If you wanted to play virtual reality (VR) video games three years ago, you had to make some investments. You needed a PlayStation, or a supercomputer with a super graphics card to download and smoothly run just about anything. If you didn't have either, you had make those investments first. Then, you needed at least two poles set up in an unfathomably-large living room. You also needed lots of cables. Basically, you needed money.

Since then, the VR industry has witnessed a kind of silent boom, and we're quickly approaching the moment where VR headsets might cost as much as a console—and run games all on their own, no supercomputer needed.

The first headset elbowing into this cable-free, wallet-friendly space is Facebook's Oculus Quest, which goes for just under $400, requires no outlets or computers, and can be tossed (gently) into your carry-on luggage.

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