We have been waiting, biding our time, keeping our fingers crossed for a long time and it has finally happened. You can finally enjoy high quality and immersive virtual reality from your home, assuming that you have a well-built rig and you can shell out around 600 dollars for the Oculus Rift or 800 dollars in case of the HTC Vive.
This is the end result of decade’s worth of virtual reality research and sci-fi discussions. From the looks of it, virtual reality could end up having as big a societal impact, similar to the introduction of smartphones and internet.
Firstly, most of us are quite worried about the price and people have been speculating mythical price ranges. Well, the price isn’t unexpected but what you get for the price is simply fascinating.
Strictly comparing, the HTC Vive will burn a bigger hole in your pocket compared to the Rift. However, if you are already willing to spend that much, it won’t really matter which one you get. Keep in mind that Oculus will probably attempt to squirrel away some money with their motion controllers, expected to debut later this year.
There will also be additional sensors for a room-scale VR. At the same time, these numbers don’t include the additional amount you need to shell out for a powerful gaming PC. Oculus has partnered with heavy-weight companies like Alienware, Dell and Asus to offer rigs starting from as low as $1000.
If you built your own computer from scratch, it would probably cost you in the range of $700-800. Both Vive and Rift recommend an Nvidia GTX 970 or an AMD R9 290 Video card. You will also need an Intel Core i5 4590 or equivalent processor.
Coming to the Vive, it is one of the most advanced VR systems to be ever sold. The headset is immensely powerful and enables you to look around anywhere you want without a hitch. The wireless controllers make it easy for you to interact with objects located in the virtual world. The Vive also lets you walk around in the game.
Clearly speaking, this is as immersive as it gets. The Oculus Rift is definitely a great device but it simply doesn’t offer this level of immersion. For now, the Vive is the only system that will let you walk around, duck, lunge or stand up in the virtual world. For your VR activities, the company has suggested a standing room of 1.83 by 1.52 meters.
You can also opt for standing room only or go beyond 6×5. The Vive is highly customizable when it comes to setting up your play area. However, too much customization has apparently taken its toll. There is so much of stuff that the Vive can be a major pain.
It ships in a gigantic box which is about the size of a mini fridge. Inside the box, you will find two mini controllers, a headset, and two base stations along with a bridge for connecting the headset to your PC.
Each accessory also has one cable running through it. Even for someone who is quite focused on technology, finding the right cable for the right slot can be a highly painful task. The Vive goggles are pretty heavy, in fact noticeably heavier than the Rift. They are heavier than a lot of stuff like a bike helmet, scuba gear and baseball cap among others.