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Thread: Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive - For a Layman, Pros and Cons?

  1. #1

    Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive - For a Layman, Pros and Cons?

    Hi,

    I played ED when it came out, but had to fold after 1st baby. I want to come back, and now have also a better rig able to do VR. I am however a layman, and most articles I read in the press states the HTC Vive is better than the Oculus Rift overall as a VR setup.

    Truly, beside ED, I dont think I will play other VR games (I am mostly a grand strategy player where VR is useless). So, for ED, could someone objectively lay out for me the pros and cons of each VR setup if it was bought by a layman who dont want to spend more than one afternoon setting up the system (2nd baby just came)?

    Thanks
    Ceodryn

  2. #2
    I tried both before committing to Oculus.

    Factors for me.

    Oculus has a more polished form factor, lighter and more comfortable.

    Upcoming Oculus Touch hands on reviews have clearly agreed it's the best VR hands solution.

    Oculus was designed as sit down experience and works very well.

    Vive has a good game line up, but the controllers and setup is a little clunky.

  3. #3
    I've only had minimal exposure to the Oculus headset, and own the Vive. Since you plan to to play ED only, the (included, excellent!) controllers and (currently) greater cross-section of games are not important (although, TBH, one session with Google Earth VR will probably change your mind). Vive's setup is - in my opinion - much easier than people purport it to be. Even my initial set-up took less than 15 minutes, but maybe I just got lucky. I regularly transfer the vive and lighthouses between my office and my studio (at week-ends when there are no clients and I can utilize the whole floor). This takes about 10 minutes (including unplugging and schlepping the PC and running the setup app which is indeed a bit clunky, but still well executed). What I really, really enjoy about the Vive is its superior tracking. I'm not convined the Oculus can compete here, but in ED this is seldom a concern as you'll be mostly facing the detector anyway (you can set up the Vive to face any direction, which gives you more space for rudder and HOTAS setup. My setup currently has my computer screen behind me. This is probably also possible with the Oculus). Software-wise, I've yet have to experience an issue with the headset, be it Elite or otherwise (and let me tell you, Elite's integration is exemplary. Elite with VR is so much better than without it's not even funny). For a good Vive experience you need some serious CPU lifting power in your rig. Luckily, you can test this for free: get the Steam app (if you haven't already) and run the free VR test. If you end up all in green you are golden (sorry, couldn't resist). Believe me, for a convincing, and fun, experience, head tracking (not necessarily image fidelity) tracking precision and responsiveness is the single most important aspect. This the Vive delivers in spades. Plus, walking around your Cockpit (once you get to a Vulture or larger vessel) is fun, but only the icing on the cake.

    What annoys me most about the Vive is that I must use my own headset, while the Oculus has it's own built-in (the Vive comes with some flimsy earpods that you recycle immediately). Then again, when I bring out the big head set, the experience is superior (I'm sure you can use your own earphone with the Rift as well), but since you have two younglings at your hands, you'll probably stick with a lighter headphones setup so you can still hear them.

    Initially, a much smaller annoyance is it's weight (it's slightly heavier than the Rift), and the foam seals. The former is something you have to live with, but after many multi-hour sessions with the vive I can attest that after a couple of minutes you completely forget it's there. The latter is easily remedied: I purchased something called VR Cover (or similar) to provide a nice cool cotton layer above the foam itself, and replaced the underlying foam with 'memory foam' that makes the mask feel as comfortable as a pillow.

    I believe that both Vive and Oculus will serve you well. I know that the Vive will deliver a great experience. I'm now looking forward to an upcoming wireless add-on (not sure if they can pull it off). Cutting the cord for the Vive would make the ultimate VR experience (the cord does get in the way. I'm not sure how this is with the Rift - I assume it, too, is noticeable sometimes during gameplay). When I play Elite, I run the cable though a small loop at the back of my chair, which keeps it perfectly aligned most of the time. But now I'm rambling...

    -BK

  4. #4
    Vive or Oculus, I don't think you can go wrong with either choice. Better to pick one and go with it, and avoid analysis paralysis - Elite in VR is amazing.

    I went with the Oculus Rift. I think the Oculus + Touch is (well be) a better overall package than Vive, albeit a tad more expense. I will get the Touch controllers when they ship - for now, Elite + HOTAS is were I send most of my time, or in VR Cinema that doesn't need much anyway.

    (The Xbox 360 controller in the Rift (which I assumed I would never use), turns out to be quite useful for navigating the Galaxy Map in Elite, too).

  5. #5
    For me the choice came down to use cases:

    I only really play and intend to play Elite Dangerous or possibly some other sim/cockpit style games and therefore the Rift made sense, but for the longest time before I took the plunge (about a month ago) I had been looking at the Vive. I couldn't justify the additional cost for the controllers and room scale in the Vive when I would probably use them less than 1% of the time.

    Of course now if that situation changes I can add the Rift Touch and additional sensors...

    As for performance and fidelity of experience, I don't think either solution has a large enough advance over the other to warrant a decision based on these factors.

  6. #6
    I ordered vive yesterday because of a terrible color banding in cv1. Maybe there will be fix available soon but this issue makes ED unplayable in rift for me.

  7. #7
    Originally Posted by midimaxi View Post (Source)
    I ordered vive yesterday because of a terrible color banding in cv1. Maybe there will be fix available soon but this issue makes ED unplayable in rift for me.
    What kind of card and connection are you using getting the banding in the CV1? I've never seen the problem myself. Now, god rays are another story..

  8. #8
    980gtx. Tried dvi>hdmi dp>hdmi, monitor switcharoo, nothing...
    Going to put in 1080 this weekend but doubt it's a performance issue. All gradients in space look like 256 colors.

  9. #9
    Originally Posted by DaggerSnake View Post (Source)
    Upcoming Oculus Touch hands on reviews have clearly agreed it's the best VR hands solution.
    Got any links for reviews/comparisons?

    Been waiting to see how Touch is, I can find nothing except old previews.

  10. #10
    The Vive has great visuals with good contrast and little optical artefacts. I actually like to be able to choose my own headset and select a high quality over the ear set. It is undoubtedly more fuss to put on and take off but I think it is worth it.

    I have serious doubt that the touch will be as good as the Vive tracking. The tracking technology of the Vive is really a good solution compared to others. But we will see when it comes out. The reviews of the hmd during the last year has been more of marketing material so the only way to find out what is good or bad is to try yourself.

  11. #11
    Just bought a Vive today as part of the Black Friday sale. I love it to bits, and E: D looks outrageously good. You take a big hit in pixel count, but immersion is out of this world.

    One thing I will say against my lovely Vive. It is definitely NOT plug and play. Prepare to spend some time getting it all working. Oh, and you need 5 power outlets...

  12. #12
    A mate of mine has the Vive and I have have the Rift, so I've given both a good go. Use my Rift pretty much every other day and mostly for Elite but other stuff too of course.

    There's not really much to choose between them. They both have pros and cons, but it's little stuff, nothing that'd make me say definitely go for this one because...

    I think the image is a bit crisper on the Rift as the screen door effect is definitely a bit more in your face on the Vive, but not to the point where you'd rule it out of the running.

    Personally out of the two I actually find the Vive a bit more comfortable once it's on. The face foam is softer and rounded where as the foam on the Rift is harder and with a straight edge. The Rift is more convenient to put on and the built in headphones are actually quite good, with decent positional audio. I've got a pair of 150 Sennheisers and I'm still more than happy to stick with the Rift ones. The main problem I have is with the two arms at the side which allow the HMD to tilt. They are quite stiff and if one side gets titled more than the other it causes the verticals in VR to go a bit skew whiff when you look from side to side. It's a minor thing though and only takes a few seconds to adjust.

    The Vive as you probably know is a little more involved to set up. Ideally you'll want to wall mount the 2 tracking lighthouse boxes or fit them to some sort of stands. It just means you've got to put a bit more thought into creating a space for VR. The Oculus sensors on the other hand just come on a little stand that you can put on a bookshelf or your desk or where ever. Both the Vive and Rift sensors can be fitted to standard tripod mounts. The tracking on the Vive is good but not perfect, it still looses tracking on occasion and you can still occlude the controllers, it's not fool proof but it is pretty good. The single Rift sensor obviously covers a much smaller area but the tracking still works very well, you'll not notice a difference between the 2 in that respect. An extra sensor comes with the Touch controllers and you can also add more for a total of 4, and the extra sensors just plug and play. No idea how the Touch controllers handle as I won't get them until next month.

    Yes there are games that are timed exclusives or only have support for one headset or the other, but I'm sure that in the fullness of time that many will migrate both ways, some already have, and of course many have supported both from the get go.

    What I'd say if you are still having trouble deciding, is that if your space is limited then go for the Rift and if it isn't then go for the Vive. Honestly though, I think you'd be happy with both in either case anyway.

  13. #13
    Originally Posted by Ceodryn View Post (Source)
    Hi,

    I played ED when it came out, but had to fold after 1st baby. I want to come back, and now have also a better rig able to do VR. I am however a layman, and most articles I read in the press states the HTC Vive is better than the Oculus Rift overall as a VR setup.

    Truly, beside ED, I dont think I will play other VR games (I am mostly a grand strategy player where VR is useless). So, for ED, could someone objectively lay out for me the pros and cons of each VR setup if it was bought by a layman who dont want to spend more than one afternoon setting up the system (2nd baby just came)?

    Thanks
    Ceodryn
    I`d hold off till the first quarter of next year as Microsoft are rumoured to be releasing a 2nd gen superior vr headset at less than half the price of the vive or rift.

  14. #14
    Originally Posted by Ceodryn View Post (Source)
    Hi,

    I played ED when it came out, but had to fold after 1st baby. I want to come back, and now have also a better rig able to do VR. I am however a layman, and most articles I read in the press states the HTC Vive is better than the Oculus Rift overall as a VR setup.

    Truly, beside ED, I dont think I will play other VR games (I am mostly a grand strategy player where VR is useless). So, for ED, could someone objectively lay out for me the pros and cons of each VR setup if it was bought by a layman who dont want to spend more than one afternoon setting up the system (2nd baby just came)?

    Thanks
    Ceodryn
    Depends on personal preference, really.

    Setting the Vive up is a matter of an hour and I'm a DiY illiterate. As long as you have 4 nails and a blunt object you'll be fine (I don't own a drill - not even a hammer). If you don't want to use nails, two long sticks and duct-tape will do.

    I'm perfectly happy with it and it's a huge improvement over the DK2 which I've had since mid-2014. Only briefly tested the CV1, but wasn't convinced. No innovation, just a DK2 with higher res and having to use workarounds to not use the console controller.

    The CV1's headphones are lacking in audio quality, but that's because I'm used to play ED using 5.1 speakers. With two little kids, you may even view them as beneficial. I'd still consider the Vive's earplugs or using third party high-end headphones the superior solution.

    The Vives headstraps are worse than the CV1's, but both are inferior to the PSVRs.

    I'm not into room-scale too much, but it's nice to have for short experiences. Might turn out great once Fallout 4 VR is out.

    For ED, you'll enjoy both.

    Just keep in mind that Valve actively tries to support other manufacturers headsets whilst Oculus does not only openly state they don't support third party headsets, but also repeatedly tried to intentionally disrupt user-made compatibility mods in the past.

    With a new technology such as VR, you may want to opt for the more open platform, so regardless of what you choose, don't buy games in the Oculus store.

  15. #15
    Thanks all, I appreciate the responses. I am first to buy the graphic card then wait the 1st quarter to see how the VR battle shape up.

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