As the tech required to create vivid and immersive experiences becomes more and more affordable, more companies are entering into the virtual reality market. We’ve already got a few strong players and a range of price points that make the tech accessible to a wider range of people.
You’ve got some truly great options to choose from which can make it difficult to choose. It’s especially difficult when the tech is so new that most people are still pretty unfamiliar with how it works and how to recognize quality. This article will help you get started by comparing 2 leading brands on the market today—the Sony PlayStation virtual reality headset and the HTC Vive virtual reality headset.
HTC made an early entry into the market with the Vive. In order to develop this virtual reality system, the phone company partnered up with game developer, Valve Corporation (makers of Half Life and the Steam platform). Let’s take a look at some of the features of the device they made together.
The Vive uses the best technology available right now. It definitely gives you an extremely immersive VR experience that the PlayStation VR just can’t match.
With multiple sensors located at different corners of the room, you are able to stand up and move around while still being accurately tracked. The PlayStation VR just has the one camera mounted on or near your TV to track you which does work well enough but lacks the precision of the Vive.
The casing is padded and ergonomically designed to fit comfortably. And the more advanced tech minimizes motion sickness.
While it has so much to offer, there are some potential drawbacks that you need to consider. Compared to the PlayStation VR, it is much more expensive and more time consuming to set up.
The biggest concern with the Vive will be the price. It’s pretty much the most expensive VR system you can buy. To be fair, the price includes a bundle with the headset, motion controllers, and everything else you need to get the experience. But you still have to decide if you’re willing to invest that much in virtual reality.
The PlayStation VR system is pretty much ready to go right out of the box. When you get the Vive, though, you’re going to have to spend some time setting up. That includes drilling holes in your walls to mount the sensors. It’s not complicated but it is work.
- STEAM VR 2.0 TRACKING - From seated to standing to full 22’11”’ x 22’11” room-scale. Ideal for multi-user environments for sub-millimeter tracking accuracy
- HIGH RESOLUTION DISPLAY - Dual-OLED displays with industry leading resolution of 2880 x 1600 pixels for unparalleled visual fidelity of graphics, text, and textures
- SPATIAL AUDIO WITH NOISE CANCELLATION - Hi-res, high impedance headphones, 3D spatial sound with active noise cancellation for an immersive experience without distractions from real-world sounds
- MULTI-USER AND EXTENDED USE – Even weight distribution of the headset, easy on and off, and adjustments for head size, glasses and interpupillary distance (IPD) makes multi-user and extended use easier than ever
- VIVE TRACKER ECOSYSTEM – Expand business use cases by adding real-life objects to VIVE Tracker bringing the object into your virtual simulation. Ideal for motion capture, automotive, aerospace or heavy equipment simulation.
- VIVEPORT INFINITY – Get 2 months of unlimited VR play of 700+ games & apps. Code included in box
Overall, this is a very high quality system, truly one of the best available on the market right now. At the level of quality, its only real competitor is the Oculus Rift. So if you want to know just how immersive and awe-inspiring
Sony PlayStation Virtual Reality
Sony has released a virtual reality headset compatible with the PlayStation 4. This makes it the only gaming console right now that has dedicated virtual reality features. There are many pros and cons of their VR system. Let’s take a look at how their features stand up against the Vive.
The Vive is a huge investment. Sure, you get a lot for that price, but for some people the price is just more than they are willing to spend—especially if they’ve never tried virtual reality and don’t know if they will even get much use out of it. At about a third of the price, the Sony VR headset is much easier to fit into your budget.
It’s not as massive of a selection as you get with the Vive but it is a well-rounded. You’ve got plenty of cheaper games that won’t break the bank as well as some more expensive titles that boast rich stories and long hours of game play. There are not as many games from this latter category for the Vive.
Wide choice of controllers
The VR headset works fine with the gamepad controller that the PlayStation already comes with. You can also choose to get Move Motion controllers that are similar to the motion controllers on the Vive.
While Sony has definitely put out a strong product here, there are some potential drawbacks. In comparison to the Vive, the PlayStation VR is lower quality and not as comfortable.
The Vive is state of the art so it’s hard to beat when it comes to quality. Sony’s headset is just not as high resolution and the motion tracking tech is not as good. However, it still offers very decent quality and you’ll be plenty happy with it if you haven’t seen what the Vive does.
The lower quality tech can mean motion sickness for some users. Sony recommends that you take a break of at least 15 minutes after an hour of gameplay. If you follow those recommendations, you should be fine.
The quality may be a little lower but if you have never used a Rift or a Vive, you are still going to be more than impressed with the capabilities of this headset from Sony. It’s definitely a solidly build, well-functioning device that will provide hours and hours of fun (as long as you take breaks to avoid discomfort).
- Contains: PlayStation VR headset, Processor unit, PlayStation VR headset connection cable, HDMI cable, USB cable, Stereo headphones, AC power cord, AC adaptor, PlayStation VR Demo Disc
- Games Come First - With gamers in mind, PlayStation delivers a new world of unexpected gaming experiences through PlayStation VR
- Just Plug and Play - Getting into PlayStation VR couldnt be easier. Just plug the PlayStation VR headset and your PlayStation Camera into your PlayStation 4 system. Sold separately
- Advanced VR Display - Seamless visuals keep you connected to the virtual world through an expansive 5.7” OLED 1080p display running at up to 120 frames per second
- 3D Audio Technology - 3D Audio with PlayStation VR means that youll be able to pinpoint sounds above, below, and all around you
It’s one of the best systems you will find at its price point. That makes it perfect for someone who wants to try virtual reality without spending too much money.
Both systems have a lot to offer so the real decision comes down to what you, personally, are looking for. If you are determined to have the highest quality, immersive virtual reality experience available, go with the HTC Vive. It’s more immersive, more developed, and more comfortable. You’ll have to spend more money and put a little more effort into set up but if high end is what you’re after, you are probably already prepared for that.
On the other hand, if you’re just curious to see how game play and gaming experience are affected by virtual reality but you’re not sure you’re ready to commit to the investment in a high end device, the PlayStation VR route is the better choice. The price is significantly lower and the quality is perfectly acceptable even though it’s not the best. You’ll be able to get a sense of the technology without having to make as big of a commitment.
If you can afford it, this is a super powerful VR system with a lot of expansion options.This system has been around a long time and is rock solid. You can’t go wrong with this system.
At a much better price, you can get the flawless VR package called Playstation VR. If you’re not a techie or like “messing” or hacking your way thru things, Sony has made their VR system a simple experience.