The PlayStation VR has been my VR choice of gear since it came out. Well, not “choice,” per se, but my only way for VR outside of Cardboard. I really liked the PlayStation VR from the moment I put the headset on. When I first tried VR a year back, I was immediately hooked. I craved it. When the PlayStation VR came out I was in heaven. There was one caveat, it make my thirst for VR an issue.
I consumed a lot of PlayStation VR content. Some I loved. Some I didn’t like much at all. Some made me want to throw up, literally. Hello, VR nausea! While I enjoyed my PlayStation VR, I wanted bigger and better. I wanted more resolution, more true frames, and more content. Oh Oculus Rift, how did I crave thee?
Should I sell my PlayStation VR and get an Oculus Rift? I know I love VR. It’s an experience I want more of. I don’t have a PC that’s capable of doing anything VR. To get Oculus Rift it would cost me $1500 if I’m frugal. I wasn’t sure if it would be worth it. I couldn’t just buy it on my awful ‘I need tech and I need it bad baby!’ disposition that I have. I had to experience it first hand.
Over the past week I’ve been able to give the Oculus Rift a test run and pit it against my PlayStation VR. The rig I tried it out on was adorned with a GeoForce 1070 with more than enough horsepower to push the Oculus Rift as far as it could go. The Oculus Rift and 1070 gave me an experience that would make or break, err… make or sell, my PlayStation VR.
The Oculus Rift, and PlayStation VR, are the same over the head type of headsets. The Oculus Rift has built in headphones and the PlayStation VR goes the earbud route. The Oculus Rift has three ways to adjust fit on your head while the PlayStation VR only has two. The fit of the Oculus Rift feels better than the PlayStation VR. I was able to get the Oculus Rift to sit on my head and envelope it far easier, and more, more on that in a minute, than the PlayStation VR. Oculus Rift gets the nod for adjustability.
Light leak is an issue with the PlayStation VR. Light leaks in from the bottom of the headset no matter how much you finagle it. It’s the reason why the PlayStation VR needs a third adjustment, articulation of the screen. The Oculus Right was snug right to my face. There was no light leak coming from anywhere. That tighter fit added to the immersion. Oculus Rift gets the nod for the fit.
More resolution means more of a realistic VR experience. The Oculus Rift has the resolution edge over the PlayStation VR by 120 pixels per eye. Numbers on a paper, but how does it translate to a real wold experience? It doesn’t. The Oculus Rift may have the pixel edge, but it’s nearly imperceivable. You can notice the benefit here and there, but it’s insignificant. Both headsets had about the same brightness. The field of views of both is roughly the same. The Oculus Rift FOV felt a little tighter than the PlayStation VR. It seems that my left and right edge vision was being cut off sooner than it is with the PlayStation VR. Overall, it’s a tie for the resolution and viewing pleasure.
Both, the Oculus Rift, and the PlayStation VR, rely on camera tracking to calculate where you are in space. This one isn’t even close. The Oculus Rift wins hands down. I thought the PlayStation VR was pretty good in its response to gamer movement, the Oculus Rift showed how it could be done. Because of the accuracy, and speed, at which the Oculus Rift calculates a gamers motion, I believe, is the reason why I feel motion sickness in VR, well, with the PlayStation VR. There’s no wobble when standing with the Oculus Rift like there is with the PlayStation VR. It’s difficult to explain how much a slight improvement in accuracy, and stability, adds to a VR experience. You can try them days apart and you’ll still be able to tell the difference, easily, and immediately. Oculus Rift gets the nod for tracking, VR nausea and all the related.
An extension of the accuracy of the headsets are the input devices. In the PlayStation 4’s case it’s the Move controllers. In the Oculus Rift’s case, it’s the Oculus Touch. As with the camera tracking, there’s no comparison. The Oculus Touch is an exceedingly better experience. I’d go so far as calling the Oculus Touch the biggest revolution in game input since the advent of six button controllers. The immersion is astounding. You truly feel as if your hands are right there in the game. The difference here is far above the resolution difference, and far above the difference in spacial tracking. The Oculus Touch is the blueprint of controller based VR input. The Oculus Rift easily gets the nod for gamer input.
As much as the Oculus Rift has the edge over the PlayStation VR, in some cases, a substantial edge, I wasn’t wowed enough by the Oculus Rift. I was expecting much bigger viewing difference as far as the screens go. You can see the ‘screen door effect’ on the Oculus Rift more than you can on the PlayStation VR. It’s noticeable. The PlayStation VR appears to have more of a fine grain than the Oculus Rift where as the Oculus Rift has a more noticeable individual pixel border.
Now, the big question, which one should someone buy? As is usually the case, it depends… If you have a capable PC, you get an Oculus Rift. That’s a very easy decision. If you only have a PlayStation 4, Pro or otherwise, a PlayStation VR is your choice. That’s a very easy decision as well. If you have a capable PC, and a PlayStation 4, Pro or otherwise, you pay the extra $100 and get an Oculus Rift. Actually, you’d pay the extra $300, you’ll want the Oculus Touch. That’s an easy decision as well. Me, I ended up staying with my PlayStation VR.
The Oculus Rift just wasn’t enough of a ‘wow factor’ for me to entertain the $1800 I would need for the VR experience I would want. I went in hoping to be wowed. I was and I wasn’t. But I wasn’t wowed enough to warrant the substantial investment. The Oculus Rift experience is superior to the PlayStation VR experience, but not $1300 more superior. The fall will be interesting with the Xbox One Scorpio releasing and how VR will be used on the console. I’m hoping Scorpio will be strong enough to power an Oculus Rift experience that pushes the headset to its limits. I hope it does. Or maybe the Vive will work on it? One can dream, right?