you’ll probably end up pretty happy.