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Oculus Rift vs HTC Vive vs PlayStation VR!

Hey guys this is Austin. With three major VR headsets launching this year, which one should you go for? To kick things off let’s take a look at one of the biggest products at the show, the Oculus Rift. Only a couple weeks away from release I got to try a couple games on it, Chronos by Gunfire Games and The Climb by Crytek. Especially when you compare how far things have come since the original dev kit Oculus is impressive, it’s now using a pair of OLED displays for your eyes with a positional sensor to track your movement in 3D space. The experience is good, playing the Climb at a solid 90 frames per second feels great and while you can absolutely see pixels it’s an immersive enough experience for you to look past the tech. Chronos was an interesting example of a third person RPG that gives you a lot of incentive to look around to spot enemies before they drop down on you.

For a $600 headset though the Oculus doesn’t feel too premium, it’s adjusted with velcro straps and while it works if you wear glasses like me it’s not the easiest to get on and off. The Xbox One controller that’s included with the Rift works fine for most games but when the Touch controllers ship to give you full hand control in the game that should help a lot. And that’s exactly what you’ll find with the HTC Vive. There’s no getting around it, the Vive is the best VR experience I’ve ever tried. Technically it’s very similar to Oculus, the displays are good but not perfect and the headset is comfortable but lacking a little polish but what really separates it is the full room tracking.

With the help of a pair of Lighthouse sensors and a decent sized room the Vive lets you walk around and really immerse yourself in the VR world. This is helped by the controllers which give you basically perfect tracking in virtual reality, I could easily reach down and pick them up purely based on what I was seeing in the headset. The tracking is uncanny, I kept touching the controllers in real life just to see how accurate my view in the game world was…and well I looked like a crazy person but you know. I got to try a pair of demos, Everest VR and Star Wars: Trials of Tatooine. Thanks to the beastly dual Titan rig Nvidia was using to run demos this was a clear step up graphically over some of the other games I tried and being able to use the controllers paired with walking through the room is a massive advantage in immersing yourself in VR. We couldn’t record the actual gameplay but when you get too close to the real life wall a transparent grid shows up in the game world to keep you from running into things, it works pretty well.

My favorite demo was Star Wars, I won’t spoil it too much but you get to fix the Millennium Falcon and use a lightsaber to fend off a wave of Stormtroopers. The thing that really blew me away was the detail, I kept putting my face right up against things just to appreciate how incredible everything looked. As amazing as the Vive is the though need to have a dedicated space makes it really impractical compared to the others but that doesn’t keep it from being absolutely badass. I also got the chance to spend some time with PlayStation VR. The first thing that jumps out at me is that this seems like the most polished headset yet, where Oculus and Vive feel vaguely like prototypes PS VR feels ready for the big time.

Unlike the others that run off an expensive gaming PC PlayStation VR is powered by a PS4. The basic ingredients are similar, a fast refreshing OLED display and lights on the headset that are tracked by the PlayStation Camera for positional tracking but everything is just a notch less intense. The screen is lower res and the games aren’t quite as graphically polished as on Oculus and Vive which should be no surprise, the PS4 and PS VR combined cost less than the gaming PC you need to run the others, not even counting the price of the headsets. I’d say the experience is 80 percent as good too, it feels very similar to Rift as it’s meant to be played seated and while the lower resolution means you’re losing some much needed detail this is by far the most practical VR setup for most people. Each headset is solid and they each have a unique selling point. The Oculus is right there with the Vive as far as quality goes while being far easier to setup. With the HTC Vive you’re getting the closest thing to a Holodeck I’ve ever tried but it’s expensive and impractical.

PlayStation VR might be the best middle ground, it’s far cheaper while delivering a solid experience without needing an entire room to enjoy. So which VR headset would you guys go for?

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