Implementation of VR in reality
At a high level, Oculus Rift and PSVR work the same way. This is a display that you wear on your head and the light emitted by the display is transmitted by the camera in front of you. The cameras track the movement of your head by tracking how the lights coming from the headset move, and the display inside the headset adjusts the image you see based on the tracking of that head. When you look around, you can see the 360-degree world through a pair of lenses that warp the image on the display into something that is actually in front of you.
There are a few details that are significant when comparing the design of these two headsets. If you’re looking to pick one up this year, you’ll want to know which one will offer the best overall experience. So what about what’s under the hood?
|category||PlayStation VR||Oculus Rift|
|display||5.7 inches||3.54″ × 2|
|permission||1920 × RGB × 1080 (960 × RGB × 1080 per eye)||2160×1200 (1080×1200 per eye)|
|line of sight||100 degrees||110 degrees|
|sensors||Six-axis motion detection system, PlayStation Camera tracking||constellation camera|
|connections||HDMI, Aux, stereo headphone jack||HDMI, USB 3.0 x2|
|input||PlayStation Move, DualShock 4||Xbox Controller, Oculus Touch, Oculus Remote|
|The weight||610g||470 g|
The Oculus Rift boasts a pair of 2160×1600 displays, while Sony has a single 1920×1080 display spanning the entire headset. Oculus appears to have a significant advantage in screen resolution, which usually means everything looks better and more detailed in the Rift headset. In fact, the screen resolution in PSVR is actually 1920xRBGx1080, and this «RGB» average makes it so that the Sony display is much denser than the Oculus Rift.
A quick way to visually identify this is through something called the screen door effect. With Oculus Rift lenses, you can often see a grid of tiny black lines dividing the display. On PlayStation VR, this effect is much less noticeable. You get slightly less detail on PlayStation VR, but the shift away from the «nearly screenless» effect means the detail you see isn’t interrupted.
Style and comfort
The way the headset is attached to the head is another important detail, especially when it comes to overall comfort. Oculus uses an elastic rail so you can put the headset on your head and secure the display to your face with Velcro. Once connected, the headset will not move while diving and jumping in VR. It’s not exactly comfortable for more than an hour, and the narrow display port means those with prescription glasses will be a little cramped, but it works.
Oculus has developed a unique headset aimed at technical excellence, while Sony offers a pleasant and comfortable experience that you can create yourself.
PSVR is very different; it has a display that doesn’t really touch your face. A simple, halo-like band wraps around the back of your head and creates an anchor that feels much lighter than the Rift without getting in the way of your goggles. There is no «virtual face» from having the headset pressed against your skin, and you can move around the same way without worrying about the headset slipping or slipping. PlayStation VR is one of the most comfortable VR headsets you can wear today.
Both PSVR and Oculus Rift have shifted their focus to motion controllers for most games using the PlayStation Move or Oculus Touch. Both of these systems allow you to reach out with your real weapon and interact with the virtual world or point the virtual weapon where you feel like the enemy really exists. It’s a lot of fun on both systems, but you’ll find that the PlayStation Move controllers are less accurate and less interesting, which is what happens when you resurrect controllers from 2010 without updating them at all.
Performance and gameplay
For starters, the Oculus Rift uses infrared light from the headset instead of the bright blue, glowing light bars Sony uses for PSVR. This means you can’t see the light coming from the Rift, so the headset has a much more subdued design. This also means that Oculus Rift will perform better in brightly lit rooms or in direct sunlight. PSVR offers a lot of warnings to be careful when using the headset in bright rooms and requires recalibration when the light in your room changes dramatically. Oculus Rift has almost no such problems.
Sony is no stranger to exclusive games, but so is Oculus. You can find many quality titles on both sides that are not available on the other.
Audio is an incredibly important part of the VR experience, and Sony and Oculus are tackling this issue in completely different ways. Headphones are built into the Rift headset, so you can immerse yourself as soon as you turn on the headset and start playing. PSVR offers a headphone jack on the cable that leads from the headset to the PlayStation 4 and includes a set of universal headphones in the box. While it’s very important that you can use any headphones with PSVR — except for wireless headphones — it’s certainly much more comfortable with headphones on than with headphones after you’ve closed your VR eyes.
Games that exist on both platforms play about the same, which is important when you consider how much more powerful your average gaming PC is compared to the PlayStation 4. Eve: Valkyrie is a great example that you can play on both systems where you can’t tell which one is better than the other when you’re done. Windlands is another title that is equally impressive in both systems. Since both systems are a little dated and we’ve seen games like Skyrim VR appear on both, it’s clear that Rift is still ready to make a more compelling game overall (especially when you consider the many mods).
Decide what’s best for you
As you can see, these headsets are completely different. Oculus has developed a unique headset aimed at technical excellence, while Sony offers a pleasant and comfortable experience that you can create yourself. There’s a lot to like about both systems, but PSVR currently has a more attractive headset out of the box. The Oculus Rift is a more capable VR experience, and the Oculus Touch controllers are in a class on their own right now, but the question quickly arises whether the Oculus Rift is really nearly twice as good as PlayStation VR. Plain and simple, it’s not. Sony has done a lot right with PSVR, and while we may regularly wish for updates to outdated PlayStation Move controllers, the rest of the experience comes perilously close to being as good as the Oculus Rift.
You can’t get very far in the world of VR without talking about prices, and for good reason. To power a $400 Oculus Rift (including touch controllers), you’ll need a $700 to $800 computer. It’s a great experience if you can afford it, but the moment you’re asking $1,100 to $1,300 for a great VR experience, you’ll run into a lot of people who will just say no and move on.
An important feature of PSVR is that you only need a PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 4 Pro to run it, and unlike a powerful gaming PC, many people already own this console. However, if you don’t, you’ll still need a $280 PlayStation 4 to power the $350 PSVR that comes with PlayStation Move, PS Camera, and Skyrim VR controllers.
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Enjoy virtual games with ease and comfort. The PlayStation VR package includes a VR headset, two Move controllers, a PlayStation camera, and two games. Included games are Moss and Astrobot Rescue Mission.