HTC Vive vs Oculus Rift vs Playstation VR!

Script written by Nathan Sharp

Which virtual reality headset is the BEST? Stick around, cuz you’re about to find out: is pitting the HTC Vive against the Oculus Rift against the Playstation VR to find out which piece of fancy headgear comes out on top!

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HTC Vive vs. Oculus Rift vs. PlayStation VR

Now that all of the major contenders have been released, it's time to decide which modern VR headset is king. Welcome to, and today we're putting the HTC Vive, the Oculus Rift, and the PlayStation VR against each other to determine which device is the superior virtual reality headset.

To determine the winner, we'll go through five distinct rounds and list off the pros and cons of each device in the respective category and give one point to the winner. Best of five rounds wins. Let the games begin.

Round 1: Launch Price

How much does the future cost? Quite a lot, as it turns out.

The Vive is first up and starts the round off with a head-shaker of a price. The Vive launched in April of 2016 for an astounding $799, and while that included some great technology, it was a price point far out of reach for the average consumer. This price includes two controllers, the Vive itself, and the Vive’s signature light boxes, and while it may have included more accessories than the others, it is by far the most expensive out of the box. While the Vive may be a good product, it's price point surely scared off a few potential customers.

The Oculus Rift comes next with a more modest, yet still slightly unreasonable asking price of $599. This included the Rift, a sensor, a mini remote, and an Xbox One controller. While it's a little more enticing than the mammoth $799 tag of the Vive, $599 is still a chunk of change.

Finally, we have the PlayStation VR, which was touted as the everyman's virtual reality device. It's price point reflected this distinction, as it was released with a much more modest $399 tag. However, this did not include the necessary PlayStation Camera, which comes at an extra $60, or the Move controllers. However, for an extra $100, you can buy the PSVR bundle, which includes the aforementioned accessories and a game, which is always a nice bonus.

There is however one further hidden cost with HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, as they both require a really powerful PC to run, and if you don’t already have one; you’re looking at a minimum of around $1200 for a VR ready rig, where as the PS4 at time of writing currently retails starting from $300, easily making the PSVR the most affordable option for the average consumer.

WINNER: PlayStation VR

HTC Vive 0 / Oculus Rift 0 / PlayStation VR 1

Round 2: Tracking Technology/Immersion

Virtual reality wouldn't really be anything without a great sense of immersion, and these devices do a...hmm, decent job at it.

The HTC Vive’s increased price point definitely comes in handy here, as the device comes with “light boxes”, which are placed around a playing area and act as sensors to match the game with your body movement. This means that not only can you move your head, but you can also walk around in a virtual space, and any physical movements will be replicated by your in-game persona. However, this comes at a price (literally), as they bump up the price of the bundle and require a large enough playing area to properly set up, meaning anyone with a small living or playing area are kind of SOL. If you can manage the price and the space, it's truly a blast and definitely worth trying.

The Oculus Rift provides a much more standard and typical gaming experience. As we mentioned previously, the device comes with an Xbox One controller, and this is because you'll be doing most of your playing on it. While further accessories are on the way, including their own version of light boxes and movement controllers, it was just a regular ol’ Xbox controller at launch. The Rift encourages you to remain seated at all times and control your character via the Xbox controller, which definitely limits the immersive experience and just makes it feel like a virtual video game rather than virtual REALITY. Still cool, but definitely not AS cool.

The PSVR follows in a similar vein, as you can either use the typical Dualshock controller or those silly looking Move things. While some games implement interesting ways to use the controller, like taking a drag on a cigar and actually blowing out smoke on the screen, it remains a fairly typical video gaming experience.

While they're all definitely a blast, there's no denying the wondrous joy and immersion that the Vive offers. For a higher price, players can actually feel like they’re in a virtual world, complete with head and full body movements. It actually feels like virtual reality and the next generation of technology rather than just another video gaming gimmick.


HTC Vive 1 / Oculus Rift 0 / PlayStation VR 1

Round 3: Design

While the HTC Vive may be the most powerful device of the bunch, this comes at the sacrifice of comfort. The visor is absolutely gargantuan, and it looks like something straight out of a science fiction movie, so, to be honest, you look a little ridiculous while wearing it. It is also by far the bulkiest and the heaviest of the three devices, and while you may grow accustomed to it as you become immersed in the stellar virtual world the device provides, it’s very daunting upon first glance. Getting an exact fit is also more of a drawn-out process than it should be due to the Velcro straps, and a myriad of cords are required to hook the Vive up to a PC, meaning you’ll be a tangled mess by the time you finally get to gaming.

The Oculus Rift may also look a little ridiculous to outside viewers, but there’s no denying that it’s more comfortable than the bulky Vive. While the device is relatively light, there is some pressure on your face the longer you wear it. However, there’s some dense foam on the faceplate and on the back of the straps, so even if it is a snug fit, at least it’s comfortable. The Rift also comes with easily-adjustable Velcro straps and 3D surround sound ear pads, which definitely help with the immersion factor.

While the other devices may look a tad silly, the PSVR looks much more modern and welcoming. The black and white color scheme gives the device a slick, modern look, and the front-facing blue lights look nice as well as provide functionality to the headset. Rather than the Velcro straps of the other two devices, Sony went with a single matte strap that wraps around your head, which is much nicer than Velcro as it is far more seamless, comfortable, and adjustable. The thick cushion also holds your head in place nicely, so the device isn’t slipping and sliding as the other two are wont to do. Sony has also displaced the weight of the device to the top of your head, so there is far less pressure felt on your face than with the Rift and Vive.

WINNER: PlayStation VR

HTC Vive 1 / Oculus Rift 0 / PlayStation VR 2

Round 4: Controllers

At launch, the Vive was the only device released with custom-built motion controllers, which is indisputably a plus. Each controller has a touchpad and a trigger, and they don’t look like anything else on the market, which gives a positive edge to the Vive’s originality and design. They work very well in terms of tracking hand movements, they’re comfortable, easy to use, and they add a great sense of immersion to the games that a simple, old-school controller cannot compete with.

Speaking of old school controllers, this is exactly what comes with the Rift, and to say that it is disappointing would be a massive understatement. At launch, the Rift shipped with a regular Xbox One controller, and while there is certainly nothing wrong with the controller itself, it has no place in virtual reality. Virtual reality is meant to be encompassing and immersive in terms of physical movements, so sitting on a chair and playing with an Xbox controller makes the Rift seem more like a tech gimmick than a legit form of virtual reality. While it’s still fun to move your head in a virtual space, playing with a controller simply does not compete with motion tracking.

The PSVR is in a similar boat to the Rift, although not quite to the disappointing degree. The PSVR ships with a standard Dualshock 4 wireless controller, and as we said with the Rift, playing virtual reality with a standard video game controller seems almost sacrilegious. However, you can also buy, either separately or through the bundle, a pair of PlayStation Move controllers. These work very well for certain games, as it provides the device with the necessary sense of immersion. However, these controllers look a little silly, what with their colorful light-up bulbs, and the technology is a little dated, as these were first released way back on the PS3 during the Wii motion-controlling faze. They never really took off back then, and while they definitely provide a better sense of fun than the Rift, they simply aren’t as modern or as slick looking as the Vive’s controllers.


HTV Vive 2 / Oculus Rift 0 / PlayStation VR 2

Round 5: Games

There's nothing like a few good launch titles to get the systems moving. Unfortunately, as is usually the case with system launches, most titles on all 3 systems are complete simplistic crap. So we’re going to highlight the few exclusive standouts.

The HTC Vive is unique in that it is the only system with access to the Steam distribution portal, meaning it has the largest amount of VR optimized titles. Games like “The Brookhaven Experiment,” “Vanishing Realms,” and “Island: 359” are fun experiences, but they’re all still in Early Access and have a long way to go. 2017 looks to blow the VR world wide open, as the Vive will host VR versions of “Fallout 4” and “Doom,” something we are all definitely looking forward to.

The Rift lacks the access to Steam content, but in the end, this is not really a huge loss for the device. That said, it's not as if the Oculus Rift’s games are exactly setting the world abuzz, either. Some games like “Chronos” and “Edge of Nowhere” are good fun, but the system lacks a seller - there are no “Halo’s” or “Uncharted’s” to be found here.

Finally, we come to the PSVR, and its everyman persona definitely comes through in the games department. Titles like “Batman: Arkham VR,” and “Until Dawn Rush of Blood” are decent titles while “Rez Infinite” is a definite must play title. Furthermore these games are actually fun, which is, you know, kind of the purpose of video games. Admittedly its not a stellar launch lineup, but its by far the best option of the 3 as of now.

WINNER: PlayStation VR

HTC Vive 2 / Oculus Rift 0 / PlayStation VR 3

While this essentially became a two horse race between the Vive and PSVR, the latter of those two is by far the most comfortable and affordable. While it may not be as powerful as the two PC based headsets, the fact that it has the stronger library of games gives it the final edge.

What are your thoughts on the new VR hardware? Which device is your favorite? Be sure to debate in the comments and subscribe to

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