Rift vs Vive--A Detailed Comparison

Rednekcowboy

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Well first I have to say that I am coming from the HTC Vive and I still don't have the hardware I need to get the optimal setup for the Rift so my views may change.

Since the drop in price of the Rift and the inability of HTC to secure exclusives in 2019, thereby being locked out of major releases by Sony and Oculus, I decided to swap out my HTC Vive for the Rift.

To be clear, I had the original vive, which now retails for around $700 new compared to the Rift which is now retailing for $450 brand new. Each package is similar in that they both come with 2 controllers, and 2 tracking stations. I had purchased my Vive almost new for $500, sold it for $450 after 6 months of use and picked up a brand new in the box Rift for $4oo delivered to me. So while I lost $50 on my Vive purchase, I saved $50 on my Rift purchase and am at zero and not out anything--or so you think.

Hardware, Vive wins so far. Setup was much easier (even though I had to mount the base stations on the wall). The headset, while being bulkier and not including audio provides a much more immersive experience and is of a much superior quality. It is the focal point as it serves as the communication hub for the entire system with everything (the base stations and 2 controllers) communicating via bluetooth. The only connections to the pc required is 1 usb 3 port and 1 hdmi port via a powered hub that the headset connects to. Base stations are independently powered and the controllers are rechargeable via a simple cable that any modern day android device uses (chargers, cables are provided in box as well as power and cables for the base stations). The base stations do have a distance limitation (I honestly forget what it is--I believe it is 10+ feet) but an extremely lengthy cable is provided to connect them to each other hard-wired should you want to exceed that limitation while setting up your play area (which was tested and does also work).

Oculus, everything plugs directly into the PC. You need 3 usb 3 ports and 1 hdmi port. The sensors will function on USB 2 ports (which is what I am using now, and am not really impressed). The controllers do show some innovation over the vive controllers as they are compact and light, however they are battery powered which means you will need to keep a stock of double A's around. The headset does come with built in audio which is a plus, but feels very cheap and fragile and does not allow for the same immersion into any environment as the rift as your eyes are positioned too far away from the lenses which leads to a feeling of horse blinders (your see directly in front of you and have a fair field of vision but constantly have these black lines on either side to remind you that this is just a game.

Now because I don't have enough USB 3 ports to properly set up the rift as intended I will reserve my judgment for performance until later on after I purchase a USB 3 PCI card for my pc and some usb3 active extension cables. Important note to make. I was going to go the extra mile and purchase an additional sensor to have a 3-sensor setup (which supposedly mimics the Vive's room-scale tracking), however Ocuclus sensors have a 6 ft limitation which means no sensor can be further than 6 feet from any other sensor. If you are keeping score that is $450 for the initial hardware, $30 for the pci card, $100 for an additional sensor and $40 in extension cables and $20 for a 3 pack of wall mounts. So you are at $640 plus shipping and taxes so virtually the same price as the Vive and setup of the Oculus Rift is far from painless.

As I said before I will save my thought on performance and comparison between the 2 until I have the necessary hardware for the rift in a couple of weeks but I will state right now that the hardware needs to make a world of difference to overcome the disappointment I feel right now. Even if I get a third sensor for the Rift, I am not sure where I will place it as I was planning on having 2 front sensors and 1 rear but with the 6 foot limitation obviously I cannot do that. Perhaps I can mount it on the ceiling somehow. 4 sensors is not recommended and I don't think I can even triangulate 3 sensors for room coverage with that spacial handicap.

It should be noted that both Sony and its Google Cardboard-like quality (which shouldn't even be mentioned in this review as it is not even close to either of these products in terms of quality) and Oculus (backed by the Facebook funding) have the money and most definitely are using their considerable wealth to buy up exclusives and control the market. There are a plethora of notable releases coming out in 2019, the best and the majority of which are either PSVR or Oculus exclusives. It is obvious HTC invested in their hardware, which is far superior--and thus far for me, provides a much better user experience, however it is ever so abundantly clear that they simply don't have the bankroll to compete which I find very sad. 2019 will be a very tough year for HTC and I don't think they will be able to survive the loss in market share.

Stay tuned next week when I continue my comparison and give my final thoughts.
 

El Quintron

Administrator
Staff member
There are a plethora of notable releases coming out in 2019, the best and the majority of which are either PSVR or Oculus exclusives. It is obvious HTC invested in their hardware, which is far superior--and thus far for me, provides a much better user experience, however it is ever so abundantly clear that they simply don't have the bankroll to compete which I find very sad. 2019 will be a very tough year for HTC and I don't think they will be able to survive the loss in market share.
While I feel your pain there, there's a bit of an upside here, WMR is 100% compatible with SteamVR and WMR exclusives and SteamVR exclusives are cross compatible with each other, also the other perk (not one for HTC) is that Steam is going to be releasing a hardware-subsidized headset either in late 2019 or early 2020, which will be as good as the Vive pro.

Steam's mistake here is the Vivo Pro, while the price keep dropping on competitor platforms, Steam/HTC hardware just got more and more expensive, combine that an overpriced, lackluster wireless release, and you have a recipe for disaster.

As a point of reference, VivePro+Wireless setup is nearly 2200 CAD, the Samsung Oddyssey Plus (sans wireless) is 500CAD for nearly the same hardware. Better tracking and Wireless doesn't justify the 1700 price difference. Hopefully Valve's own subsidized hardware will remedy some of the pricing issues and start producing some must have games on their platform.

That being Sony exclusives are mostly untouchable because of the platform, but most Oculus exclusives can be easily hacked into Valve's ecosystem through Revive:

 
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Rednekcowboy

Rednekcowboy

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Well here I am a few weeks later and I am STILL fighting with the Rift to try and get it setup correctly.

I am definitely not a happy camper. The difference between the Rift and the the Vive is night and day. I cannot comment on other mixed reality hardware but judging from my experience, the Vive is well worth the extended price tag.

When I first got the Vive, I had everything setup and fully functional within around 45 minutes. Everything just worked.

The Rift has been an absolute nightmare. I'm well over retail costs compared to the Vive (not the pro version) and while I have the Rift functional, I still have a dead spot I can't get rid of. I can't run through the complete Rift setup with 3 sensors plugged in as it won't see the touch controller. If I run it with only 2 sensors plugged in, that works fine but then when I plugin the 3rd afterwards, then I cannot run Guardian (ie Oculus's equivelant to the SteamVR's room setup). as it only will recognize 2 sensors.

I can run room setup in SteamVR which seems to work OKish but it scales my room down to literally a fraction of the play area I had available with the Vive. With the Vive, I had over the maximum allowable play area available. With the Rift it is registering it as the smallest and I had to fight with it to get that much working correctly.

If I turn around in a circle, my controllers and my whole view just goes flying off into space.

I know this is all a result of sensor placement but I just can't figure it out. I've read just about everything written on the subject and still can't get it to function properly.

This is a literal nightmare and I wish I would have never let go of my Vive.

I'm going to post to see if someone will be willing to do a trade on Kijiji but I highly doubt it.
 
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Rednekcowboy

Rednekcowboy

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Figured out something else very interesting. I do not actually have a deadspot in my tracking with the Rift. I am used to playing with the Vive, so, for instance, playing Creed, I would box how you would normally. Keep your hands near your head.

That is my issue with the Rift. It is not a deadspot but rather if the touch controllers come in too close proximity with the headset, all tracking goes out the window so you need to keep your hands 1 to 1.5 feet away from your headset at all times. Admittedly, this would likely only become an issue with a boxing game like Creed but that is my favorite VR game so was the one I was testing with all the time. :p
 

El Quintron

Administrator
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I can run room setup in SteamVR which seems to work OKish but it scales my room down to literally a fraction of the play area I had available with the Vive. With the Vive, I had over the maximum allowable play area available. With the Rift it is registering it as the smallest and I had to fight with it to get that much working correctly.

If I turn around in a circle, my controllers and my whole view just goes flying off into space.
I get that with a few games, but I think it's a software glitch with the game itself and not O+ I lose tracking all the time in Gallery: Call of the Starseed, despite it being WMR friendly
 
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Rednekcowboy

Rednekcowboy

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I get that with a few games, but I think it's a software glitch with the game itself and not O+ I lose tracking all the time in Gallery: Call of the Starseed, despite it being WMR friendly
I might agree except I did not have those issues with the Vive so it is not just a glitch within the game itself.
 
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Rednekcowboy

Rednekcowboy

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I might agree except I did not have those issues with the Vive so it is not just a glitch within the game itself.
Well decided to reposition my sensors once more and rerun the setup. I think I may have it solved. Was able to play Beat Saber without issue.

Real test is coming up next. Creed: Rise to Glory as there is a tonne of movement and travel all over the play area so we will see if I actually need that 4th sensor.

Will update shortly.
 
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Rednekcowboy

Rednekcowboy

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Creed worked flawlessly. I'm calling this a success.

Tried Dodgeball VR and it also worked flawlessly. So all three games I tested last time when I got close that were still really glitchy and have plenty of both hand movement and play area travel are now all working perfectly with no issues (albeit in my limited testing of 1 game each).

There are still a good amount of issues with the Oculus Home software itself and I hate the fact that there is no way to bypass using it as it can be a huge resource hog that does not play nice with Steam but for now, as long as Home starts before Steam, it appears those bugs are limited.

I am just happy that I can play VR again finally.
 
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Rednekcowboy

Rednekcowboy

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In my usual fashion, I have reached out to both HTC and Oculus and pointed them to this thread so they are both aware and have an opportunity to come hear and speak up. I have also offered to review any future offerings they have as I know both are close to releasing their next gen iterations on the market place.

We will see what, if anything, comes of it.
 
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Rednekcowboy

Rednekcowboy

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I've played a bunch of games now. Beat Saber, Creed, Dodgeball, Duck Season and Goalie VR.

I found Beat Saber, Creed and Dodgeball all equal in terms of performance and tracking between the Rift and the Vive.

Duck Season, I found better on the Vive.

GoalieVR however was much better on the Rift. This is great for me as I really wanted to like this game, being a goalie and all and was very disappointed with what amounted to, a pretty much broken experience on the Vive. On the rift though, it works as intended--I just have to get some sort of mat for the floor to protect my old knees when I go down to block a shot lol. From the limited testing time though, everything seems to track right where it should with the Rift whereas the Vive, I couldn't stop anything lol.

Let's Bowl, I found it much easier with the Rift, though I don't know if that necessarily makes it better on the Rift. I got a strike or spare in almost every frame and scored a 209 for the game I played. I can tell you honestly that is not indicative of my real-world talent. The Vive was much closer to how I would bowl in real life so I am really at a loss for this one. Generally video games are much easier than real life and I tend to perform better but at the same time, with the Vive, it seemed to be much closer to the real life experience I have when i go bowline.
 
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El Quintron

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I might agree except I did not have those issues with the Vive so it is not just a glitch within the game itself.
Most of the feedback I've read about the rift states that their tracking is a huge PITA to setup, vs. the Vive. So this is completely unsurprising. The O/+/WMR has similar tracking issues due to using inside out tracking... cheaper, but more prone to errors.
 
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Rednekcowboy

Rednekcowboy

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Most of the feedback I've read about the rift states that their tracking is a huge PITA to setup, vs. the Vive. So this is completely unsurprising. The O/+/WMR has similar tracking issues due to using inside out tracking... cheaper, but more prone to errors.
Ya, now that I've got tracking setup correctly, I've got no complaints whatsoever.
 
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