Two prominent candidates in virtual reality for computers are the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive. Both products will be released in 2016, so how do you choose between them?
Here’s a quick look at how facebook oculus rift and HTC vive get along in some critical areas to help you make a decision.
- Audio and Camera
- PC Equipment Conditions
- Virtual Realities
- Oculus vs. Vive: Screen Display
- Oculus vs. Vive: Availability
The news here is that the two systems are quite similar. The headset’s resolution is identical: OLED screens of 2160×1200 pixels, a field of view of 110degrees, and a refresh rate of 90Hz.
Also, both systems work with personal computers and not with proprietary systems. After all, most VR games are designed with open standards that work for both the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive.
The Oculus will ship with an Xbox One controller when it launches in the spring, and its Oculus Touch controllers will arrive later this year.
While the Xbox controller design is well known in the gaming world and probably familiar to many gamers, the real prospective intuitive touch controls in VR won’t be possible until the Touch is delivered.
The Vive comes with several lamp-shaped drivers with great reviews from most who have tried them so far. The pads on the side and top of the controller allow for natural squeezing movements, while the finger’s triggers can simulate a squeeze weapon.
If you want the most advanced virtual reality controller experience possible at startup, Vive will provide it.
Audio and Camera
Although the sound specifications of the two headphones are similar, there are some significant differences. Oculus includes stereo headphones inside the headphones themselves.
You can detach the headphones if you want to use your own.
HTC Vive includes a front camera that provides “augmented reality” in Vive’s virtual reality. Currently, augmented reality prevents you from finding real-world objects in a virtual environment.
You can also see the world or environment around you in Vive, enjoying a glass of water and a drink. Unlike Rift, Vive doesn’t come with headphones, so you’ll need to secure yours.
PC Equipment Conditions
Here are the IT requirements for the Oculus Rift announced in mid-2015:
- Intel i5-4590 equivalent or better
- AMD R9 290 or NVIDIA GTX 970 or later
- 8 GB of RAM or more
- USB 2.0 USB 3.0 plus 1x HDMI 1.3 and 3x
- Windows 7 64-bit or later
The system requirements for the Vive are similar to those for the Rift, with a few minor differences:
- AMD FX 8350 equivalent or Intel i5-4590 or better
- AMD R9 290 or NVIDIA GTX 970 or later
- 4 GB of RAM or more
- HDMI 1.4, DisplayPort 1.2 or later
- Windows 7 SP 1 or later
At launch, the Oculus Rift will feature two games, EVE: Valkyrie and Lucky’s Tale, with headphones. EVE: Valkyrie is a multiplayer spaceship battle, while Lucky’s Tale is played on a platform developed by Team Oculus.
Oculus has spent a lot of money developing virtual reality games and has already announced a partnership with an impressive number of studios to ensure their games reach Oculus.
Exclusive titles include the action mountaineering simulator, The Climb, and Edge of Nowhere, while games confirmed for Oculus (but not necessarily complete) include Rock Band VR, Bullet Train, etc.
Vive does not yet have a true exclusivity. Still, since the headphones are in part produced by Valve, the company behind Steam, you can bet Vive will be the best way to experience Valve titles or other games created with Valve’s virtual reality development tools.
The main difficulty with Vive when it comes to gaming is that its room size tracking capabilities may provide a better gaming experience with titles that support it than Rift’s more limited tracking.
Demonstrations of Vive games, such as Tilt Brush Artistic Brush, Valve’s Aperture Science, and Job Simulator, focus on the freedom of movement offered by Vive’s larger tracking area.
Oculus vs. Vive: Screen Display
The Rift S’s display has changed from the Rift CV1, subtracting the dual OLED’s deep colors for a single backlit LCD. Each eye sees a resolution of 2560×1440 – 1280×1440 combined – which is more than Vive’s combined resolution of (1080×1200 for each eye) 2160×1200.
While the Rift S has a higher resolution and should show much less Screen Effect (SDE) for a clearer picture without as much magnification as you see, it has a lower refresh rate of 80Hz. It will not usually have the same contrast you see on the AMOLED screen.
If you like many games with a black background, like Elite Dangerous, Vive is probably more suitable because you will get a truer color. One of the biggest complaints we’ve seen from new Rift S users is the lack of a manually adjustable interpupillary distance (IPD).
IPD is software that runs Rift S, and if your eyes don’t fall from an average length, you’ll have a more challenging time finding perfect vision. HTC Vive, on the other hand, has a physical IPD button on the side that offers more control, giving you a better chance of a perfect view, even if your eyes have unusual space.
Oculus vs. Vive: Availability
The HTC Vive replaced the Vive Cosmos, which is now available, but many people still want to get the original hardware.
Unfortunately, most vendors jacked up the price of the authentic Vive way above what it should be, at least for the newer models (which are almost impossible to find).
One of the last places you can find Vive is Amazon, which has an extensive collection of used Vive models for sale.
The Rift S is also missing, and it’s priced a lot higher than it should be. If you’re looking for an alternative, Oculus Quest may be easier to find and offers a similar experience at a lower price.