PS VR, HTC Vive Pro, Oculus Go, Oculus Rift… the ultimate guide to VR headsets

HTC Vive Pro, Oculus Go, PlayStation VR, Google Cardboard, Mixed Reality….. If you look at the various offers related to virtual reality, this guide, which provides all the information about the features, prices, and availability of helmets you can see it more evident in the world of VR.

PS VR, HTC Vive Pro, Oculus Go, Oculus Rift… the ultimate guide to VR headsets

We now know pretty much everything we need to know about the first two generations of virtual reality helmets. The sequel, crystallized by “4K” screens or “all wireless” will not be written for a few years.

 

Oculus Rift: Features and Prices

The Oculus Rift is the project that triggered the current wave of virtual reality. Initially, an object of curiosity about Kickstarter, Palmer Luckey’s Virtual Reality Headset has inspired the biggest names in the new technology. And Mark Zuckerberg is the first since Facebook bought the $2 billion startups in March 2014. A long development followed, to arrive at a convincing final version at a quite high price. Oculus has the advantage of the first in. You can find most of the big games in the Oculus Store, whether Eve Valkyrie, Farlands, Killing Floor Incursion, Eagle Flight or SuperHot.

PS VR, HTC Vive Pro, Oculus Go, Oculus Rift… the ultimate guide to VR headsets

The Oculus Rift connects to a PC and requires a machine that is powerful enough to run games and applications started in virtual reality. You need a PC with at least one Nvidia GTX 970, an Intel Core i5-4590 and 8 GB RAM. Nvidia 1070-based configurations and their mobile equivalents are the most recommended. The total price of an Oculus Rift with all its gadgets exceeds $900.

Oculus Rift Technical characteristics
Screen OLED
Definition 2160×1200
refreshment 90 Hz
The angle of view 110 degrees
Play area 1.5m x 3m
audio Yes
Microphone Yes
Shifters Xbox One / Oculus touch
sensors Accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, the position sensor
connectivity HDMI, USB 2.0, USB 3.0

HTC Vive: Features and Prices

The HTC Vive is Valve and HTC’s answer to the Oculus Rift. The developer behind Steam chose HTC to design the object from A to Z. More immersive than the Oculus Rift thanks to a precise placement in space, the HTC Vive could convince with a controlled technology and hardware, which is completely contained in the basic version of the helmet.

Games for Vive are by far the most intense: you are the actor of the game and not just a spectator. We are right about defining virtual reality: you are in another world playing with your body. Most games can be found on Steam VR. The excellent The Lab is a must before you can shoot in Space Pirate Trainer, relax in Audioshield or watch whales in The Blu.

You need a powerful PC to run an HTC Vive: a Nvidia GTX 970 at least, an Intel Core i5-4590 and 8 GB RAM will not be too much to run the headset. Nvidia 1070-based configurations and their mobile equivalents are also best suited for the next generation of graphics chipsets. Note that the latest iMacs are VR-compatible with configurations based on AMD technologies.

HTC Vive Technical characteristics
Screen OLED
Definition 2160×1200
refreshment 90 Hz
Angle of view 110 degrees
Play area 4.5mx 4.5m
audio Helmet required
Microphone Yes
Shifters SteamVR Controller
sensors Accelerometer, gyroscope, laser position sensor, facial camera
connectivity HDMI, USB 2.0, USB 3.0

HTC Vive Pro

The HTC Vive Pro is the latest member of the Vive range. This is more of an evolution than a real break. HTC has refined its copy and proposes a better definition for each eye: 1440 x 1600 pixels per eye, making a total of 2 880 x 1 600 pixels for both eyes.

Beyond the definition that promises sharper graphics in games, the Vive Pro is an evolution of comfort: the headband is much more comfortable to wear than the classic Vive and comes with ear-fitting headphones. The foam at the front is replaced by a much better insulating plastic that is not too sensitive to sweat…..

As far as the relevance of a purchase compared to a Vive is concerned, the question arises and we cannot decide yet: At €879, the Vive Pro is still expensive today, but it is undoubtedly the best motorhome experience yet. If that is what you are looking for, especially for professional applications, there is no hesitation.

Mixed Reality Headphones

In late 2017, Microsoft unveiled a “reference design” for what it considered a minimum set of high-quality virtual reality trade. All historical partners of the Redmond giant took up the concept and proposed their ideas. The differences between the helmets are cosmetic or comfortable – the technical characteristics are not very different from helmet to helmet. A complete guide will be dedicated to them.

HELMETS THAT WORK ALONE

Oculus Go

The best price-performance ratio
The Oculus Go is the first independent motorhome helmet. It was published in May 2018 and is a response to the first two criticisms of virtual reality: it is too expensive or too cheap. Facebook, which owns Oculus, has therefore worked hard to bring out a virtual reality headset at a modest price (€219) that can work without a smartphone or computer.

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And here the Oculus Go is already a big success: All helmets in this manual are only a part of the price of the equipment needed for shooting. It is always necessary to count the computer at 900 € or the smartphone at 500 € for a helmet that requires a third peripheral. Oculus Go costs 219 Euros and gives you wireless access to all Oculus Store experiences. Its technical features correspond to the VR of a smartphone.

Today it is undoubtedly the best gateway to high-quality virtual reality. If you’ve never tried it before, you’ve come to the right place.

Oculus Go Technical characteristics
Screen LCD
Definition 2 560 x 1440
refreshment Up to 72 Hz
Characteristics Snapdragon 821, 3 GB RAM
Play area 4.5mx 4.5m
audio Included
Drums 2,600 mAh
Shifters Oculus Go Controller
sensors Accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity sensor
connectivity Micro-USB, jack

CONSOLE AND SMARTPHONE HEADSETS

PlayStation VR: Features and Prices

The PlayStation VR is the virtual reality headset developed by Sony for the PlayStation 4 console. Less powerful than the Vive or Oculus Rift, the Sony Virtual Reality headset is also much cheaper and the Japanese manufacturer has invested a lot of money to convince developers to offer customized content.

Sony relies heavily on its catalog to convince. For his fans, the Japanese announced fifty video games in VR, based in particular on successful PlayStation 4 licenses. Batman Arkham VR and Final Fantasy XV will be there. Resident Evil 7 will also be an experience of virtual reality. In short, Sony has done a good job and the PS VR is the perfect helmet to get started without spending too much money on virtual reality games.

When used with a PlayStation 4, the PlayStation VR is the only virtual reality headset that only requires about 400 Euros of hardware to operate. All details were announced at GDC 2016: You can find them here!

PlayStation VR  Technical characteristics
Screen OLED
Definition 1920×1080
refreshment 120 Hz
Angle of view 100 degrees
Play area 1.5m x 3m
audio Yes
Microphone Yes
Shifters PlayStation Move, Dual Shock 4
sensors Accelerometer, gyroscope, PlayStation Eye Tracking System

 

Gear VR: Equipment and prices

PS VR, HTC Vive Pro, Oculus Go, Oculus Rift… the ultimate guide to VR headsets

When Oculus was a part of Samsung, it produces Gear VR, a virtual reality helmet of a different kind. Its special feature is that it only works with a smartphone from the Galaxy, S or Note range. The games and experiences on the Gear VR are of lower quality since they are only concepts that were developed on a mobile platform.

Nevertheless, the Gear VR has been designed to be marketed at a low price (under €100) so that the public can discover virtual reality in good conditions. A difficult task that could have the opposite effect: to disgust the first customers with Virtual Reality because of a too bad experience.

The Gear VR is not really suitable for video games, as the smartphone does not really have the performance of a modern graphics card. Also, the helmet controls are badly adapted. The Gear VR has little to do with the headsets in this manual, as most of its functions depend on the smartphone that includes the headset. However, the overall experience is quite mediocre and we would not recommend it unless you get it for free with the purchase of your smartphone or at a very good price.

Google Cardboard & Daydream: Features and Prices

 

Google Cardboard is the first step into virtual reality. A piece of cardboard folded over itself to make a kind of bezel for a smartphone, Android or iOS applications, and the trick is done: they have a virtual reality headset of happiness. Of course, the experience is miles away from anything you can do with other helmets, but for small experiments the carton is excellent and the distance between it and a Gear VR is smaller than between the Gear VR and the higher value experiences.

Beware of headaches and stomach pains: without adjustment technique and motion sensors, the carton is not suitable for longer experiments. Rather, it is a well thought-out teaching aid that can be built up by folding boxes. Nintendo couldn’t have dreamt better. You can enjoy the entire Google Play experience catalog with your box. But don’t expect miracles.

Depending on your smartphone, the cardboard has as many features as there are models on the market. We still advise you to use it with a fairly large screen (between 4.7 and 6 inches) to have an immersive experience.

The Daydream is the luxury version of the box. For a few dozen euros, it does the same thing: you pay for the convenience and a controller that lets you move around in virtual reality environments. It is better processed and more beautiful than the Gear VR.