|VR Headsets||HTC Vive||Oculus Rift||PlayStation VR||Samsung Gear||Google Cardboard|
|Experience||Seated, Standing, Room-scale VR||Seated, Standing||Seated, Standing||Seated VR||Seated VR|
|Field of View||110 degrees||110 degrees||100 degrees||96 degrees||Varies|
|Headset Weight||1.2 lbs||1.0 lbs||1.3 lbs||0.7 lbs (without phone)||0.2 lbs (without phone)|
|Price||$799 (controllers and sensors are included with this price)||$878 (with the new controllers + sensors coming out)||$499 Package that comes with controllers, and PS Camera ($399 core)||$99||$14|
|Buy on Amazon||Buy HTC Vive on Amazon||Buy Oculus Amazon||Buy PS VR Amazon||Buy Samsung Gear||Buy Google Cardboard|
2016 is the year of virtual reality. It’s almost over, and all of the main VR companies have played their hand. We got the HTC Vive that is partnered with Valve, the Oculus Rift owned by Facebook, and finally, the PlayStation VR owned by Sony.
In addition, we also have another new edition of Samsung’s Gear VR which is decent for Samsung mobile users. The question is, which VR headset is the best for you?
Each VR platform has it’s advantages and disadvantages, as well as exclusive games–so in this article we will go over the pros and cons of each device so that you can decide which is the best VR headset for you.
If you lack a powerful desktop computer but have one of the three PlayStation consoles (the Slim. Regular, or the Pro), the PlayStation VR is the perfect fit for you. It’s one of the easiest VR experiences to set up with the least cables, and a lot of people love how it approaches VR in a casual manner.
The PlayStation VR headset is super comfortable, looks cool with the lights, and it’s easy to use in the living room with friends. Some limitations are that the PS VR doesn’t have as advanced sensor tracking as the Vive, and it’s mainly a sit-down or stand VR experience, instead of something like the Vive’s more interactive active VR experience. To see our full thoughts on the PS VR, check out our review here.
The full PlayStation VR package is still a bit pricey at $499, but if you have the PlayStation Camera and move controllers, you can get the PlayStation VR headset itself for only $399 which is much cheaper than the HTC Vive at $799 and the more limited Oculus Rift at $599.
Cheapest “real” VR Experience
Good exclusives already on the platform
Easy to setup and use in a living room
Best looking VR Headset
Tracking is not as accurate as HTC Vive
Graphical fidelity limited by the computing power of PS4
Controllers feel a bit dated
Whereas the PlayStation VR holds back a bit (perhaps limited by the PlayStation tech or by trying to be affordable) by implementing a practical VR experience with one camera tracking only, the HTC goes all out with full room scale tracking that uses multiple sensors to track your every move. You also get the best VR controllers out right now, and the most accurate tracking.
The HTC Vive’s headset is super comfortable, and the experience can be the most immersive if you have a powerful computer to support it. It’s pricey at $799, but the controllers, extra sensors, and the overall tech inside the product make it worth it. Vive has the lighthouse solution technology implemented (an advanced lighting system to map out rooms and movements–which could eventually mean more third party trackable products released making the Vive even more powerful.To see more about why we loved the HTC Vive, check out our review here.
One of the most alluring things about the Vive is that it is partnered with Valve–which is almost a guarantee that we will see some amazing gaming experiences in the near future on PC’s biggest gaming library-platform; Steam.
The Vive doesn’t have exclusives per se, like the PS VR’s Batman–but it does have a ton of games coming out every day. You can find things like Job Simulator on it, as well as other truly immersive games within Steam’s VR category like Raw Data and Vanishing Realms.
Best room-tracking VR experience bar none
Regarded as more comfortable than the Rift
Lighthouse technology seems very promising for the future of HTC Vive
Partnered with Valve
Great controllers out of box
Great peripheral vision
Cool games on Steam
Might see new HTC Vive controllers in the future
Potential wireless solution rumors?
Valve has opened up tracking system to third parties which hints at third party peripheral explosion
Headset can be heavy to some users
Doesn’t come with built-in headphones like Rift
The Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive are the two choices you have when choosing PC virtual reality. However, it’s not that close of a competition from a price point and comparison of the VR experience. Simply put, the Rift has limitations where the HTC Vive does not. The Rift is still a decent VR device by some accounts–but it’s just the weaker option.
Right now, the Rift is $599–which is good, since it’s cheaper, but it only comes with a Xbox controller whereas the Vive comes with two VR made controllers. The Rift also only has one camera sensor whereas the Vive has multiple room sensors.
A lot of these differences are going to be smaller when the Rift launches more peripheral sensors and controllers, supposedly this December of 2016, but once that happens, the combined total of the Rift will be more expensive than the Vive by nearly $100.
It’s also worth noting that even though the Oculus Rift is light, it’s not as comfortable as the HTC Vive (the Vive fits large heads very well). For the most part, the core VR experience regarding screen resolution and visuals should be similar–however.
Oculus Rift seems more bent on exclusive deals than the Vive, and there has been significant controversy surrounding parent Company Facebook and how they should handle DRM with the Rift. Earlier in the year, they locked Vive owners from accessing Rift games even after purchases. Now, it’s been removed, but the precedent still stands, and a lot of gamers feel bitter on how the Rift has developed over time.
For our full thoughts on the Rift, see our review here.
Great angular resolution (sees things in distance better, whereas the HTC Vive feels wider and more immersive?)
Less system intensive than HTC Vive (although the Vive Nvidia update will come soon)
Cool built-in headphones
Many surmise Oculus Touch controllers will be amazing
Some find it’s not good for large heads, can feel like a tight fit
Most expensive VR solution with Oculus Touch controllers + extra sensors needed to compete with HTC Vive experience
Limited support for Oculus Touch controllers–might take a while for games to implement capabilities whereas Vive has games supported already for Vive controllers
Samsung Gear Mobile VR
Lastly, we have the Mobile VR device–the Samsung Gear VR. It’s a bit disappointing to see that there isn’t too much competition here from other brands like Apple, Microsoft, or Google. It’s just the Samsung Gear VR iterations. This time around it’s improved, and you can see our full look at the Gear VR in this review.
If you don’t want to spend $400-800 on VR, the Gear Mobile VR is a decent pick, and it’ll get you started on the VR experience. However, keep in mind, it’s mainly just some goggles attached to your phone–not a true VR experience with room tracking, controllers, and an actual VR screen like in the other VR headsets.
Cheapest “best” VR experience (you can find cheaper things like Google Cardboard)
More comfortable than Gen 1 Samsung Gear VR
Only compatible with Samsung phones
Made primarily for Note 7, and Note 7 has been recalled in mass scale
Thanks for reading our HTC Vive vs Oculus Rift vs PlayStation VR vs Mobile VR comparision! Which VR headset is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!