2016 seems to be the year of virtual reality and in a big way! There are a lot of virtual reality systems that are making the rounds in the market, giving the consumer loads of options to choose from. So how does one know which one’s the best? Given that the systems don’t come cheap, one needs to check all the specs before buying the best one available, here you are a comparison between Oculus Rift vs HTC Vive vs PlayStation VR.
Probably the most known of the VR systems, Oculus Rift was started through crowdfunding and then was acquired by Facebook. This combines a headset which has sensors for both eyes and integrated headphones. This is already out in the market and ships in with an Xbox controller. The Oculus Rift controllers are expected to start shipping out in the later part of 2016. To use this system, one would require a high-end PC as well, which makes the price tag on this, $500, a bit steep. But Oculus delivers the bang for the buck as the graphics delivered are uncanny and amazingly realistic. The pre-orders are being shipped out now, so you would probably have to wait till the later half of the year if you order now.
The HTC Vive is based on a similar model to the Oculus but it allows more freedom of movement to the user. There are sensors mounted on the walls during it’s usage which tracks the space available for the user and is integrated directly into the virtual environment. This prevents the user from banging into walls or breaking the china you’ve kept for special occasions. The headset is top notch with sensors which work perfectly but you would have to wear additional headphones with this system. This also requires a PC to run. Currently, Viva is already offering bespoke controllers which are also mapped out in the 3D space, offering a smooth and easy experience. The downside is that there needs to be enough space for the distance sensors to work perfectly, so you would have to set it up in a big room. Also, it is the costliest VR system in the market right now, being priced at a hefty $799.
The PlayStation VR is PlayStation run system, rather than PC run, which offers the user the chance to minimize the cost for using it. It was christened PlayStation VR from its earlier name of Project Morpheus. This hasn’t been made available to the public as yet and the initial lot of delivery would be done in October 2016. The headset used in this system is a medium ranged $399 and since it is connected to the PlayStation console rather than a high-end PC, the overall price of the system is lesser than the Oculus or the Vive. One aspect where the PlayStation VR punches below the other two systems is the screen resolution, since it uses the console rather than a PC. The motion tracking is done via the console camera and the original controllers are used in accordance which would be seen by many as an easier alternative to experience VR systems rather than go for a completely different set-up. Initial events and mini-games have been well received by the public and there will be lots of innovative content generated for the PlayStation VR once it is launched to the public.
All said and done, these are only some of the VR systems that are coming out in this year. By initial reviews, the Oculus and the Vive offer a great panoramic VR experience which seems to be great value for the steep price they command. But if you don’t want to shell out big bucks, then the PlayStation VR is a very good alternative since it fits into a system which is already loved by consumers.
Oculus Rift – ****
HTC Vive -****
PlayStation VR – ***
That’s all for now VR aficionados, we’ll be back with some more systems and the lowdown on all of them soon!