In the market for high end virtual reality headsets, that are two names that lead the pack: the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive. The Rift came out first but the Vive has definitely made a solid claim with a great product. Below, you can find a side by side comparison of the two.
This is the pioneer in virtual reality headsets. The entire philosophy behind its development was to make the very best in virtual reality technology available to the average gamer—high quality at a low price. And, although the price isn’t THAT low, it is the most affordable of the high end virtual reality headsets.
Let’s take a look at some of the features. There’s a lot to rave about with the Oculus Rift. But here are just a few to help give you a sense of what you can expect:
The headset boasts two high resolution screens (one for each eye) and a powerful 90 Hz refresh rate which minimizes lag time and makes the motions feel more natural. It’s super realistic and immersive.
As mentioned, it’s not exactly cheap but for the level of technology that it includes, it is being sold at a bargain price. It’s definitely cheaper than the HTC Vive—although the Vive comes in a bundle with motion controllers so that does account for part of the price difference.
However, the bundle that Oculus Rift plans to launch when it releases its new motion controllers will still be cheaper than the HTC Vive.
While it’s still new and not many games have been released for it, what games they do have full, rich stories and offer hours and hours of gameplay.
One of the issues that have plagued virtual reality headsets from the beginning was discomfort. Either they were too bulky and cumbersome to wear or they caused virtual reality sickness (a kind of motion sickness) or both.
The high end technology used in the Oculus Rift prevents virtual reality sickness. And the headset itself is lightweight. It also has fabric lining and an easy to use head strap that make it comfortable to wear.
As with any product, there are always some drawbacks that need to be taken into account. Some things to keep in mind about the Oculus Rift include the lack of motion controllers and the smaller selection of games
It is a little less immersive without the Oculus Touch. At the moment, the headset comes with an Xbox One controller. It’s still a great experience but it does make it a little less realistic since you aren’t able to move your hands more naturally.
However, the Oculus Touch (which is a set of motion controllers for your hands) will be coming out soon and signs point to them being great devices. So if you are patient, you can wait for those.
Because the device is so new, it doesn’t have a whole lot of games out that are compatible with it. Oculus Rift is dealing with this shortage by making their software free and easy to use by any game developer. So eventually, there will be more and more games coming out. But at the moment, HTC Vive takes the lead on this point.
The Oculus Rift is a great deal. And it’s only going to get better as more and more games and apps come out for it.
The HTC Vive has become a major competitor for good reason. Some of the most attractive features in the comparably high level of tech, the motion controllers, the comfort, and the game selection.
The HTC Vive boasts much of the same specs as the Rift. It also uses a full room tracking system with sensors mounted in all 4 corners so that your motion is tracked no matter where you are in the room. That means standing up and moving around while playing (which you can’t yet do with the Rift).
The Oculus Touch is still on the way and until it’s here, HTC Vive is holding the lead when it comes to being the most immersive experience. You just can’t compare the ability to freely move your arms around.
The headset boasts an ergonomic and comfortable design and its high end technology also addresses the problem of virtual reality sickness.
The Vive was made by HTC in partnership with Valve Corporation. So you can use your headset with any of the games in Valve’s massive ecosystem.
The key potential drawbacks that you’ll have to deal with are the higher price and the lower quality games. Overall, the Vive costs more than the Rift. Part of that is because it is a complete bundle with motion controllers and the 4 wall mounted sensors. But even when the Rift releases its new bundle, it will be cheaper.
The Vive wins points for quantity of games but Oculus Rift wins on quality. That is, the Rift games are more complex and fully developed. The games available on Vive are still fun, they just have fewer hours of game play and less creative stories in general. You’re also getting less diversity since you’re exclusively playing Valve games. Any game developer can make a game for the Rift so you’re going to see a growing and more diverse range of games for that soon.
The HTC Vive is definitely a great buy. You have more games and you can stand up and move around the room (although you are still attached by a wire to your PC). So if you don’t mind paying a little more, this is a great, high quality option.
Overall, it’s not easy to pick a clear winner from these two. They both have strong points in their favor. And on the technology level, they are both equally advanced and well-made. The key decision making factor comes down to how much space you want to use your virtual reality system in.
If you like the idea of standing up and moving around the room, HTC Vive is a better choice. But you will have to deal with mounting extra sensors around the room (which includes drilling holes in your walls). If you expect to mostly be sitting down while you play, both systems will do the trick but the Oculus Rift is more affordable.
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