When things get boring and reviews get too mundane, that is the time when you get to see comparison posts on the website! Although there have been posts comparing two of the major VR headsets, I thought let’s bring all the best three VR headsets of 2016 in a single comparison post for a better outlook of their features and functionality.
By this time the next year, we would have more PC VR headsets for comparison and it would be pretty interesting to see which of the headsets make it and which of them are just a blend of useless features. For now, let’s see how the three major VR headsets which are the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR differ from each other by comparing features that these VR headsets proudly boast about.
Before getting started let’s straighten out one of the major difference between the three VR headsets. The PlayStation VR is the console based VR headset and the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive are PC VR headsets.
Design and Display
The Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and the PlayStation VR are pretty different when it comes to the designs of each of the VR headsets. The PlayStation VR owns the game when it comes to the look and design of the VR headset and you can find some similarity when it comes to the Rift and the Vive but the PlayStation VR looks completely different.
The black and white combination with blue LED lights on the PlayStation VR makes it look like one of the best VR headsets. Coming to the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive, both of them are black in color and have a slightly different design. Honestly, I would like the Oculus Rift design slightly better since it looks more simple and subtle in comparison to the Vive.
However, the decision of which design is better really depends on the person and your opinion might be different than mine, if you do think that then go ahead and let us know which VR headset is with the best design in the comment section below.
Comfort becomes an important factor if you are considering long hours of gaming sessions and it is safe to say that both the Oculus Rift and the Vive are slightly more comfortable than the PlayStation VR. The only thing you might want to consider in the PS VR is that in comparison to the other two VR headsets, you sweat a bit more because of the difference in the design of the three VR headsets.
Moving on to the display of these VR headsets, both the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive have the same display of 2160 x 1200 and contains an OLED display, the PlayStation VR, on the other hand, has a 5.7 inch 1920 x 1080 OLED display with RGB sub-pixels which gives a much more smoother experience in VR.
The Oculus Rift and the Vive both own the game when it comes to having a better display hence giving a relatively better VR experience. Although the PlayStation VR has its own upsides which include the RGB subpixels and the final advantage that it is the only console-based VR headset.
Refresh Rate and Field of View
The refresh rate for the Vive and the Oculus Rift are the same which is 90 Hz. The PlayStation VR has a refresh rate of 120 Hz and it might look like the VR headset with the better refresh rate will give you a better VR experience but when it comes to these three VR headsets, you will find that the headsets do not have too much difference while taking the overall VR experience into consideration.
Lag in the VR experiences can be a major let down and you will not have any in all the three VR headsets, so you could be assured that the refresh rates are pretty amazing. There was a motion sickness issue with the PlayStation VR in a few titles but it was later on resolved by the developers. So when it comes to refresh rates, all the three VR headsets have their game on!
Field of View is another major aspect in these VR headsets and it can actually make a difference in your VR experience. The HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift have a field of view of 110 degrees and the PlayStation VR has an FOV of 100 degrees. Even though it might look like there is a slight difference but that does make your experience whole better in VR headsets like Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive.
Considering the FOV it is obvious that you should consider the Rift or the Vive and when it comes to refresh rates, I honestly feel that the three VR headsets do not have any major difference, however, if you want to go by the numbers then it is better to go with the PlayStation VR.
Controllers and Positional Tracking
When it comes to positional tracking, the Oculus Rift and the Vive come with room scale tracking. Initially, it was just the Vive that has the room scale tracking but now even the Oculus Rift comes with room scale positional tracking which makes the VR experience more immersive.
VR is all about interacting inside the game and feeling like you are physically present in the game and with room scale positional tracking, the VR experiences are made much more realistic and fun. The only downside of a room scale positional tracking is that you need a lot of free space.
The positional tracking on the Vive is amazing and without any doubt the best among the three VR headsets. In comparison, the Rift is better than the PlayStation VR which leaves us with the three VR headsets having good positional tracking in the order HTC vive, Oculus Rift and PS VR. I guess, there is a reason why the HTC vive is way expensive than the other two VR headsets.
The controllers on the three VR headset are pretty different from each other. The PlayStation VR has move controllers which are okayish in comparison to the ones that accompany the other two VR headsets. The Touch controllers of the Oculus Rift are pretty amazing and I must say that they are the best when it comes to quality and actually helping you interact with the objects in the VR world.
The Vive controllers were the first one that was launched with the VR headset and then came the Touch controllers of the Oculus Rift. Touch controllers can even track the movement of your fingers which is not possible in the Vive controllers making it slightly better. However, one has to consider the fact that the Rift developers released the touch controllers after a really long time since the release of the consumer version of the Oculus Rift.
In the case of the Move controllers, they are pretty amazing with the PlayStation VR but not as good as the ones you would get with the Oculus Rift or the Vive. PlayStation VR has recently introduced Aim controllers as well but they are just an add on accessories with the PlayStation VR.
Specifications for the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and the PlayStation VR
The PlayStation VR is compatible with the PS4 console and the PS4 pro. This VR headset is a console based VR headset hence all you need to get started with the PlayStation VR is the PS4 Console.
The HTC Vive, on the other hand, needs a powerful PC which would help it run smoothly. These are the specifications required for the HTC Vive-
- Nvidia GTX 970 / AMD Radeon R9 290 graphics card or later.
- HDMI 1.3 output.
- 2x USB 3.0.
- Intel Core i5-4590 (or equivalent)
- 8GB of RAM.
- Windows 7 SP1 or later.
The graphics requirements may drop down after the release of eye-tracking peripherals by the HTC Vive which would be released later this year. Now, more laptops and PC’s are affordable and they are VR ready. You can easily get a VR ready laptop with a budget of around $1000.
The Oculus Rift needs a powerful PC as well which would help it run smoothly. There have been a couple of changes in the specifications with time but the final specifications as of this year is-
- Nvidia 960 or greater (down from Nvidia GTX 970 / AMD 290 equivalent or greater)
- Intel i3-6100 / AMD FX4350 or greater (down from Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater)
- 8GB+ RAM
- Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output
- 1x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0
- Windows 8 or newer
As you can see that they have dropped down the graphics card specs from the time when Oculus was released last year.
Games on the Vive, PlayStation VR and Oculus Rift
The Vive was the first VR headset to release and it has been quite some time since its release and there are a ton of VR games that are compatible with the HTC Vive. The games are amazing on the Vive and the list is never ending. if you have a new Vive then you would be busy checking out each and every game and trust me you are never going to exhaust their collection.
The PlayStation VR has an impressive gameplay and the best part about the two VR headsets is that they have slightly different titles. The Vive and the Oculus Rift pretty much end up with having the same titles(not exactly the same but most of them) but you do find a few different titles in the PlayStation VR and that is interesting.
Cost of the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR
The Oculus Rift is currently on an offer where you can get the VR headset and touch controllers for just $399. This according to me is the best offer you could possibly get for a VR headset like Oculus Rift and if you are planning on investing in a VR headset then this is the best choice.
The HTC Vive costs $799 and includes the touch controllers, VR headset, and sensors, basically everything that you need to get started with gaming on the Vive. The vive is the most expensive VR headset out there and it is worth it. The HTC Vive is worth every dollar and the best part about the VR headset is that they keep updating the content.
HTC Vive would also be including a few accessories like the eye tracking peripheral and the audio strap which is pretty interesting and it really shows that the company is working towards expanding their VR niche. HTC Vive is one of the best VR headsets that you can choose and the best that you would get. The HTC Vive is definitely a buy especially if you have the required PC with all the specs that are needed to run this VR headset.
The PlayStation VR, on the other hand, is a good VR headset especially if you have the PS4 console then you might be a little inclined towards buying this VR headset. If there was a winner then I would clearly pick the HTC Vive but if you are planning to buy a VR headset then you should really think about the system needed to run the Vive and if you are OK with making an investment in a PC/ laptop with the needed specs.
The PlayStation VR bundle which contains the PlayStation VR headset, the move controllers and PlayStation Camera costs $500. The PlayStation VR is relatively less expensive than the Vive but yes, the quality of the Vive is way above in comparison to the PlayStation VR in many aspects.