The first virtual reality headsets occurred in the 1960s, At that time, technology took up so much space and cost huge amounts of money. In late 1980-1990, VR became accessible to the general public in arcades and other places of entertainment through heavy headphones and controllers. Those are used to play quite simple games.
The old VR headsets had lot of issues, The head tracking was slow, the field of vision was narrow and the graphics were low resolution by modern standards. The experience often induce headaches and dizziness, and was not as immersive. Still, it was a step forward in the game industry and was continue to improve.
But somehow at one point of time the the industry failed and did not quite came on to speed to pick things up for the market.
But all of suddne Oculus VR quickly went from a one man operation to a multimillion about hogging the company VR to consumer market .
High-end virtual reality headsets with better resolution and response time have been developed since then. But still it was quite expensive for the home user and still tend to live in places such as government and research facilities and business training. The military, automotive, space and program fields of medicine, to name a few, all use VR in one way or another, out of sight of the general population.
The device is a wearable helmet blocking your actual view of the surroundings and completely immerses you in a virtual world. That will then allows look around in any direction and see the game environment around them rather than on a flat screen surrounded by decorating your living room. And you see it in 3D. Not quite the holodeck or matrix.
During this time cell phones and gaming systems technology waked up much faster in the tech industry. Those gadgets were equipped with wide range of sensors that can detect real time environment. Also those were included very powerful large screens and processors as well.
So VR market then adopted this technology and started to develop VR headsets using the mobile phone ad gaming devices as the core electronic gadget.
To find out how all these head mounted displays creates the 3D illusion in our brain watch the above video.