Vive vs Rift: Help me decide what to buy!

@Mods: please don't merge this thread with another thread! I'd like to get answers to my specific questions and don't want them to get lost in some giant VR discussion thread! Thanks :)


Hello my dear VR experts!

Long have I waited with actually ordering my first VR headset, but since it's the one piece of hardware I have been looking forward to the most during the last few years (especially after reading all those glowing reviews and reports from gaming sites - like this Destructoid review - and players alike!), I finally pre-ordered the Oculus Rift CV1 in late February. One reason for delaying my decision to get an OR was the initial shock when the Rifts announced price was much higher than what I anticipated and what was rumoured before. Since then I realised, however, how unrealistic a price tag between 300$ and 400$ would have been for such a piece of hardware and therefore pre-ordered the Rift with newfound motivation!

Now, after reading the - sometime even more glowing, like again the Destructoid review! - reviews of the Vive and about some issues of the OR like the "glaring effects" etc, I am considering to cancel my Rift-preorder and go for a Vive instead.

The following are my pros and cons for both headsets I see at the moment.
What I want from you guys is to comment on these individual points and point out any misconceptions I might have about either headset.

Oculus Rift:
Pro:
  • cheaper: 700€ (no shipping costs because I pre-ordered before April 1st) instead of 950€ (including shipping) for the Vive
  • lighter => more comfortable to wear
Con:
  • usable only seated
  • delivery not before July
  • potentially strange Facebook-like parts in Terms of Service (see this Kotaku article)
  • comes without VR controllers
VIVE:
Pro:
  • full room experience
  • comes with VR controllers that seem to work extremely well
  • I really like the idea of the front-facing camera that allows me to see my keyboard if needed
  • delivery expected for May if I order now (according to this Eurogamer article)
  • I have more sympathies for Valve then for Facebook
Con:
  • very expensive (950€ including shipping for where I live)
  • heavier (and therefore potentially less comfortable?) than the Rift
To elaborate my thoughts about some of the points above:

Despite me stating that the higher than expected price was the reason that prevented from pre-ordering a rift in the beginning, I am by now convinced that VR hardware is worth the high price tag - going by all the reports that it revolutionizes playing/multimedia experience more than any monitor development before it! - and would even be willing to pay the premium price for the Vive if I got it's advantages over the Oculus Rift (above) right.

I know the full-room experience of the Vive won't be very accessible (I won't set up the Vive permanently in my living room), but since the experience seems to be so unique and new and because I always was a huge fan of the Holodeck in Star Trek, I would be willing to accept this inconvenience in addition to the steep price, even if I can only witness it sporadically. I'd also love to show it to friends visiting from time to time!

The point of earlier availability of the Vive is only a minor reason for me to chose it, but since I passed the Rift development kits and because I have been waiting for VR hardware that finally delivers on the promise of real immersion, I'd prefer to get into it rather sooner than later!



Questions:
  • Are the hardware requirements for playing ED Horizons the same for the Rift and the Vive?
  • If I decide to cancel my Oculus Rift pre-order in order to go for the Vive instead: how do I cancel it? I pre-ordered it as a guest, e.g. without creating an Oculus account, and my "pre-order" information page doesn't seem to provide a "cancel order" button? Do I need to contact customer support "manually" to cancel the pre-order?
  • Does the front-facing camera on the Vive work like intended, e.g. is it easy to use your keyboard via the camera feed?
  • Is it realistic to expect the Vive to ship in May?
  • Is my reasoning sound?
  • Did I get something totally wrong?
  • What is your opinion on the points I listed above?
 
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Now, after reading the - sometime even more glowing! - reviews of the Vive and about some issues of the OR like the "glaring effects" etc, I am considering to cancel my Rift-preorder and go for a Vive instead.
I think you have to take the visual differences with a pinch of salt - there's plenty evidence out there that each unit has little foibles. Someone on here with both, let me see if I can find it, reckoned that although the CV1 glare was marginally worse, seeing the Fresnel rings on the Vive made the overall visual experience worse. I've read this elsewhere too - probably depends what you're more sensitive to.

Oculus have responded to the T&Cs thing, make of it what you will - http://uploadvr.com/oculus-responds-to-facebook-privacy-concerns/
 
...
  • What is your opinion on the points I listed above?

I'd also like the answer to these questions. A point I think you've missed out there is the performance of the two headsets. This affects the total cost of ownership. Which headset works best with the worst computer. I have this suspicion that the CV1 is more efficient than the VIVE and I'd really like someone who owns both headsets to confirm or deny...

- Start up Elite Dangerous and set all graphic loveliness to full whack.

- Start up the first tutorial mission and without touching your helm, press Ctrl-F to read off the FPS

- Do the same for your other Headset and tell me which one gives the nicer reading.
 
To be honest only you can make the decision on which one you want.

What i can tell you with absolute certainty is that VR will mesmerise you, regardless of which one you choose.
 
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I think you have to take the visual differences with a pinch of salt - there's plenty evidence out there that each unit has little foibles. Someone on here with both, let me see if I can find it, reckoned that although the CV1 glare was marginally worse, seeing the Fresnel rings on the Vive made the overall visual experience worse. I've read this elsewhere too - probably depends what you're more sensitive to.
Guess you are right.

I admit that I trust - again, going by the reviews of gaming sites (that I hope are less fanboy-ish than reports of private users) - that the visual quality of both products will satisfy me. I therefore didn't add this point to the "pro"-"con"-list.
Of the visual issues of both headsets, the reported nose gap of the Oculus Rift (mentioned - among others - in the HTC Vive review on Destructoid that I linked above) worries me most.
Going by the - very limited, granted - experience I have with VR headsets, I know that light entering can be very distracting, especially if the scene displayed on its monitors is dark - which is mostly the case in ED, for example. It's still not big enough of problem for me to decide against the OR, but from the visual issues reported so far, it has the most weight for me.

Oculus have responded to the T&Cs thing, make of it what you will - http://uploadvr.com/oculus-responds-to-facebook-privacy-concerns/
Yes, I read the response, but I am not yet convinced Oculus won't force some integration with Facebook someday, which would be a real deal-breaker for me.

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To be honest only you can make the decision on which one you want.

What i can tell you with absolute certainty is that VR will mesmerise you, regardless of which one you choose.
I am aware of that, and I don't want anyone to make this decision for me. Since this is going to be a very expensive purchase anyway, though, I'd like to be sure I got everything right, before deciding for one or the other headset.
 
To be honest only you can make the decision on which one you want.

What i can tell you with absolute certainty is that VR will mesmerise you, regardless of which one you choose.
This. Make up your own mind. If you choose the wrong HMD based on someones advice, you'll blame them for leading you astray. It's going to be on your face, so you need to make up your mind. All the points you made were valid, but VR tech is in early stages. You could always get both and play it safe. :)
 
What is your opinion on the points I listed above?
As you whish. I am neither an expert here nor a fanboy. At least, I had the opportunity to try out the Vive and I followed many balanced reviews of both (so, no reddit FUD or alike). I'll just add some points not mentioned so far.

Oculus Rift:
Pro:
  • lighter => more comfortable to wear (One of the most important points, imo! Also better balanced, according to the tests.)
    [*]better picture, compared to the Vive (German article)
    [*]The foam is exchangable. Hygiene is - at least for me - an imortant point.
    [*]Integrated headphones of good quality. The Vive requires external headphones, which add more weight and cable-mess.
    [*]The integrated micro seems to be of extraorinary good quality. No comparrison to the Vive available, though.
Con:
  • usable only seated (Not really.)
  • potentially strange Facebook-like parts in Terms of Service (see this Kotaku article) (Nothing more suspicious than Vive or many apps, including 'Steam'. ALL of them are somehow dubious, of course...)
VIVE:
Pro:
  • comes with VR controllers that seem to work extremely well (Yes, they work well. But I didn't like their ergonomy at all. They just felt like wands in my hand and the button placement wasn't really ergonomic. Obviously, I couldn't test the 'Touch' controllers. But they look at least more ergonomic and official testers confirmed this.)
  • I have more sympathies for Valve then for Facebook (I agree!)
 
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This. Make up your own mind. If you choose the wrong HMD based on someones advice, you'll blame them for leading you astray. It's going to be on your face, so you need to make up your mind. All the points you made were valid, but VR tech is in early stages. You could always get both and play it safe. :)
Sorry, but you are confusing my questions in the OP with a request for a purchase recommendation. That is not what I am asking for. What I want is for people with experience with the headsets to debunk or confirm the points I have listed, not to rate them as more or less important!

Edit: I am leaning towards cancelling the Rift pre-order and instead ordering the Vive. I don't want anyones opinion on whether this is the right decision or not, I want to know if I got the points I listed above right or if I missed something.

Edit 2: ok, I see why you think I don't want to make the decision myself: the thread title implies I can't make up my own mind. But that's not really how I intended it to sound. It's more like someone who has little knowledge about cars asking some real car buffs about their opinions about two particular models he is interested in, and if the stuff he has been hearing about those cars is correct or not.
Of course I make up my mind myself in the end - and I promise I won't blame anyone in here if I am not happy with my decision! :) - , but I think it's perfectly viable to ask for the opinion of more knowledgeable people concerning a specific topic. I honestly expected people to be happy to display their expertise a little here ;)

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As you whish. I am neither an expert here nor a fanboy. At least, I had the opportunity to try out the Vive and I followed many balanced reviews of both (so, no reddit FUD or alike). I'll just add some points not mentioned so far.
Thanks, this is the kind of answer I was hoping for! :)
 
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Of the visual issues of both headsets, the reported nose gap of the Oculus Rift (mentioned - among others - in the HTC Vive review on Destructoid that I linked above) worries me most.
Going by the - very limited, granted - experience I have with VR headsets, I know that light entering can be very distracting, especially if the scene displayed on its monitors is dark - which is mostly the case in ED, for example. It's still not big enough of problem for me to decide against the OR, but from the visual issues reported so far, it has the most weight for me.
You need to try them both I think - only way to be sure, for you! Everything I've read, everywhere, up until that Destructoid link has placed the Rift above the Vive in terms of ergonomics - it seems to fit more faces (and is lighter and has the built in headphones), but of course the Vive is going to be a perfect fit for at least some faces! ;) Nobody will be able to convince you of that one, you just have to try.

Yes, I read the response, but I am not yet convinced Oculus won't force some integration with Facebook someday, which would be a real deal-breaker for me.
Meh, this sort of stuff happens all the time - plenty of people have issues with Steam and will only use GOG, for example. I suspect by the time this happens, IF it happens, we'll be on to a new generation of devices. Facebook, much as I dislike them too, seem to be leaving their purchases more or less alone (see Whatsapp.)
 
Both are pretty much the same. If you want the widest selection of games, go with Oculus as StreamVR seems to let you play Vive games. Not sure if/when it will work the other way around.

I have ordered both and will sell one. Don't be fooled into thinking that something must be better just becasue it cost more.
If Oculus was shipping with Touch, both systems would do pretty much identical things
 
Being a DK2 owner now for more than 6 months- Weight has become one of the most important things. Did'nt think so when I first got it but using it almost daily for hours I can contest that wieght/comfort = VERY HIGH importance!
 
You need to try them both I think - only way to be sure, for you! Everything I've read, everywhere, up until that Destructoid link has placed the Rift above the Vive in terms of ergonomics - it seems to fit more faces (and is lighter and has the built in headphones), but of course the Vive is going to be a perfect fit for at least some faces! ;) Nobody will be able to convince you of that one, you just have to try.
I'd love to try both to base my decision on. Sadly, I know noone who owns either of both headsets (just tried the DK 2 in a lab once) and they aren't available in store where I live, so I don't really have the option to try them before I purchase one.

Concerning the headphones, I'd actually prefer to use my own wireless headset because of the included mic (and because it's one of the best wireless gaming headsets out there - the Logitech G 930), so it doesn't bother me that the Vive has no headphones included.

I was also surprised that the Destructoid reviewer seemed to prefer the ergonomics of the Vive over the Rift, since I normally read that in this aspect the Rift would be the clear winner. That's why I'd like to hear what people think who had the chance to try both. But of course you are right: what was good for them doesn't necessarily be good for me, too. But at least it could be an indication. Especially if the number of people reporting either gets significant.
 
To my mind the best advise I could give is to find a way to try out both systems, and then go with what YOU feel is best. I have the Oculus DK2, and I like it a lot, but there are things that could be improved. I have not been able to try the Vive, but (because I have the Oculus experience) I personally would get the CV1. However, I cannot say if that is right for you. Only you look through your eyes, and the Oculus equipment might (where you are concerned) produce a lesser image than the HTC gear.

This may seem off topic, but it explains the problem well. I once set up a computer system for somebody, but I did not make any setting changes to the monitor (brightness, contrast and so on). When the customer queried this, I explained that if I did it would be for MY vision, and not that of the user, as my eyes and preferences were different. I showed them how to set it up for themself, and it was slightly different to how I would have done it, but they were highly satisfied with the results, so all was good there. It is the same with whatever VR system you try. I like the DK2, but you might hate it. I drive a diesel car (fuel economy and decent load capacity), but you might prefer the performance of a petrol driven car. I am sorry if this does not help, but only YOU can really determine which meets your needs bets, and only by finding a way to try them both.

Good luck, and have fun whichever VR system you get.
 
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Concerning the headphones, I'd actually prefer to use my own wireless headset because of the included mic (and because it's one of the best wireless gaming headsets out there - the Logitech G 930), so it doesn't bother me that the Vive has no headphones included.
Again though, think this through long term from an ergonomics POV... as a long time DK1/DK2 user I know how irritating it is to put the HMD on, put headphones on, take headphones off, take HMD off - every single time. And this gets worse over time! The Rift's solution is pretty elegant - flip up, reportedly decent (but detachable) headphones. For some (like you by the sounds of it) putting up with the hassle will be worth it for their favoured headsets but as long as the included phones are as decent as reported, mine are going in the bin! ;) But then mine aren't that fantastic to begin with, they were less than £50.

And bear in mind the Rift has a really good microphone of it's own! There is a sample online somewhere - it sounds REALLY good!

Sorry if I seem more pro CV1, but I kind of am... coming off the back of lots of use of DK1/2 I've come to realise just how important ergonomics and ease of use factors are, in the longer term. :)
 
Both are pretty much the same. If you want the widest selection of games, go with Oculus as StreamVR seems to let you play Vive games. Not sure if/when it will work the other way around.
I mainly want a VR headset for ED. Apart from that, there are a handful of games I'd like to play in VR - Adrift, The Solus Project, No Man's Sky (if it's going to support it), perhaps Project Cars some day - but support for those games won't be a major factor for my decision (since ED supports both).

In addition to ED, I'd be very happy with those more or less simple VR experiences that have been demoed so far. I'd love to experience the sensation of walking along a beach in VR. That's one reason why the Vive becomes more and more appealing to me, even if there aren't many fully fledged games taking advantage of the "walking around in VR" freedom, yet!

I have ordered both and will sell one. Don't be fooled into thinking that something must be better just becasue it cost more.
If Oculus was shipping with Touch, both systems would do pretty much identical things
It would still miss the freedom the Vive can - with some setup effort - provide. And since I really want this Holodeck experience - even if it's just for simple applications and not for complex games - the Vive freedom is a big plus for me.

Being a DK2 owner now for more than 6 months- Weight has become one of the most important things. Did'nt think so when I first got it but using it almost daily for hours I can contest that wieght/comfort = VERY HIGH importance!
Hm, ok, that seems to be an important factor. According to Wikipedia, the Vive weighs 550g while the Oculus Rift is slightly lighter with 470g. Sadly it doesn't say which version of the OR they are referring to here. Can anyone shed some light on the weight situation of the individual Rift versions? A quick Google query seems to yield conflicting information with anything between 440g and 480g for the DK2 and CV1)
 
I have just weighed my DK2, and my scales show it weighs 460gms. That was with the cables connected, as I couldn't be bothered to disconnect and un-thread them.
 
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The walking around/room scale thing will be improved in the rift when the Oculus touch is released which (as mentioned in another thread) is shipped with an additional sensor which should allow a comparable "room scale" experience.

As it stands you can actually walk around even with one sensor but your limited to small area the individual sensor can actually cope with.

There is a neat demo shipped with the CV1 that puts you in a nicely detailed bridge of a submarine and you can peek down the corridors and walk over to the controls.

Obviously if you have the room for it, the additional money etc. then the Vive is obviously the first choice if you want to be able to bounce around and wave your arms around. It will be interesting to see how much Oculus touch adds to the CV1 price and how it stands next to the Vive in that respect. Really the main draw of the Vive over the rift may be down to how it maps the environment and the quality of the room-scale experience.

Although you get a reasonable amount of cable with the CV1 I'll be interested to see if they ship an extension with the touch controls.
 
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It would still miss the freedom the Vive can - with some setup effort - provide. And since I really want this Holodeck experience - even if it's just for simple applications and not for complex games - the Vive freedom is a big plus for me.
As was mentioned, this is coming in the not too distant for the Rift (with better controllers - again, anecdotally). It won't have the camera, but it'll have the ability to map your space.

It sounds like you're pretty much sold on the Vive anyway? Just go for it, neither of them are "bad". :)
 
You've already written down the differences between both products, so you had already taken the most difficult part by yourself. Now be honest and strong and act like a man! Decide!☺

If you can't then you are not man's enough to fly in the virtual world... So speaks the Emperor!
 
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