Oculus Rift or HTC VIVE?
The video game industry has been in a constant state of evolution for decades now. With each console generation that passes, the hardware gets more advanced, the graphics get more mind blowing, and the games themselves become more and more immersive.
That last point is an important one. Never before has it been so possible to get totally immersed in the video game experience. And it’s all thanks to the rise of virtual reality technology.
Two of the big name VR headsets available on the market today are the Oculus Rift and the HTC VIVE. Both pieces of equipment are phenomenal virtual reality headsets, but which one is the right choice for you?
That’s what we’re going to help you figure out today as we put the two headsets up against one another in a head-to-head comparison in order to determine the best pick – is it the Oculus Rift or HTC VIVE?
The Oculus Rift
- Get 6 free titles, including: Robo Recall, Luckyʼs Tale, Quill, Medium, Dead and Buried, and Toybox
- Riftʼs ultra-low-latency tracking offers unparalleled immersion
- The Oculus Touch controllers bring your hands into VR, letting you interact naturally with the virtual world
- NVIDIA GTX 1050Ti/AMD Radeon RX 470 or greater Graphics Card Required and a RAM of 8 GB+ RAM
- Windows PC and internet connection required - review recommended specs to confirm system compatibility
The Oculus Rift is perhaps the most well-known virtual reality headset available. While it’s certainly not the cheapest VR headset out there, it more than makes up for that by offering a nearly unmatched high-quality VR experience – whether you’re playing the latest game or enjoying a newly released movie.
When you purchase the Oculus Rift, it also comes with a total of six full-featured VR games that are included. This is noteworthy because it means you’ll immediately be able to jump in and test out the virtual reality waters without needing to purchase any additional software.
The Rift is mainly intended to be used with PC gaming hardware (and you’ll need a pretty beefy gaming setup to get the most out of the headset as well), although Microsoft have also recently rolled out a streaming app that lets Oculus Rift owners play their favorite Xbox One games in VR.
The Oculus Rift also has built-in high latency tracking that ensures a virtually (no pun intended) lag-free experience when gaming. On top of that, it comes with dual hand controllers that allow for precision controls while maneuvering through VR environments.
It should be noted that none of this would mean anything if the Oculus Rift was uncomfortable to wear for extended gaming periods. Thankfully, that isn’t the case at all; in fact, the Oculus just might be the most comfortable VR headset that we’ve used out of several that we’ve tested. However, it is a bit bulky, which is important to keep in mind if you prefer more compact gaming hardware.
The only real negative that we could find with the Oculus Rift is that it will require you to have pretty good PC specs in order to get the most out of it. To be fair though, you’re going to need to have a pretty solid gaming PC setup to be able to enjoy many of the newer gaming titles coming out in 2019 and beyond, so whether or not that’s truly a con for the Rift is debatable.
For more information on the Oculus Rift, you can also check out our detailed review by clicking here.
The HTC VIVE
- FLEXIBLE PLAY AREA - Use VIVE seated, standing or in a space up to 11'5" x 11'5". SteamVR Tracking provides the most ideal experience possible, so play the way that works for you.
- FULLY IMMERSIVE - Realistic movement and actions from precise, 360-degree controller and headset tracking with realistic graphics, directional audio and HD haptic feedback in the virtual world
- POWERED BY STEAM VR - Enjoy over 1500 games for SteamVR, plus everything you love about Steam, including new releases, automatic game updates and millions of your closest friends
- PLAY SAFER - The Chaperone system warns you when you reach the boundaries of your play area and the headset's front-facing camera gives you a glimpse of the real-world when you need it
- VIVE VIDEO - An immersive, cinematic VR video player for standard, 3D, 180 and 360 degree videos. Available free on VIVEPORT and Steam.
With the growing popularity of the Oculus Rift and VR gaming in general, it’s no surprise that other companies have entered the market as well. The HTC VIVE is another outstanding virtual reality headset that’s more than worth your time and attention.
Built for use with PC games (it’s designed to be used with Steam games to be more specific), the VIVE is another piece of hardware that needs a pretty high-end gaming PC setup to get the most out of it. But considering that it’s never been more affordable to build your own solid gaming rig, that really shouldn’t put anyone off.
One thing that may indeed turn some consumers off is the hefty price tag attached to the HTC VIVE. While it’s admittedly quite an expensive piece of hardware, it also more than delivers on value.
The VIVE comes fully featured with dual 360-degree controllers, HD haptic feedback, directional audio, and headset tracking. All of this combines beautifully to make one truly immersive VR gaming experience.
Gaming with the HTC VIVE is powered by Steam and VIVEPORT, which offers the largest selection of virtual reality-enabled games in the world. Purchasing the HTC VIVE actually lets you get a free two month VIVEPORT trial as well, which will let you try out five different VR-enabled titles per month for one low price with a full subscription. In our opinion, VIVEPORT is well worth the price of admission when you consider that it has well over 300+ VR games on offer.
The VIVE also features built-in sensors that will automatically detect when you’re near the boundaries of the room you’re playing in. While normally the VIVE supports a 15’ x 15’ playing space, it can auto-adjust to be used within a 6’ x 5’ room as well.
For more information on the HTC VIVE, feel free to check out our detailed review by clicking right here.
There’s no denying that the Oculus Rift and the HTC VIVE are two of the premiere hardware options available to gamers in 2019. They’re both fantastic products that are pretty much guaranteed to make you one happy gamer.
But which one do we prefer? The answer may surprise you.
Do you want to play your favorite Xbox One titles in VR along with the latest and greatest PC gaming releases? Then the Oculus Rift is probably a better choice thanks to the Microsoft Xbox streaming app.
On the other hand, if you’re already well established in the Steam ecosystem and you primarily plan to play PC games in VR, you really can’t go wrong at all with the HTC VIVE.
At the end of the day, both VR headsets are incredibly stellar options. For this reason, we can easily recommend both of these headsets if you’re looking to take your first steps into the world of virtual reality gaming.