2016 is the year for Virtual Reality, and we all know it because of the two spawns of the first generation namely the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift which have finally made their way to the consumer market. Both headsets have been met with positive reactions from the gamer community and it has become very difficult for some people to decide which one to buy. The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive delivery quality VR experience and it looks very awesome even for first generation products. Their arrival has sparked a flame in both developers and gamers alike.
The HTC Vive and Oculus Rift both bring a lot to offer and this article compares their features head on. Here is the comparison: Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive:
Battle of Virtual Reality Headsets: HTC Vive Vs. Oculus Rift
See Also: 10 Budget VR Headsets Under $30
Installing the Headsets
Figuring out where the HDMI cables and USB cables go into our computers is no difficult task because we already know where they go. The main thing to consider in ease of installing the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive is how much time they take till you get to use them.
The HTC Vive’s base stations, which allow movement tracking over a large area take much of the spotlight from the Oculus Rift, but they it’s a stressful task to install them. First, they need a big empty space, for the play area, in a room just to track a player’s movements. They have to be diagonally opposite to each other, pointing downward and connected to a power outlet. Installing software is easy for the HTC Vive; it only requires installing the Steam VR add-on in Steam and requires calibration of the play area which doesn’t take much time.
On the other hand, installing the Oculus Rift is so much easier. Just plug in every wire to its respective port, install the Oculus Rift software, which shouldn’t take much time, and you’re good to go. It takes merely less than 10 minutes to setup the Oculus Rift.
So the winner in this is obviously the Oculus Rift due to its easy and quick installation.
Image Quality Comparison
Both the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift feature two displays inside the headsets with 1080×1200 pixels for each display with a 90 Hz refresh rate and 110-degree field of view. Both of the displays in the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift make you feel immersed in the virtual reality experience but at a cost.
Pixels appear to be larger in both headsets since the displays appear very near due to the lens. Normally this wouldn’t matter when you are looking at fast moving objects or animations, but this problem makes reading text difficult and sometimes you won’t feel very fine details in the graphics. This is referred to as the “screen-door” effect.
Being the first generation of VR headsets, the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift still have a long way to go in perfecting graphics rendering and correction regarding the screen-door effect.
So in this category, the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift are at a tie.
Comfort While Wearing the Headsets
No doubt, the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift are excellently designed VR headsets, but their design comes into test when you actually wear them and how comfortable they feel. Both headsets make you feel claustrophobic at first, but you should get used to them with time.
The elastic straps on the HTC Vive felt like they were cutting into the skin at times, but the Oculus Rift straps were comfortable without any stress or strain on the skin unless you have adjusted the straps very tightly. The HTC Vive completely covers your eyes but you can see your surroundings through the front facing camera whenever you want while wearing the headset. You can look down a little at your feet while wearing the Oculus Rift, but you will have to completely take them off to look around. The Oculus Rift’s headphones fold up while you are not using them but the HTC Vive does not have headphones and you will be using your own, so that adds to the already long wires that come along with it.
The Oculus Rift wins this round.
The Price Tag
Neither headset is cheap. Both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive carry a hefty price tag at $600 and $800 respectively along with a high-end gaming PC which alone would cost around $1000. The price is a huge barrier for people who are not PC gamers, but want to get into VR gaming.
Of course when you talk about the $800 price tag on the HTC Vive, you are getting to play on a large play area with motion controllers which the Oculus Rift currently does not have. Along with that, you are getting to choose games from a big collection of VR titles already available on Steam, whereas the Oculus Rift has a small collection of games. The Rift’s motion controllers will release later this year, but there is no price confirmed yet but it will most probably lie between $150 and $200, which is still pretty much, considering you get the whole VR package when you get the HTC Vive.
The HTC Vive takes the upper hand for its value for money.
The HTC Vive and Oculus Rift both have both have their plus points. I would love to see a headset with the comfort of the Oculus Rift and the motion controllers, software integration of the HTC Vive. It sometimes becomes difficult in deciding which is the better one. So it’s entirely up to you, the consumer, who should decide between the two, which looks better to you, which do you think has the better potential to deliver quality VR experience.