Tested In-Depth: Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive

We’ve now reviewed both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, but after spending more time with both virtual reality headsets, we’re able to do more direct comparisons between them. Jeremy and Norm discuss in-depth the differences in lenses, display quality, ergonomics, tracking, and software. Do we have to pick a side?

Comments (18)

18 thoughts on “Tested In-Depth: Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive

  1. Camera tracking can be highly efficient, the camera buffer is processed on the GPU (like a texture) to extract information. It’s a technique that’s been used in some augmented reality solutions and marker tracking for a while.

    You can also use multiple cameras with the Rift apparently to provide more coverage but I’ve not had access to multiple cameras and been unable to verify.

  2. But is camera tracking more efficient compared to the Vive lighthouse method, or less so? We tested multiple cameras in a previous video. It works, but of course eats more USB & system resources.

  3. Thanks for the awesome side by side review. I am still saving up for an HTC Vive and a better GPU. I can only buy into one system and I really want it to last for game releases for a year or two. Same idea when I built my tower PC(3 years ago). Also “Make VR Great Again” -Norm2016 #OccupyVR

  4. Beautifully done comparisons with detailed observation that are missing anywhere else. I wonder whether the screen door effect is due to higher brightness in the Vive as your pupils will close further enhancing DOF. Adjusting these would need to be done in software but it is complicated as these are OLED. Wish you guys would check out third party solutions to use older games on the Rift such as vorpX.

  5. Thanks for the review.

    With the Vive cabling, I’d recommend trying to clip the cable to your waste band. Crouch down to measure the amount of slack needed and then your neck will just be supporting the weight of the cable waist up.

  6. I just ordered a new graphics card for my PC, as that’s the only component that was lacking to make it VR ready. I don’t intend to get a VR system for at least a few months. I really want a room-scale experience, though (I want my holodeck, dammit!), so at the moment I’m leaning towards Vive. I’m really hoping I can find an opportunity to try at least one (preferably both) out before dropping that kind of money, though.

    Here’s a listing/map of the current/upcoming Vive demo stations. Haven’t been able to find something similar for the Rift.

    http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2016/04/heres-where-you-can-try-out-the-htc-vive-without-spending-800/

  7. My Rift has literally just shipped and I was starting to have doubts about whether I’d picked the right headset, so this side-by-side came just in time.

  8. As someone who has also tested both and have both preordered I can’t say I entirely agree on what was said.

    It felt more like an Occulus Rift paid promotion rather than an unbiased comparison. The Rift has many great pros but the reviewers failed to mention it’s disadvantages. Conversely for the Vive instead the main focus on the lighthouse inconsistency and the lack of comfort(front heaviness) which I did feel to be an issue. Overall, tested claims to be in support of VR in general but this review is clearly skewed towards the rift.

    One thing I can agree is the rift is slightly more comfortable and negligible for myself, but to use the comfort as the primary reason to choose Rift over Vive is bad for consumers.

    I would recommend people try both products before letting biased reviewers sway their opinion.

  9. To add to that last statement I made, biased reviewers includes me as well. Please go out and try both products and evaluate their qualities to against your own criteria before making a decision if it’s possible.

  10. Now on reddit it appears that oculus updated shipping estimates for all orders and it added on average 2 month delay to all. Even if ordered with in 40 minutes of ordering Jan 6 with original shipping in April you will have to wait until mid June now. All my friends waiting are seriously annoyed and most seemed to be canceling and going Vive. I guess I sell mine on eBay as there is no point if I can’t meet up to play with my friends. Should pay handsomely for a Vive and a Rift with touch when it finally comes. What kind of company is this? They knew 5 minutes after ordering started that they have a problem. Very bad start for VR as the most eager and committed are screwed over. On the good side all undecided have plenty of time to test things out and watch what is happening. IMHO Vive will reign supreme and Oculus might disappear fairly soon.

  11. Excellent review from one of the most respected reviewers of new Tech. Its been obvious for quite sometime that the Vive is a very good unit, but the Rift is a little more refined. I’m also expecting the Rift inputs to be a little more refined as well, but it will be interesting to see what kind of Chaperone type system that Oculus will use.

    I received the 1 to 3 week email at the end of March. This morning I received the order processing email, and the shipped./tracking number this afternoon, with delivery in two days. I have no complaints with Oculus, didn’t Valve/Vive say it would be shipped by the end of last year. They are only four months late so far.

  12. So you were in the below 6 minute group after order start or a KS. Congrats. Beyond 14 minutes you are apparently screwed.

  13. Camera tracking can be highly efficient, the camera buffer is processed on the GPU (like a texture) to extract information. It’s a technique that’s been used in some augmented reality solutions and marker tracking for a while.

    You can also use multiple cameras with the Rift apparently to provide more coverage but I’ve not had access to multiple cameras and been unable to verify.

    Dedicated hardware such as the lighthouses should be more efficient in terms of query/response times and the engineer in me wants to test this, see what comes through the serial bus of these devices. But I still can’t get over that some of this kit still looks like something from a media lab. Ergonomics shouldn’t be overlooked, not just the wearable but the whole installation. I think SONY might do for this technology what they did for blu-ray. I’m reminded of the Amstrad CPC464 and one of it’s surprising selling points was everything on one plug.

    The cool thing, we have a choice and this stuff is going to get better.

  14. Great review guys, and while I’ve still not had a chance to try any of the new VR headsets, right now the fact the Vive has the tracked controllers means it would be my choice.

    Either way and that said, I can’t wait to try both 🙂

  15. Why not ask Sean to design and 3d print a rigid harness for the Vive instead of waiting for some third party to do so? I think that would be a great project/build for Tested.

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