2016 Holiday Season: The Virtual Reality Gift Guide
VR is really new still, but there are still games you should look into
We recently learned that the PlayStation VR was selling substantially lower than Sony had previously expected. But the reason for this isn't because VR is lacking, but rather the PlayStation is lacking in VR titles. Virtual Reality is actually pretty great, but the good titles need to be found through the piles. If a VR headset is on you or a loved one's wish list, let this guide help you make a decision!
The Oculus Rift was the first headset to start this new wave of VR craze. Developed by Palmer Luckey and Kickstarted via Kickstarer.com, the Oculus Rift plugs into a computer's DVI and USB ports and tracks head movements to show a 3D image on stereo screens.
It projects an image with 2160 x 1200 resolution and works at 233 million pixels per second. Its refresh rate is 90Hz. It matches the HTC Vive (covered later) in terms of refresh rate, but neither has the refresh rate as the Playstation VR (also covered later). However, since the Oculus Rift is a PC exclusive, for the time being, it's power is only held back by the latest PC specs. Thus it potentially has more power than the PlayStation VR headset.
The Oculus Rift will very soon have the Oculus Touch controller. Originally, the Rift could be coupled with an Xbox One controller, but it will soon come with its own dedicated controller better to sync with the headset's capabilities.
As mentioned before, the PlayStation VR's sales have been substantially lower than Sony had predicted, and it's because of their lack of substantial games. The Vive and the Oculus Rift have the advantage of being on PC where indie developers can develop and launch games on markets like Steam. PlayStation developers have a few more hoops to jump through before being able to launch a game on the platform.
The hope is that the PlayStation VR being backed exclusively by Sony themselves will lend itself to quality Triple-A VR titles, but being that it's new and huge endeavors like Uncharted take a long time and money, this hasn't happened in the numbers it has for the other two headsets. The PlayStation VR would be more of a future investment. The fact that it's the cheapest on the market right now also helps, coming at only $399.
The HTC Vive was created in collaboration with Valve, the people behind Steam. As such, it is a PC exclusive and officially the Mercedes of VR headsets. It plugs into a PC and works in conjunction with Steam.
The price is the only negative part about the HTC Vive because the specs are actually quite amazing. It comes packed with 70 sensors to offer a 360-degree head tracking as well as a 90Hz refresh rate. It has multiple indie developers working on games for it, as well as some bigger names, so it's not short on titles, though many are experimental unlike the PlayStation VR's polished, though technically inferior experience. Make no mistake, the HTC Vive is built for those who like to experiment and tinker and less for those looking to simply pick up and play.
The HTC Vive also sets itself apart by having the ability to not only move your head, but move your body around the room as well with the help of the Lighthouse room tracking system. This does require mounting sensors in a room with no obstructions to trip over while gaming. Again, the Vive is arguably the most advanced headset out there, but the requirements needed will make it a debate on which headset one should get.
(Continue for VR game titles!)