VR Comparison Tables For PC and PlayStation 4

Last update: August 2018

This article contains VR comparison tables for PC and PlayStation 4. I took into consideration only those manufacturers which offer customer version of their device. I do not cover any prototypes.

The amount of information gathered here is quite intimidating. If you are trying to figure out which product will suit your needs best, please read this article first. It will speed up the decision process and spare you a headache.

Currently the only VR system for a gaming console is PSVR, which can be used with any model of PlayStation 4.

The systems for PC include:

  • Oculus Rift
  • HTC Vive
  • HTC Vive Pro
  • Windows Mixed Reality:
    Samsung Odyssey
    Lenovo Explorer
    Dell Visor
    Acer
    HP

Please click on the link below to go to the section you are interested in:

Decision tree – spare yourself the headache by focusing on what’s important

Take a look at a selection of interesting buying options found on Amazon.com

Use Cases
Features Of Various Systems
Features Of The Headsets
Image Quality Of The Headsets
Comfort Of The Headsets
Features Of The Controllers
Engagement Mechanisms Of The Controllers
PC System Requirements For VR

 


Interesting buying options on Amazon.com
PSVROculus RiftHTC Vive & Vive ProWindows Mixed Reality

USE CASES OF THE VR SYSTEMS
PSVROculus RiftHTC ViveHTC Vive
Pro
Windows Mixed Reality (Samsung Odyssey, Lenovo, Dell, Acer, HP)
Playing VR gamesYes
Watching 360-degrees videos & photosYes
Playing non-VR games in VR (VorpX)NoYesPainful to get it working
Large Virtual ScreenYes
Playing non-VR Xbox One games on a Large Virtual Screen?Yes
Useful for work
(when software has a VR interface)
NoYes
3D Blu-ray PlaybackYesNo

FEATURES OF THE VR SYSTEMS
PSVROculus RiftHTC ViveHTC Vive
Pro
Windows Mixed Reality
(Samsung Odyssey, Lenovo, Dell, Acer, HP)
Hardware PlatformAny model of PlayStation4PC
Room-Scale VRNoOptionalYes
Play Area Up To6.2ft x 9.8ft
(1.9m x 3m)
8ft x 9ft
(2.4m x 2.7m)
with 3 Sensors
11.3ft x 11.3ft
(3.5m x 3.5m)
with two Base Stations 1.0
33ft x 33ft
(10m x 10m)
with four Base Stations 2.0
Limited only by the cable length: 13ft (4m)
TrackersAim Controller-Vive Tracker
-
User-FriendlinessOkProblematicOk/Problematic
StoresPlayStation StoreOculus Store,
Steam VR
VivePort,
Steam VR
Microsoft Store,
Steam VR
Number & Quality Of GamesGoodVery GoodVery Good/GoodVery Good/Good
(some games may feel buggy)

Play Area

Play area for any VR system will be always limited. Is it really that important to have that area huge ?

All headsets are wired, so you have to constantly watch out to avoid tripping over. That alone reduces the immersion provided by the ability to walk around.

You can make your Oculus or Vive headset to be wireless with an adapter. Once its wireless a few steps more in either direction can actually make a big difference. For example, in the middle of a sword fight you don’t really want to drop out.

In case of the tethered headsets, the ability to turn around without any limits is actually more important. Windows Mixed Reality and both Vives support it out of the box. In case of the Rift you need an additional sensor (altogether 3 of them) and PSVR unfortunately doesn’t support it at all. Move Controllers (PSVR) are tracked only when you face the camera and you cannot plug more cameras to make it better.

User-Friendliness

PSVR is more user friendly then the competition due to the nature of gaming consoles, which are designed to be like that. It is not entirely problems free though.

Other VR systems are powered by a PC, which is more versatile than consoles, yet there is no way to avoid running into problems on that platform. Compatibility issues, software conflicts and more will raise their ugly head sooner or later. Yes, with the internet access you can find a solution in most cases, however it can be annoying and takes time.

Vive and Rift require external pieces of hardware (base stations/sensors) to have it working. Setting it up is time consuming and can be a source of problems.

Windows Mixed Reality works on its own. You plug the headset into a PC and that’s it. The main source of problems in this case is USB 3.0.

Even if your port is compatible (USB 3.0 Type-A or C), it still may not work. The headset puts a heavy data load on the port and not every motherboard can facilitate it. The bad news is that even if it does, sometimes it takes a fair bit of tinkering with the port configuration before you see it working.

Rift and Vive Pro use USB 3.0 too, so you can run into similar problems as well.

Click on a system name to go to the full list of issues people encountered: Oculus Rift, HTC Vive.

Stores

PlayStation store is a repository of games for PlayStation only.

Games listed on Oculus Store officially work only for Oculus Rift, however, if you use an exploit – ReVive, you can play them using Vive and Windows Mixed Reality systems as well. Initially Oculus patched the system against it, happily they have removed it.

Remember that because of the unique features of the Oculus Touch controllers, the experience on any other system may not be as good.

The biggest repository of VR games is Steam. Bear in mind though, that many of those games are indie or just proof of concept, so quality is not necessarily there.

VR games on Steam can be played using all VR systems for PC, however Windows Mixed Reality, as a newcomer, is more prone to glitches and bugs. Those issues are being gradually removed with each software update.

Some important improvements for Steam WMR are experimental (motion reprojection), so to use them you have to use beta version of the software and enable them manually.


Also, Steam has a very generous refund policy. You can claim your money back within 14 days since the time of purchase. If you haven’t played longer than 2 hours, a refund will be given. Oculus has a similar policy.

With PlayStation Store you can request a refund to your PSN wallet within 14 days as well. The conditions are more restrictive though. The refund will be given only when you haven’t started downloading or streaming the product or if it was defective. It means that you cannot try anything out, however you can get a free demo for many titles.

Vive and Windows Mixed Reality have their dedicated online stores as well, namely: VivePort and Microsoft Store. Their refund policy (VivePort, Microsoft Store) is not so good though – claims are honored only when product is defective.

Another place to buy games in digital or boxed version is Amazon. It’s worthwhile to check prices in all the relevant places before pulling a plug.

Number & Quality Of Games

As of June, 2018, Steam contains 3154 games officially supporting the Vive, 2071 – Oculus Rift and 504 – Windows Mixed Reality.

Lack of official support doesn’t mean that you cannot play them using a different system. Most games work without major problems on all three, however if your system is not officially supported, some games may feel not so great. That’s usually due to the awkward buttons mapping between different controllers. For example many games do not support thumb-sticks (Vive controllers do not have them).

Quality of tracking, especially for the controllers, plays a role here as well. More on that can be found down below.

Games listed on Oculus Store were created specifically for the Rift, however using ReVive you can usually unlock them for any other system as well. Just remember that due to the special features of the Oculus Touch controllers, your experience may differ.

PSVR games can be played only on PlayStation 4.

 

To evaluate quality of games I’m using metacritic. Bear in mind that many VR games are not rated there at all and that it takes more time for a PC game to get a rating.

Lists of VR games with metacritic score of at least 60 can be found here. In what follows I’m using these lists to draw some conclusions:

  • 21 titles are available only for PSVR
  • 13 titles are Oculus exclusives
  • 18 games listed on Steam are not available for PSVR
  • altogether 31 VR games are not available for PSVR

Majority of games listed on Steam and Oculus Store can be played on any VR system for PC. It’s obvious that their owners have an edge.

In closing, it’s worth to mention that Oculus Store is often credited as the best content provider (games & other content).


 

FEATURES OF THE HEADSETS
PSVROculus RiftHTC ViveHTC Vive
Pro
Samsung OdysseyLenovoDellAcerHP
Main Tracking Method headset tracked by external camerasheadset uses signals from external base stationsheadset uses input from its own on-board cameras
Quality Of Tracking For The HeadsetOKGoodVery GoodGood
WirelessNoOptionalOptionalupcoming
On-Board Headphones NoYesOptionalYesNo
On-Board Microphone YesNo
Adjustment Of The Eye ReliefYesNoYesNo
Hardware Adjustment to Personal IPDNoYesNo

Quality Of Tracking For The Headset

The Vive features the most rock solid motion tracking.

PSVR and Oculus solved the problem of tracking with external cameras.

HTC took a completely different approach. Their two base stations are nothing more than external reference points used by the headset to establish its position and orientation in space.

Imagine a football pitch with cameras installed across the diagonal and a player in the middle. If the player rotates a little bit, it’s not a massive difference from the point of view of the cameras. On the other hand from the point of view of the player, the position of cameras changed a lot
because they are far away. On this example it is easy to understand why Vive’s solution is more robust.

Approach of Windows Mixed Reality (WMR) systems is similar. They rely on cameras installed in the headset. The cameras are able to pick up reference points from the external environment and use them to calculate the position of the headset. Contrary to the Vive, WMR systems don’t need any external, auxiliary hardware.

The advantage of the WMR’s approach is unlimited area within which tracking is feasible. At the moment WMR headsets are connected to the PC with a cable, so in practice this area is limited.

WMR technique of tracking in its current state has some shortcomings. If cameras cannot pick up any reference points, tracking will cease to work. That can happen for example when you are close to the surface without any pattern like a uniformly white wall.

So far I have discussed tracking of the headsets, the controllers are a separate issue which is discussed somewhere else.

In closing, let me add that motion sickness is less likely for systems with better motion tracking.

Hardware Adjustment To Personal IPD

Adjusting the headset to your personal IPD is very important. Without it you won’t be able to see clearly in VR and you run the risk of getting a VR headache.

If the headset doesn’t provide a hardware adjustment, the distance between the lenses is fixed, and you cannot adjust it to match your IPD. In such cases a software correction is provided.

The average IPD for men is 64 mm and for women 61.7 mm. Software adjustment becomes problematic above 67 mm.

In case of PSVR it is more generous – up to 70 mm.


 

IMAGE QUALITY OF THE HEADSETS
PSVROculus RiftHTC ViveHTC Vive
Pro
Samsung OdysseyLenovoDellAcerHP
Resolution Per Eye1080 x 9601080 x 12001400 x 16001440 x 16001440 x 1440
ContrastVery Good
(OLED display)
Ok
(LED display)
Field Of View
in degrees
100100110110110105105-10010095
Size Of The Sweet Spot?LargeMediumSmall
God RaysMediumStrongMedium

Resolution

One may ask about perceived differences in resolution.

PSVR feels blurry in comparison with PC.

If we compare Vive/Rift with Odyssey/Vive Pro many people claim that the difference is not massive.

One thing is certain: texts are significantly more readable in the Odyssey/Vive Pro.

Field Of View

The smaller the FOV the more it feels like looking through the binoculars.


 

COMFORT OF THE HEADSETS
PSVROculus RiftHTC ViveHTC Vive
Pro
Samsung OdysseyLenovoDellAcerHP
Weight (g)610470555 or 470?645380590350510
Visor Flip-Up MechanismNoYes
Countering Light Leaks and WobblingProblematicOkProblematic
Overall ComfortVery GoodGoodOk, Good with DASGoodGoodVery GoodVery Good
/Good
Good/OkOk
Glasses accommodationGoodProblematicGoodGood
Correction Inserts-YesYesYes-

Comfort of The Headsets

Weight of the headset listed on Acer’s website is 440 g. That’s the weight of the development kit. The version sold to customers is actually lighter: 350 g, not to mention additional padding at the back of the headset.

Number usually listed as HP’s weight is 840 g. In reality it is closer to Dell – around 510 g. The heavier version is probably a development kit.

Of course weight affects the comfort, however, simple relation – the lighter, the better – doesn’t hold. Please read on to learn why.

There are two basic approaches for VR headset design.

Oculus Rift, Vive and Vive Pro resemble goggles. Design like this makes it easier to counter wobbling of the headset. It’s also easier to prevent external light from leaking inside.
You simply shorten the straps to get a tighter fit.

The negative side of such design stems from the fact that the weight of these headsets is concentrated in front. This results in unnatural strain put on the neck, which after a while can turn into a fatigue.

In case of the Vive Pro the problem was alleviated by adding a counter-weight at the back of the headset.

PSVR and all Windows Mixed Reality (WMR) headsets adhere to completely different philosophy.

The headsets consist of a band which mostly rests above the forehead. The goal of such design is a uniform distribution of the weight around the head. As a result PSVR and WMRs are more comfortable than goggles, even when they are heavier.

The forehead part of the HP’s headband is narrower than its counterpart for the rest of the WMRs. That’s probably why people generally claim that this one is the least comfortable among WMRs. It doesn’t mean it’s bad !!! Just not as good.

Another problem of HP is a location of the audio jack. It is at the bottom of the visor, so it is easy to yank the cable out by accident.

PSVR and Windows Mixed Reality headsets feature a single connection edge between the headband and the visor (part of the headset housing a display). The connection goes along the top part of the latter. For some headsets it’s a hinge which allows to flip the visor up, so you can look around the room without taking off the headset.

Because of the single connection edge described above, it is not possible to fit the visor of PSVR and WMRs as tight as for the goggles (Rift & Vives), so countering the wobbling and light leaks may be more difficult.

The overall comfort of the headsets is difficult to evaluate, because there is no universal agreement. The ratings provided aim at capturing opinion of the majority.

Also, the headsets which are comfortable without glasses, may be problematic to use for people who need them.

PSVR and WMRs accommodate glasses well. The same is true for the Vive and Vive Pro, because those two support adjustment of the eye relief.

Having said this, in general, using VR is more comfortable without glasses. For some headsets it is possible to get correction inserts which fit inside. Alternatively one can resort to contact lenses.


 

FEATURES OF THE CONTROLLERS
NameMove ControllersTouch ControllersVive ControllersOdyssey ControllersMotion Controllers
VR systemPSVR Oculus RiftVive & Vive ProSamsung OdysseyLenovo, Dell, Acer, HP
Tracking PrincipleFollowed by external camera(s)Using signals from external base stationsFollowed by two cameras on-board of the headset
Tracking Quality For The ControllersOk/PoorAccurate with 3 Sensors,
no room-scale VR with less than 3
Very AccurateGood/Ok
WirelessYes
Controllers Powered By Removable BatteriesNoYesNoYes
Battery Life (hours)1020-306-98-10
ErgonomicsOk/PoorVery GoodGoodOk

Tracking Quality For The Controllers

Move Controllers of PSVR are tracked by a single camera. If you turn away from it, tracking of the controllers is lost. Also, Move Controllers may drift out of place for very dynamic games.

Touch Controllers are tracked by the Oculus Sensors. If you have just two of them, you cannot really turn more than 90 degrees. To solve this problem you will need an additional Sensor. Then you can turn around and walk about in the play area.

Vive Controllers use signals from the base stations to generate information which allows to find their position and orientation is space. Tracking works anywhere in the play area without any limits.

Controllers of the Windows Mixed Reality systems are tracked by the cameras installed in the headsets. If the controller leaves their field of view for a couple of seconds or gets too close to them, tracking is lost.

This limit is not a problem in most cases. It can be annoying for some games though.

For example shooters often require holding hands close to the face, most notably archery ones.
In such case your virtual hands may drift out of place.

Some dynamic games (e.g. Beat Saber) rely on rock solid tracking, especially if you play competitively. Windows Mixed Reality controllers are not up to the task like that.

Controllers Powered By Removable Batteries

If controllers are powered by removable batteries, once they are drained, you simply replace batteries and keep playing.

If batteries are built-in, you have to plug controllers for charging, which is not ideal.


 

ENGAGEMENT MECHANISMS OF THE CONTROLLERS
NameMove ControllersTouch ControllersVive ControllersOdyssey ControllersMotion Controllers
VR systemPSVR Oculus RiftVive & Vive ProSamsung OdysseyLenovo, Dell, Acer, HP
TouchpadNoYes
Thumb-stickNoYesNoYes
TriggerYes
Grip ButtonNoYes
Action Buttons420
Touch SensorsNoYesNo
Haptic Feedback
(vibrations)
Yes

MINIMAL PC REQUIREMENTS FOR VR
Oculus Rift with room-scale-VRHTC ViveHTC Vive
Pro
Windows Mixed Reality
(Samsung Odyssey,
Lenovo, Dell, Acer, HP)
Resulting Framerate (Hz)9060
ProcessorsIntel i3-6100
or
AMD Ryzen 3 1200
or
AMD FX4350
Intel Core i5-4590
or
AMD FX 8350
Intel Core i5 7200U
dual-core with Hyper-Threading enabled
GPUsNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti or
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 4GB
or
AMD Radeon RX 470 or
AMD Radeon R9 290
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970
or
AMD Radeon R9 290
Intel
HD Graphics 620 integrated with various processors
or
NVIDIA GeForce MX150
or
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M or
AMD Radeon RX 460/560
Memory8 GB4 GB8GB DDR3 dual channel
Video OutputHDMI 1.3HDMI 1.4 or
DisplayPort 1.2
DisplayPort 1.2HDMI 1.4
or
DisplayPort 1.2
USB ports2x USB 3.0 and 2x USB 2.01x USB 2.01x USB 3.01x USB 3.0
Type-A or Type-C
Bluetooth-version 4.0
Windows8.1 or newer7 SP1 or newer8.1 or newer10

Resulting Framerate

60 Hz is ok, however at 90 the experience is significantly better and motion sickness is less likely.


RECOMMENDED PC REQUIREMENTS FOR VR
(when they differ from the minimal, it is indicated in red)
Oculus Rift
with
room-scale VR
HTC ViveHTC Vive
Pro
Windows Mixed Reality
(Samsung Odyssey, Lenovo, Dell, Acer, HP)
Resulting Framerate (Hz)9090
ProcessorsIntel i5-4590
or
AMD Ryzen 5 1500X
Intel Core i5-4590
or
AMD FX 8350
Intel Core i5 4590 quad-core
or
AMD Ryzen 5 1400 3.4Ghz quad-core
GPUsNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
or
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970
or
AMD Radeon RX 480
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
or
AMD Radeon RX 480
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
or
AMD RX 470/570
Memory8 GB4 GB8GB DDR3
Video OutputHDMI 1.3HDMI 1.4
or
DisplayPort 1.2
DisplayPort 1.2HDMI 2.0
or
DisplayPort 1.2
USB ports2x USB 3.0 and 2x USB 2.01x USB 2.01x USB 3.01x USB 3.0 Type-A or Type-C
Bluetooth-version 4.0
Windows7 SP1 64-bit or newer7 SP1 or newer8.1 or newer10

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2 thoughts on “VR Comparison Tables For PC and PlayStation 4

  1. Philo

    Good article, really like your site. Btw, just so you know all of the tables say “HTC Vie Pro” when it should say “HTC Vive Pro” (Vive is misspelled). Doesn’t really matter though, just thought I’d mention it

    Reply

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