Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive vs. PlayStation VR – VR Troopers’ Battle

Teaser: Which is the best? Which is the best for you? Find out here.

Teaser: Which is the best? Which is the best for you? Find out here.

The virtual reality wars have kicked off. Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are now available with PlayStation VR to follow in the coming months. It’s still too early to predict who will emerge the victor or how successful VR gaming ultimately becomes. However, with so many appealing options, what's the best choice for you? We took a closer look at this year’s premium VR headsets to decide.

Oculus Rift


Image credit: (c) Oculus VR

Arguably the pioneer of VR headsets – at least in terms of getting the ball rolling – Oculus Rift has resulted from the combined efforts of Palmer Luckey, Facebook, Doom creator John Carmack and tons of Kickstarter funding. The Oculus Rift is launched with a price tag of $599 which includes a headset, a sensor, an Xbox One controller, Lucky’s Tale and remote.

The Rift consists of an OLED display with 1080x1200 resolution in each “eye”, a 90 Hz refresh rate and a 110 degree field of view. The tracking used in Oculus Rift relies on the Constellation system, which is basically an IR LED camera connected to your PC and tracking your every move. Along with using an Xbox One controller, players will have to utilize Oculus Touch controllers to simulate 3D motion control for VR. Rift will start getting retailed later in 2016 though.

The advantage of Oculus Rift’s tracking system is that it can be used while sitting, standing and moving around. This makes it pretty ideal for operating in a small space (roughly 5x11 feet). In terms of games, Oculus Rift has launches with Adr1ft, Lucky’s Tale, Chronos, Pinball FX2 VR and EVE: Valkyrie.

PC System Requirements:

  • Intel i5-4590 or better
  • Nvidia GTX 970 or AMD R9 290 or better
  • 8 GB RAM or higher
  • HDMI 1.3 video output
  • Three USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port
  • Windows 7 64-bit or higher

Recommended for: The consumer who wants a great VR experience with accurate tracking but possesses limited space. The solid performance and launch line-up for Oculus Rift ensures good value for early adapters, even with the hefty system requirements.


HTC Vive


Image credit: (c) HTC, Valve Corporation

HTC Vive, the product of Valve Corporation and HTC, serves as the antithesis to the Oculus Rift in many ways. Vive is focused more on fast movement and quick responses within a wide space. As a result, it requires more room than Rift (15x15 feet). It’s already being praised for its more dynamic, movement-based experience though. The HTC Vive retails for $799 and includes the headset, two base stations, two wireless controllers, a link box, three free games (Tilt Brush, Fantastic Contraption and Job Simulator), accessories and ear buds.

Much like Rift, the HTC Vive features an OLED display with a 1080x1200 resolution in each eye with a 90 Hz refresh rate and 110 degree field of view. Its tracking relies on the Lighthouse system. This system utilizes photo sensors to properly track objects and the two bundled base stations ensure no occlusion problems occur as a result. There’s even a front-facing camera to help guide the user around any objects in the room. Perfect for not tripping on a foot-stool (or two) when sword fighting!

Along with the above three games, HTC Vive has some roughly 100 VR compatible games available through SteamVR.

PC System Requirements:

  • Intel Core i5-4590 or better
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 or Radeon R9 280 or better
  • 4 GB of RAM or more
  • HDMI 1.3 video output
  • One USB 2.0 port

Recommended for: Hardcore gamers who want a more visceral and active VR experience. Despite a slightly higher cost, the HTC Vive offers stunning gameplay that many experts consider the crème of the crop for virtual reality.


PlayStation VR


Image credit: (c) Sony

It’s hard to judge Sony’s PlayStation VR, especially when it’s not out yet. The $399 price makes it the cheapest of all three premium headsets by far. You’ll still require PlayStation Move and the PlayStation Camera to best utilize it but those will be available with the headset in a special bundle for $499 (with a free game included).

PlayStation VR features an RGB OLED screen with 1080x980 resolution in each eye, 90 to 120 Hz refresh rate and 100 degree viewing angle. The device is tracked via 9 LEDs by the PlayStation Camera and like Oculus Rift, it makes use of Six Degrees of Freedom for 3D movement. While capable of displaying games at 120 FPS, Sony has mandated that no PlayStation VR game can run at lower than 60 FPS.  Also, despite the lower resolution per eye, PlayStation VR uses RGB sub-pixels to lighten the screen-door effect seen in VR headsets. This allows more fluid movement and better picture quality.

The real beauty of PlayStation VR is that it doesn’t require an expensive PC to run. Along with PlayStation Move and PlayStation Camera, you only need a PlayStation 4 console (retailing for $399). Sony has also promised 50 VR games by 2016 end with titles like Star Wars Battlefront, DriveClub, Rez Infinite, Golem, Tekken 7 and many more confirmed.

Recommended for: Time will tell since the headset is out in October 2016. For PS4 owners, the PlayStation VR presents an interesting investment, especially given its low price compared to the competition. The large number of exclusives, both first party and third party, certainly doesn’t hurt either.

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