Well, it’s finally happened. The “big two” is now the “big three” in the world of virtual reality headsets. Since April, the high-end VR market has been a contest between two main champions: the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive. On October 13, however, a third fighter entered the ring: Sony’s PlayStation VR.
Although the Rift and Vive have enjoyed a six month head start on the PS VR, Sony has the opportunity to catch up quickly. The other two headsets require extremely powerful and costly personal computers, but Sony’s system runs on the PlayStation 4, which is already in over forty million living rooms worldwide.
Distribution aside, now that all three headsets are out in the wild, early adopters have a decision to make. The cost of these devices means that, in most cases, consumers will only be able to purchase one. With that being the case, the question to all of you this week becomes this: which of these three headsets is the best buy (sponsorship pending) at this stage of the game?
Before you drop your answer in the comments there are a few factors to consider.
Cost: There are a myriad of costs to consider when purchasing a VR headset, but let’s start with the most immediate. The HTC Vive is the priciest at $799, the Rift is next at $599, and the PS VR is the least expensive at $399. The PS VR also has the cheapest out-the-door price since you can run the entire thing with a relatively inexpensive PS4 ($399) rather than a $500+ PC. However, the PS VR also requires a PlayStation Camera and PlayStation Move Controllers. You can pick these up for about $499.
Capability: The next thing you have to think about after you’ve emptied your wallet into the retailer of your choice is the performance capabilities of each headset. The Vive and PS VR currently have hand controller options and the Rift will be getting its own come December.
The Vive has an advantage with its “room-scale” experiences with a lighthouse tracking system. The Rift will be able to have comparable experiences when Touch arrives but PS VR will struggle to get you moving around too much for the foreseeable future.
Early reviews are also noting that the resolutions, positional and hand tracking for the PS VR is slightly below the standard set by the Rift and Vive.
Content: Last but not least you’ll need to decide which headset has the games and experiences you want to enjoy. Despite the best efforts of some in the community, both the Oculus Rift and the PS VR do have exclusive experiences; many experiences on the Vive can be run on the Rift, but most will have to wait until Touch to be fully accessible. PlayStation is the most closed system with many exclusives and a few ports that needed to be specially redesigned for the Sony headset.
Time to Decide: It’s all on the table. Which of these three cutting-edge systems is worth your hard earned dollar? Let us know in the comments below and, if you do own more than one headset, let us know which one you find superior.
Have at it!
Featured Image Credit: Geek Culture