Oculus Rift, HTC Vive or Google Cardboard? Which VR headset should you opt for
Looks like this is the week of VR headsets. You can preorder HTC Vive, Oculus Rift or Google Cardboard with all of them looking to expand their market share in the not so explored VR market which is still a goldmine. While Oculus Rift has got the luxury of being a dominant VR headset from the very beginning, HTC Vive brings with it the experience of Valve, developer of industry’s most loved games. Add Google to the tally who has been trying to bring affordable VR experience to the users in the easiest way possible.
So which VR headset should you go for? That question can only be answered after knowing what you want from your VR experience and for what platform you are using it. That said I can guide you on it based on facts and the hardware configuration.
Both HTC Vive and Oculus Rift have almost the same hardware configuration with Intel i5-4590 CPU and Nvidia GTX AMD R9 290 graphics card. Also, both of them run on Windows 7 SP1 (or higher) OS and have a OLED display resolution of 1200×1800 per eye at 90Hz. The diagonal field of view is also same at 110 degrees.
Where they differ is the available RAM which is 8GB+ for Oculus Rift and 4GB+ for HTC Vive. They both use different body tracking hardware as Vive uses Lighthouse base stations which emit photosensors which are tracked by motion controllers. While rift uses optical sensor connected to the PC for locating position of headset and controllers.
With Oculus Rift you’ll get Oculus Remote, wireless sensors for head-tracking and Xbox One controller. While HTC Vive headset comes with wireless controllers.
Oculus Rift will come with Lucky’s Tale and EVE: Valkyrie whereas HTC Vive will have a much stronger lineup of Job Simulator 2050, Tilt Brush and Fantastic Contraption.
Oculus says it is going to make 100 + games available for the VR headset with titles like Minecraft and Rock Band. HTC Valve will have around 20 + titles and it is clear that Oculus leads in this comparison.
Since HTC Vive is going to have its own ecosystem of wireless controllers and head-tracking equipment, it has a far better gaming experience. Whereas Oculus Rift heads in VR applications that rely on high-end immersive graphics.
HTC Vive is priced $200 more than Oculus Rift which has a selling price point of $599. HTC priced at $799 is quite heavy on the pocket, but it also has a much better VR experience, especially in gaming.
Both headsets are up for pre-order from today and shipment for HTC Vive is slated by 5 April 16 while Oculus Rift will arrive on 28 March 2016.
HTC Vive has a higher price point but it is worth it while Oculus has the whole package in a good price point.
PlayStation VR is also arriving soon, so you should keep your options open if you are a gaming buff. For people who want minimalistic VR experience using their Samsung Galaxy smartphones Google Cardboard with a dirt cheap price tag of $25 for a pair is worth it. Another good budget option is the $99 Samsung Gear VR headset.
Any which way you have a whole lot to expect from VR gaming and other applications in the coming decade. Virtual reality is the next big technological evolution and proactive companies have got plans for it. This is just the beginning and I bet you it is going to get even better in the near future.