What is the best VR Headset for me? Oculus Rift or HTC Vive?

As the release of consumer VR headsets draws ever closer, one key question remains unanswered. What side of the virtual fence will you sit on? 

For those of you that can’t wait a second past release day to get your eager hands on a HMD, we want to help you make the toughest decision of 2016; Oculus Rift or HTC vive?

Tech Spec

table oculusLets start by getting a general overview of what you can expect from each device upon release. The table on the right compares tech-specs alongside bundled extras. 

After analysing the table I’m sure you’re probably thinking: “The differences seem so minimal, i’d be a fool to spend £190 more on the HTC Vive”. If price plays a big factor in your decision then I would be inclined to agree with you. However, before we completely jump the gun, lets take a deeper look into the key differences. 

Built in Headphones

With the addition of built-in headphones, the Rift sets itself apart as an all in one system that would make the plug and play generation feel right at home. This is a real drawback for the Vive as the addition of a decent set of headphones brings set up cost even higher.

The Rift also has the capability to plug in your own set of headphones, so the built in option shouldn’t deter true audiophiles.

Lens Distance Adjustment

The Vive gives the user these capability to adjust how far the lenses are from your face. This is a great feature if you need a bit of extra room for your glasses or if you want to adjust the field of view. 

Room-Scale VR

Here’s where we start to see the real difference between the two devices. The HTC Vive will support room-scale VR from the offset. In layman’s terms: users will be able to use their full body for control in a completely immersive VR experience, which tracks body movements around a 15 x 15 ft. space.

The Rift will eventually support this type of interaction by adding extra sensors, but we haven’t been given an official timescale for this features integration into the system. 

This emphasis on room scale VR means that the Vive team have included a nifty front camera to the device. This comes into play when a user gets too close to an object in the physical world and will stop you from bumping into walls.

Bundled Controllers

When you purchase the Vive it comes bundled with motion controllers, which could be a factor in its higher price tag. However, general opinion is that the Rift’s touch controllers will be superior. The oculus rift does come bundled with an Xbox 1 controller, which leads us to believe that the majority of launch content will be focused around seated gaming experiences. 

Phone Sync

Another great feature that is exclusive to the Vive is that it can sync with your phone via Bluetooth, so that you can answer calls and reply to texts from within your virtual world. This will mean that users don’t have to be completely disconnected from reality whilst using the device and won’t miss any important calls. 

Bundled Games

Despite both device bundles coming with two games; HTC have alluded that its release games are for a limited time only. The Rift, on the other hand, should be permanent. 

The Rift will come with: ‘Lucky’s Tale’ and ‘EVE: Valkyrie’ titles, whereas, the Vive will be bundled with ‘Job Simulator’ and ‘Fantastic Contraption’ (both of which make great use of Room-Scale technology).

Summary

After taking a deeper look into the differences, we’re still struggling to decide who will be taking our money on release date. It’s safe to say that the Oculus will appear more attractive due to its price tag but without confirmation on the price of its motion controllers, who can say what the full bundle will actually cost the end user?

Whilst the Vive does boast some extra features ready for release, the Rift’s bundled games are superior in our opinion. Baring all this in mind we think you’re likely to get more bang for your buck with the Rift on release! Either way, there will always be split opinion when it comes to first generation technology. Let us know what you think will be better, Oculus Rift or HTC Vive? 

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