HTC Vive vs Oculus Rift

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I have been following the virtual reality development pretty closely, and I have tried both of the leading devices: Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Both of them are amazing devices, with their pros and cons.

According to the response of people who have tried both devices, the first thing you notice is that Vive has a more physical input than Oculus Rift. Oculus uses an Xbox controller to control the game and its menus, which can be cumbersome for some games. The touch controllers for Vive provide a more intuitive way to interact with games.

The other thing is that the room-scale feature of HTC Vive is unmatched compared to Oculus Rift. The Oculus Rift can’t track more than 5 meters (16 ft) from your sensor, while HTC Vive allows you to move around in a 15 by 15 feet space (4.5 by 4.5 meters). This makes it possible to physically walk around and interact with objects in games compared to moving your head around in an arc while sitting on a chair or bed like with Oculus Rift. Of course, this feature is not available on all games and will require developers to tailor them for room-scale function. And if you prefer using it while sitting down, then it’s not really much better than what Oculus provides at this time.


Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are the two main players in virtual reality headset industry. Both devices have pros and cons. Oculus Rift is now available to pre-order and launch in March 2016. HTC Vive shipping starts April 5th, 2016.

The official difference between Oculus Rift and HTC Vive is that HTC Vive has a wider view angle (110 degrees vs 90 degrees), higher resolution (1200 x 1080 per eye vs 1080 x 1200 per eye) and positionally-tracked controllers out of the box.

According to some early reviews, the differences between Oculus Rift and HTC vive are not so big comparing to the first impression. The quality of picture is superior on Oculus Rift but the tracking system of HTC Vive is superior.

A big hype around VR started with Oculus Rift Kickstarter campaign in 2012. A lot of developers started to develop games for it. They used mainly Unity 3D engine and game development tool called Unreal Engine 4 for it. Now we can see a variety of games for both devices on Steam VR platform developed with these tools. There are also a lot of apps including Google Earth, TiltBrush, Google Photos, Oculus Medium, etc which still need some improvements from developers’ side to work perfectly on VR headsets like HTC Vive or Oculus Rift.

Since the upcoming release of the first consumer VR headsets, many have been asking the question: “which one should I buy?” The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are almost certainly the most exciting pieces of hardware to come out in 2015 and for early adopters, it’s a no-brainer.

The idea of virtual reality has been around for decades, but thanks to rapid developments in display technology, computer processing power and motion tracking, immersive experiences are now becoming a reality. Although we’re only at the beginning of this trend, there are already some clear winners and losers emerging and if you’ve been following VR news, you’ll know that a lot has changed since the launch of the Oculus Kickstarter back in 2012. In this blog post I’m going to share my opinion on what’s currently happening in the world of VR based on hands-on experience with both devices as well as reviews from trusted sources.

It seems that the HTC Vive is the device that’s getting the most praise these days, and rightfully so. The Oculus Rift hasn’t even been released yet, but it’s already had a lot of negative press around it. The Facebook acquisition is one of the biggest reasons for that.

It’s a bit strange to see all this press about VR – we’ve been talking about it forever. I got my first headset in 2013 and have been playing with virtual reality apps for a few years now. I’ve worked on several projects in the field, and there’s no way I can count how many videos I’ve watched on the subject.

What really strikes me about this whole thing is how oblivious everyone is to what’s going on behind all of this: the fact that people are dreaming about VR again. It’s as if everyone forgot about it back in the ’90s and never expected to hear anything more on it again; but here we are again, talking about it like it’s some kind of new technology. And that’s crazy when you think about it because, well… we’re just talking about computer graphics now, aren’t we? Sure, they’re 3D computer graphics presented in full HD with head-tracked 3D audio and haptic feedback –

To me, virtual reality has always been synonymous with the Oculus Rift. It was a concept platform launched on Kickstarter back in 2012 and blew every other idea of what an immersive experience in gaming could be out of the water. Since then, Oculus has been bought by Facebook for $2 billion ($1.4 billion cash, plus $400 million in Facebook stock).

It was based around an HMD (head mounted display) that provided a 110 degree field of view (FOV), which some have criticised as not being large enough to fully immerse yourself in the VR world. As well as this, it used an external camera tracker to keep a track of your movement within a small play area.

The headset itself was made up of two screens; one for each eye, with a resolution of 1200×1080 per eye at 75Hz (which equates to 960×1080 resolution per screen). The refresh rate was one of the strongest points of this device, as most VR products at present usually only run at 60Hz.

In terms of accessories it came with two wireless XBox controllers and two wireless hand-tracking devices (Oculus Touch). There was also an optional third tracking sensor that could be placed behind you to further increase the play area tracking capabilities. It

The first question to ask of any piece of technology is what problem does it solve? That’s the case for VR too. The short version is that VR offers a degree of “presence” that is impossible with other technologies, but only if you are willing to accept limitations in your input and output devices.

The most interesting thing about the Vive and Rift, I think, is not the hardware per se, but how they fit into existing hardware ecosystems. I think we will see hardware companies jumping on board with VR in a big way; it’s an easy way to differentiate themselves from the rest of the pack. And as more people adopt VR development kits, we’ll see some really neat software come out (and some really crappy stuff too).

I don’t know how quickly VR adoption will happen. I suspect it will be faster than people expect, but there will be growing pains (and perhaps some resurgent interest in the Wii-style controllers that the Rift seems to emphasize). If you are interested in developing for VR, my recommendation would be to learn Unity and then start prototyping early and often.

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