Discussion: HTC Vive vs Oculus Rift

Nerdy Nerd

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Mar 19, 2016
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So this is a discussion as you can tell by the title. I want this to be a thread where people who are interested in VR (Virtual Reality) can go to see the differences between the two VR sets and what each VR has going for them. So things to talk about with each one is:

1. Price
2. Types of games and how much variety of games
3. Setup
4. How good of hardware you need to run on your pc
5. Assesories
6. Overall feel and comfort
7. How well Customer Support is
8. Pro's
9. Con's
10. Ect.

So it would be nice if people who have either VR could explain their experiences with their version. People who do share, I want to say thank you as it will help out me as well as people in the future who are just having a hard time deciding. Thank you.
 

Sakkura

Distinguished
1. $60 is just for an extra sensor, which comes with a single USB extension. Depending on your playspace you might want extra extension cables for your headset. The extra sensor (in addition to the two included with the Rift) gives you better roomscale tracking. The Vive audio headstrap is the same style as what the Rift ships with. Haven't tested which is more comfortable, but they should both be pretty comparable.

2. Ah, maybe I should have started from the basics. The Oculus Rift by default accesses the Oculus Store; but the headset is also officially supported by SteamVR. The HTC Vive by default accesses SteamVR, but can access the Oculus Store content via the unofficial Revive tool. There is also another store called Viveport, but I don't think it's used much; all the good content is on Oculus or Steam.

3. 360 is definitely better. You can play most stuff without it, but the ability to just move naturally is really nice for immersion and undisturbed gameplay. Of course, if you turn a lot in one direction you will probably get cable tangled, but usually it's not too bad doing an opposite spin when necessary.

4. You do need 90Hz, but if the computer at some point is unable to make 90 real FPS, there are techniques like ATW and ASW to quickly extrapolate frames from previously rendered ones. ASW is particularly good, and can pretty much let you play at 45FPS feeling like it's running 90FPS. You just get a few squiggly outlines here and there, but it won't make you feel nauseous.

5. Availability of the wireless kit is patchy outside of China, but currently it's £450 in the UK and $500 in the US. That's more expensive than some full VR headsets out there... It's an upgrade kit that you buy in addition to the wired Vive.

6. The Rift probably still has a slight advantage since it's less heavy at the front and also the weight sits closer to your head.

7. Long reply times to support tickets, sometimes unhelpful responses, it just seems both companies haven't invested enough in it. Goes for technical issues as well as general customer support.

8+9. I haven't actually tried the Vive audio headstrap. I assume it's comparable to the Rift's for people with large ears; just sits on the ear and should be comfortable. With a hearing aid I don't know. The Rift tracking issues have been fixed. USB bandwidth issues seem to be a bit random in who they affect; if you are unlucky and affected, you can buy a PCIe-USB adapter card to take some of the load and fix the issues.

10. Waiting for Samsung Odyssey is certainly an option. It will cost $499. Setup should be easier than with Vive or Rift, since you don't have to set up any sensors or base stations, the cameras in the headset take care of that. Whether the tracking is a dealbreaker you'd have to wait for final reviews on, but it doesn't look like it from previews. By default, Samsung Odyssey uses the Windows Mixed Reality store, but Microsoft is working on making it compatible with SteamVR as well. No word yet about Oculus Store support.

(the reason Microsoft is involved is that Samsung is one of Microsoft's partners for the Windows Mixed Reality platform; there are other headsets from Acer and HP, but Samsung's is the best of that group)
 

Sakkura

Distinguished
1. Oculus Rift is cheaper. You may want to spend another $60 on an Oculus sensor (and possibly also extension cables), but it's still slightly cheaper than the HTC Vive. And if you want the Vive audio headstrap that matches what the Rift comes with, that's $100.

2. Both headsets have access to all the same games. The Rift is officially supported by SteamVR, so the only issue is a few games might have odd keybindings that are designed more for the Vive controllers. The Vive is not officially supported by the Oculus Store, but with the Revive tool you can run that content anyway. It might be a little more awkward because it's not an official solution, but mostly it works fine.

3. For a front-facing setup, the Rift is slightly easier to set up, but for 360-degree or roomscale, the Vive is significantly easier since the base stations plug into power outlets instead of USB ports on the PC. The headset also has a longer cable so you don't need to use extensions (which can be necessary with a Rift).

4. Oculus has the ASW feature which means the Rift can run on weaker systems than the Vive. Minimum requirements for the Rift are a Core i3-6100/FX-4350/Ryzen 3 1200 with a GTX 960/1050Ti/RX470, while the Vive steps that up to Core i5-4590/FX-8350 with a GTX 970/R9 290.

5. You get nickel and dimed a little more on the Vive side, but then it also offers a wireless upgrade kit right now, which the Rift does not. It's expensive though.

6. The Rift is more polished and comfortable to wear, especially compared to a Vive without the deluxe headstrap upgrade. The Oculus Touch controllers also have a really nice feel to them.

7. Both have a really poor reputation. Oculus has just recently finally finished rolling out their automated refund policy on their store, so it matches Steam. So... maybe a draw?

8+9. Built-in headphones is really, really convenient. So that's an advantage for the Rift, or a good reason to buy the deluxe headstrap upgrade for the Vive, since it adds built-in headphones. The front-facing camera on the Vive might be useful at times, I haven't really missed it too much using my Rift though. Maybe others can comment further. The tracking systems for Rift and Vive are basically on par by now (Oculus had some early issues with 360/roomscale tracking), but the Vive more easily covers very large play areas. Some people may also run into USB bandwidth issues with a Rift, depending on the motherboard used.

10. Keep an eye on the Samsung Odyssey headset that launches next month. It has a considerably higher resolution, and inside-out tracking (no need for base stations or sensors). The tracking system does mean your controllers can't be tracked properly if you eg. reach behind yourself, but it otherwise works quite well by all accounts.
 

Nerdy Nerd

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So I will try to guide the discussion as people come in.

So Sakkura, for the first section when you said "spend another $60 on an Oculus sensor (and possibly also extension cables)," do you mean that its $60 for the sensor and extension cables or just for the sensor? What can the sensor do for you compared to if you do not have the sensor? Is the audio head strap that is sold separately for the Vive truly the same as the Oculus rift's audio head strap or is there differences? Which audio head strap is more comfortable?

For the second section, I am a little confused and I hope you can clarify this for me and everyone else, but you said both have access to the same game, but the Oculus Rift is supported by SteamVR and has odd keys that are for the Vive. So why would SteamVR have odd keys that are meant for the Vive when SteamVR is more supported for the Oculus Rift? Then you say Vive is not openly supported by the Oculus Rift's store, which makes since because why would a company support their competitor. However, does this mean their are multiple places to get your game, being SteamVR, Oculus Rift store, and possibly Vive store? You also mentioned how you can make the Vive work by using Oculus store but is awkward, what makes it awkward?

For the third section, I think you covered this one pretty well, just a couple of questions though. Do you think think the playing experience is actually better by having 360 degrees of rotation or is the front facing just as better? If a person has cables going to the VR around the persons head and they can go 360 degrees, won't you get wrapped around in cables, is this an issue?

Forth section, if you playing on either VR system at minimum settings, how much better is it compared to recommended? I have heard VR needs at least 90 fps to prevent someone from getting sick on VR, is this true? What fps are we talking about with the minimum setup?

Fifth section, it makes since you get little more with the Vive since its more expensive, but you also mention a wireless option, how much is the wireless option? Do you have to buy the wired option and then upgrade or can you just buy the wireless setup of Vive for those interested in Vive?

Sixth section, is the Oculus Rift still champion of comfort even if you have the deluxe strap for the Vive or is just champion if you do not have the strap for the Vive for Vive users?

Seventh section, so what exactly makes both VR's customer support so bad? Is there technical support and how good is technical support?

Eighth and ninth section, for people with disabilities like having hearing aids or people with large ears, how good is the audio strap comfort is those areas for build in Rift compared to deluxe head strap upgrade for Vive? I agree as we can wait until someone else can comment further for the front-facing camera situation on both VR's. So are there still issues with tracking on Oculus as you mention "basically on par" and if there is, what are they so people are not blind sided by this? Could you elaborate on the USB bandwidth issues on the Rift sides? What are some popular motherboards used with the Rift? Name 2 if you can.

Tenth section, does this mean people should wait and get the Samsung Odyssey compared to either Vive or Oculus Rift? What is the prices looking for the Samsung Odyssey? Is the Samsung Odyssey just as good as Vive and Rift other than the tracking system? Is the Tracking system a deal breaker? If so, what makes it a deal breaker? Is setting up just as easy or hard compared to Vive or Oculus? Where do you get games for the Samsung Odyssey?

Thank you so much for commenting Sakkura to help people in the future as well as myself. I hope this inspires others to talk also on this thread. Your comment was great as it covered a lot of questions people may have for both systems as well as future options like the Samsung Odyssey that you mentioned.

 

Sakkura

Distinguished
1. $60 is just for an extra sensor, which comes with a single USB extension. Depending on your playspace you might want extra extension cables for your headset. The extra sensor (in addition to the two included with the Rift) gives you better roomscale tracking. The Vive audio headstrap is the same style as what the Rift ships with. Haven't tested which is more comfortable, but they should both be pretty comparable.

2. Ah, maybe I should have started from the basics. The Oculus Rift by default accesses the Oculus Store; but the headset is also officially supported by SteamVR. The HTC Vive by default accesses SteamVR, but can access the Oculus Store content via the unofficial Revive tool. There is also another store called Viveport, but I don't think it's used much; all the good content is on Oculus or Steam.

3. 360 is definitely better. You can play most stuff without it, but the ability to just move naturally is really nice for immersion and undisturbed gameplay. Of course, if you turn a lot in one direction you will probably get cable tangled, but usually it's not too bad doing an opposite spin when necessary.

4. You do need 90Hz, but if the computer at some point is unable to make 90 real FPS, there are techniques like ATW and ASW to quickly extrapolate frames from previously rendered ones. ASW is particularly good, and can pretty much let you play at 45FPS feeling like it's running 90FPS. You just get a few squiggly outlines here and there, but it won't make you feel nauseous.

5. Availability of the wireless kit is patchy outside of China, but currently it's £450 in the UK and $500 in the US. That's more expensive than some full VR headsets out there... It's an upgrade kit that you buy in addition to the wired Vive.

6. The Rift probably still has a slight advantage since it's less heavy at the front and also the weight sits closer to your head.

7. Long reply times to support tickets, sometimes unhelpful responses, it just seems both companies haven't invested enough in it. Goes for technical issues as well as general customer support.

8+9. I haven't actually tried the Vive audio headstrap. I assume it's comparable to the Rift's for people with large ears; just sits on the ear and should be comfortable. With a hearing aid I don't know. The Rift tracking issues have been fixed. USB bandwidth issues seem to be a bit random in who they affect; if you are unlucky and affected, you can buy a PCIe-USB adapter card to take some of the load and fix the issues.

10. Waiting for Samsung Odyssey is certainly an option. It will cost $499. Setup should be easier than with Vive or Rift, since you don't have to set up any sensors or base stations, the cameras in the headset take care of that. Whether the tracking is a dealbreaker you'd have to wait for final reviews on, but it doesn't look like it from previews. By default, Samsung Odyssey uses the Windows Mixed Reality store, but Microsoft is working on making it compatible with SteamVR as well. No word yet about Oculus Store support.

(the reason Microsoft is involved is that Samsung is one of Microsoft's partners for the Windows Mixed Reality platform; there are other headsets from Acer and HP, but Samsung's is the best of that group)
 

Nerdy Nerd

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Mar 19, 2016
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Thank you again for participating in this discussion Sakkura.

So after reading your answers, it seems that you suggest if your going with the Oculus Rift, that an accessory you may need/want is extension by USB and sensor. The Vive is the deluxe head strap.

So it looks like there are to stores for each type (Oculus vs Vive) with it being that for the Oculus, its Oculus Store (main) and SteamVR. Then with the Vive there is SteamVR being the main store for Vive and Oculus (however is difficult using this option). So is there the same games in each store or do they differ? So why this maybe important is because if someone has a couple of specific games they want to play, they may need to know which store has it and would sway their decision on which VR to get.

It seems like if the 360 degree thing is a deal breaker, then Vive maybe the way to go since the 360 degree is better on the Vive, but yet again, if you have extensions, the Oculus rift may would just as good. So the argument here is Vive is better in 360 degree aspect because of usb vs power outlets. So correct me if I am wrong here, but basically if the 360 degree is the only deal breaker when deciding and you like everything else about the Oculus, then you can get extension to solve the problem? Or you can go with the Vive and not have to get extensions? Again, correct me if I am wrong.

It think it is nice to know that it seems like there are some safety to prevent you from possibility of getting sick because of the whole not up to the 90 fps thing. These safety things include ATW and ASW as Sakkura stated in his/her previous post. Obviously if you have a very powerful system that can go at least 90 FPS or higher, then you're safe and do not have to get into ATW and ASW. So what is ATW and ASW and what do they stand for?

So it seems like if you got at least $1100 to spend on VR, then you may want to go wireless and buy Vive then upgrade to wireless. Of course it varies upon region as Sakkura said.

In terms of comfort, Sakkura would suggest Rift is better slightly. Lets see if someone else can come and either agree or disagree and state their reasoning.

So both VR companies have horrible support and it looks like turning to the internet for help is the best option.

With the Rift, tracking USB bandwidth can be solved the PCI-USB adapter. Also, with hearing aids, comfort is going to be with where is has the least amount of pressure against the ear and if there is a lot of pressure, then it makes the electrical part of the hearing aid to push against the head. After time, that hurts. I hope that clarifies the question and helps answer which system has the least amount of pressure? Obviously, someone with the Vive may have to answer in terms of comfort and things like hearing aids.

With the Samsung Odyssey, it seems like it has a lot going for it and maybe worth it to some to wait for its arrival on market. The things would be setup being easier than both VR's, and no sensors or bases. The 2 possible disadvantages may be tracking (however may not be that bad) and use of just one store, Windows Mixed Reality, but then again "Microsoft is working on making it compatible with SteamVR as well" as Sakkura states. So just remember that the 2 possible cons are being worked out before release dates and by the release date, it could be fixed. So correct me if I am wrong, but it looks like Samsung Odyssey will beat out the Vive and Oculus in every aspect except possibility of tracking, and one store shopping?

Also, I forgot to ask but are the games free or is it like the app store where some are free and some are not? If not free, what is typical prices? For example, in the app store, typical price is $1-5.

Again, correct me if I am wrong and I will try to be as non-bias as possible. It seems like every VR system (HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Samsung Odyssey(Future VR)) has a lot going to their VR system and is a lot to think about. Thank you Sakkura for continuing to stay. I hope others join so we can hear different opinions.


 

sps02121985

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Feb 3, 2018
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The Vive deluxe strap only if you share. I like the stock strap with the ear buds more. I actually returned my deluxe audio strap.
 

Tyler LM

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So the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift are virtually the same in customer support?? If so then why not go Oculus Rift since its less likely to break so then it also makes it less likely to go to Customer Support which then virtually makes Oculus support better cause you dont have to deal with them and if you do you hope to god its an good experience.

I hear way to much about the HTC Vive Controllers breaking and the fix for them voids warranty... If thats the case does the fix that they do if you can get through support good enough to last or is it literally going to just break again??

I want the Vive or Rift but Customer Support and Failure Rates are the only things drawing me to either side now.. if the Vive is best in those two I will go them if its vice versa I will go with the opposite..
 
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