The OFFICIAL should I get a Rift or Vive thread!

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The OFFICIAL should I get a Rift or Vive thread!

Postby admin » Thu Mar 31, 2016 7:34 pm

Hi All,

I've been playing with a Rift for quite a while now, and have also had the pleasure of trying a Vive Pre the past couple of days. I'm going to try to keep my thoughts as unbiased as possible, and stick to facts more than opinions. Hopefully this guide will help some of you decide which headset to purchase :)

The headsets:
  • SDE/Fov: Rift and Vive use the same resolution screen. Vive spreads this out over a slightly larger field-of-view. This means that the Vive has a slightly worse screen-door-effect. I prefer the Rift screen/fov. I notice the improved screen clarity more than I notice the slightly lower FOV. The difference is not significant though, I'm nitpicking. Either is a huge step-up from the DK2.
  • Comfort: I slightly prefer the Rift. With its hard plastic strap it slides on and fits like a hat. The Vive is still much comfier than the DK2, but not quite as comfortable as the Rift imo. On the other hand, I've heard that the Vive is much more comfortable for people with larger heads, or people with glasses. Based on this, my conjecture is that the Vive will have the least discomfort across a large variety of head shapes, but if you are "average" and without glasses, the Rift fits like a cloud.
  • Tracking: The Rift may still use a camera but it's a whole different animal from the DK2 camera. For seated experiences like FlyInside, you aren't going to lose tracking with either system. This is a non-issue, both of these HMDs are so good!
  • Headphones: My biggest gripe with the Vive is the lack of integrated headphones. I find it really annoying having to put on a headset, and then put on headphones. I use wireless headphones which helps, it's even more annoying having the earbud cable hanging down. I wouldn't choose one headset or the other based upon the headphones, but I do wish both had them.
  • Lenses: Both the Vive and Rift lenses produce "light-ray" artifacts when you have a bright object centered against a dark background. Not the end of the world or anything, but it's there. The Vive gets a "ring" artifact if your eyes are not well-centered with the lens, while the Rift avoids this particular artifact. It's not a big deal though, just make sure to center your eyes ;)

FlyInside Compatibility:
  • Vive is Beta: I'll be releasing the first Vive build sometime next week, although I'm shooting for Monday. That said, FlyInside has had months of testing and refinement on the Rift, so you can expect that the Vive builds will be slightly "beta" quality for a while. That said, I expect them to catch up quickly. This is just a warning, if you start using FlyInside for Vive on April 5th, it's going to be a little messier than using FlyInside with the Rift.
  • Vive Pixel Issues: READ THIS. Vive's FOV is quite asymmetrical (the left eye has more of its pixels to the left, the right eye has more of its pixels to the right). This is a good thing, it increases peripheral vision, overall a solid design decision. That said, flight simulators are designed around a symmetric FOV. To cover the entire Vive FOV with a symmetric flight simulator FOV, I need to perform significant overdraw. As things stand right now, you can choose to either perform overdraw for a full FOV but lower clarity (same pixels spread out), reduce FOV and keep full clarity, or turn up the resolution at the cost of performance. I find that the experience is fine if I set a balance between overdraw/fov/clarity, but I wanted to give fair warning. This is the biggest drawback to using FlyInside with Vive instead of Rift. I'll be working to implement proper asymmetrical projection matrices in FlyInside, which will completely fix the problem. That said, it may take days, it may take weeks. There's always a very slim chance it won't be possible too.
  • ATW: With the Rift I'm able to take advantage of the excellent asynchronous timewarp support in the Oculus Runtime. On Vive, I use a homegrown ATW implementation. It's not quite as rock-solid as the Rift support, but it's still very good, and significantly better than FlyInside's ATW used to be in FlyInside 1.3. I wouldn't choose your headset based upon this info, but the Rift has a slight advantage in TW stability.
  • Future Features: In the future I plan to add support for the Vive controllers (great way to interact with aircraft cockpit controls), passthrough camera, and chaperone-assisted airplane walk-arounds/inspections. When Oculus Touch is released I'll add support for those controllers also, but for a while the Vive version of FlyInside will have some functionality which the Oculus version does not. I don't attempt to favor either platform, but I do intend to make full use of each one's hardware, and right now, the Vive comes with more hardware.

If you're only ever planning to play FlyInside I'd tell "go ahead, get a Rift." It's slightly more comfortable, SDE is slightly better, and FlyInside support is currently better. Most of you, though, won't only be using FlyInside. When it comes to other games, seated experiences like Oculus ships with are "very cool." On the other hand, some of the Vive room-scale games are "I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS IT'S A HOLODECK LIKE FROM STAR TRECK THIS IS AMAZING." If you can clear out the space for room-scale you need to try it. The tracked controllers are great. Jumping, walking, ducking, crouching is perfect. My new favorite game is Space Pirate Trainer VR: You dual-wield pistols, aim them with your hands, blow up robots, dodge bullets like in the matrix, it's incredible.

In Summary:
Between just the headsets, I definitely prefer the Rift. On the other hand, Vive's full-body experience makes up for the slightly worse SDE and annoying headphones. If you do go Vive, be aware of FlyInside's current state, and the fact that it may always be slightly better on the Rift (although I'll do my best to make it as good as possible on each platform).

P.S. Keep it civil in the comments. These are both great headsets, no point in having flame-wars, you don't owe either product your devotion. It's just a toy/tool to enjoy :)
Last edited by admin on Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Added lens comparison
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Re: The OFFICIAL should I get a Rift or Vive thread!

Postby Tony » Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:28 pm

Thanks Dan , that is one of the clearest reviews I've read for quite a while on the rift verses vive saga so thanks for that :) and I think I know one person who'll be very excited to read about the walkaround bit. Are the controllers intuitive to use ? Any handling issues ? Battery issues ? I read a review stating the smallest area for a room is 6ft by 6ft can you confirm ? I've only got a small part of the house and want to know areas that can be used ?

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Re: The OFFICIAL should I get a Rift or Vive thread!

Postby admin » Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:49 pm

Controllers are awesome, super intuitive. I charge them overnight, it comes with a charger for each controller so you can do both at once, battery lasts quite a while. The minimum for room-scale is 6.5' x 5', otherwise you have to use standing mode (still cool but it isn't going to be as cool). Hope that helps!
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Re: The OFFICIAL should I get a Rift or Vive thread!

Postby Sharkku » Fri Apr 01, 2016 1:09 am

Thanks Dan, that's the best comparison I've read so far!
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Re: The OFFICIAL should I get a Rift or Vive thread!

Postby Muso-Ka » Fri Apr 01, 2016 4:38 am

Thank you very much , very informative overview . Unfortunately I can not yet ordered any Rift or Vive , but your review really helped in choosing the future.
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Re: The OFFICIAL should I get a Rift or Vive thread!

Postby Nedo » Fri Apr 01, 2016 11:06 am

Thanks Dan for the Infos!
I allready planed to use my Rift CV1 just for seated expiriences, racing, flying,
but i really can't wait to get my HTC Vive just for the full room VR expirience! People reporting its freaking awesome, i caaaan't wait!!! :D
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Re: The OFFICIAL should I get a Rift or Vive thread!

Postby Derek Speare » Fri Apr 01, 2016 11:07 am

Great comparison! I hate to be *that guy* *again* and ask if you'd give your impressions specifically on the SDE between the DK2 and CV1. You've indicated that the, "[CV1] is a huge step-up from the DK2," but can you quantify that? Would ya? 8-)
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Re: The OFFICIAL should I get a Rift or Vive thread!

Postby Jegas » Fri Apr 01, 2016 12:05 pm

Yeah - good info - I didn't even know (suspected) the resolution now blows away my Rift :( And I didn't even know about the other one - wider peripheral hmm? Interesting. (Still Oculus Fanboy ATM) :) Thank you for this review.
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Re: The OFFICIAL should I get a Rift or Vive thread!

Postby Bruce_C » Fri Apr 01, 2016 3:04 pm

Great post, thanks for sharing Dan.

Waiting on my shipping info from Oculus, it's probably going to be a few weeks :(
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Re: The OFFICIAL should I get a Rift or Vive thread!

Postby admin » Fri Apr 01, 2016 4:06 pm

Derek: That's not something I can really quantify, can't take a picture from inside my own brain ;) Anything I can say is just a subjective description of my experience with the headsets. How about this? DK2, especially after trying anything more modern, is very annoying to go back to. You see the pixels all the time, and the SDE is in-your-face! Vive you may notice the SDE when you put it on, but it quickly fades away as you concentrate on the experience. It isn't really annoying, but it is there. With the Rift, you won't see the SDE unless you go looking for it. Of course, once you try to focus on the pixels you can see it, but in general it just blends away.

Jegas: The resolution itself may not blow away the DK2 (although it is a solid step up), but you combine the bump in resolution, reduction in SDE, and improved optics, and it really is a world apart. From what I've been reading (so much drama/debate going on), the Rift's FOV may be identical or very slightly less than the DK2. I haven't noticed it though, it's really not an issue.
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