It’s considered to be a big year for virtual reality, what with Google Cardboard and Samsung’s Gear VR already available in the market. Two new VR devices will add to the throng as HTC Vive and Oculus Rift are slated to release within the the year as well.
Samsung’s Gear VR
The Gear VR is a Samsung device, but it is powered by Oculus. Similar to the Google Cardboard, Samsung’s Gear VR needs a smartphone to work. Compatible phones currently include 2015 Samsung Galaxy flagship phones, namely Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, and Galaxy S6 Edge+.
The Gear VR boasts of a “precise head-tracking” capability and a Super Amoled display in a wide field of vision. Moving their heads, users can explore, aim, and interact in a virtual environment.
Owners of the Samsung Gear VR can play with 20 arcade classics and premium games like “Eve: Gunjack” and “Land’s End.” They can also stream short films and videos on Vimeo, Twitch, and Samsung Milk VR.
The VR device is already out in the market. Those interested in Samsung’s Gear VR can purchase one from Amazon and Best Buy for $99.
HTC Vive is the HTC branded VR device that’s a product of HTC and Valve’s collaboration. Unlike the Gear VR, the HTC Vive doesn’t need any smartphone but does require a PC to work. The device features position tracking, laser, accelerometer, gyroscope, and a bigger view.
Those who have had a chance to review the device points to its intuitive controls, improved design, and VR experience as its pros. On the other hand, the HTC Vive has a velcro to help adjust the headset on a user’s head, which some feel cheapens the device. The device also has bulky cords that dangle from behind the user’s head or even trip them, according to a review by Ars Technica.
The HTC VR device is compatible to games, including “Adrift,” “Eagle Flight,” and “The Assembly.” However, the device’s compatible titles are fewer than those of the Oculus Rift.
The HTC Vive will be available for pre-order starting Friday, Feb. 19. It will ship in April 2016. There’s no information on its price at the moment, but industry followers expect it to be higher than the Gear VR.
After roughly five years in development, the Oculus Rift will finally be available in the market this year. The device is touted to have top-of-the-line graphics, high refresh rate, and low-persistence display.
The Oculus Rift functions as a goggle. It has a sensor and controller that allow the user to interact with the VR environment. Despite having an Xbox One controller, the VR device will need to be plugged into a PC as of the moment.
The Oculus Rift currently has eight compatible titles, including “Edge of Nowhere,” which will all be playable upon launch.
The Oculus Rift is currently available for pre-order at $599, with an expected ship date of July 2016. Pre-orders include a headset, a sensor, a remote, cables, an Xbox controller, and two free games, “Eve: Valkyrie” and “Lucky’s Tale.”