Virtual reality is hitting us now. The future is here, at least on the forefront of technology and evolution to the way we see the entertainment industry. A few weeks ago it began with the highly anticipated Oculus Rift. The Rift received strong reviews, despite a rather large purchase price ($600 USD). Perhaps its biggest competition comes from the HTC and Valve collaboration, the Vive. Here is what everyone is saying about the new VR device.
Where Rift feel’s like a VR headset built for mainstream consumption, Vive caters to the hardcore crowd that will stop at nothing to get the best VR experience. Over time, Oculus can presumably catch up when it releases its Touch controllers and sells individual sensors to expand Rift’s interactivity and motion-tracking capabilities. But for people who can’t wait, who are willing to go the extra mile right now, Vive is the only way to experience today’s most advanced VR technology from the comfort of home.
Vive is the best virtual-reality experience you can have right now, thanks to its motion controls and room-scale tracking. It’s the closest thing to having a holodeck in your home.
If you have the space, the budget, and patience to get through a difficult set-up I’d give the early nod to HTC Vive over Oculus Rift. Those are big “ifs” though. The experiences here can be awesome and HTC has amazing hardware. Unfortunately, the challenges are also all too real.
But then that’s a bit like saying “the water in this gorgeous swimming pool is a bit chilly.” I get to swim in this gorgeous pool, right? So what if the headset’s a bit uncomfortable when it’s capable of magically transporting you — and your hands and sort of your body — into fantastical worlds? I’ll put up with it, I suppose. It’s worth it.
The Verge 8/10
In the end, there’s a good argument that the Vive’s ideal customers are neither makers nor players of games. Virtual reality has a long history in fields like architecture, industrial design, and military training, and the solid, no-nonsense Vive can replace older solutions like CAVE rooms at a fraction of the cost. Oculus has clearly thrown its weight behind VR film and gaming, but Valve and HTC have been more circumspect — they didn’t craft an entertainment ecosystem, they just showed up with some goggles and controllers and let people play with them. For now, at least, that’s turned out to be enough.
Surprisingly, the Rift and Vive have similar reviews. The biggest culprit of any sort of negativity regarding these products is the pricing. Surely enough, asking $600 and $800 from consumers is quite steep (this is about twice the price of a console now). Some reviews even knock at the lack of content to support these prices. That all being said, the entertainment industry is putting too much faith into virtual reality to fail.