|Developer:||Oculus VR||HTC & Valve|
|Headset Type:||Tethered||Tethered Wireless (tethered by default, but with a wireless adapter and battery pack kit available at an added price)|
|Original Release Date:||2016-03-28||2018-04-05|
|Platform:||Windows PC (Mac support is limited)||Windows PC, Linux, macOS|
|Content:||Oculus Home, SteamVR||VivePort, SteamVR|
|Resolution:||1080 x 1200 pixels (each eye)||1440 x 1600 pixels (each eye)|
|Field of View:||110°||110°|
|Refresh Rate||90 Hz||90 Hz|
|Onboard Sensors:||Accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, tracking camera||Accelerometer, gyroscope, 2 cameras, proximity sensor, IR laser receiver|
|Controllers:||Oculus Touch controllers x 2 (included), Xbox One controller (sold separately)||Vive Pro controllers x 2 (included), any PC-compatible game controller (sold separately)|
|Room Tracking:||Yes, 2 sensors included (5 x 5 foot room tracking), additional sensor sold separately (8 x 8 foot room tracking with 3 sensors)||Yes, Lighthouse 2.0 (SteamVR 2) 2-station pulsed infrared laser tracking system (included), up to 20 x 20 feet|
|Audio:||Integrated headphones||Integrated headphones with noise cancellation technology|
|Microphone:||Integrated microphone||Integrated dual microphones|
|Headset Connections:||HDMI x 1, USB x 1||Headset Cable (connects to Link Box)|
|Additional Connections:||Require additional USB x 1 for each room tracking sensor||Link Box connections to AC Adapter, DisplayPort, and USB 3.0 that run to your PC|
|Weight:||1.0 lbs||1.22 lbs|
When attempting to compare the Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive Pro, the obvious advantage on hardware starts out in the Vive Pro’s column. While both devices are highly capable, and can largely do the same things, play the same games, and are otherwise limited only by the power of the PC used with them, there’s no denying the superior resolution of the HTC Vive Pro. Looking closer, the HTC Vive Pro vs. Oculus Rift resolution difference is significant. 1080 x 1200 pixels per eye in the Oculus Rift is dwarfed by 1440 x 1600 pixels per eye in the HTC Vive Pro. In terms of actual viewable area, that’s close to double the resolution on the HTC Vive Pro.
However, apart from the obvious resolution differences, and differences in the actual components used, much of the other core hardware specs of these devices are remarkably similar. We pointed this out in our Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive comparison, and since the Vive Pro uses essentially the same hardware (aside from the screen), it’s equally true here. So, with that said, we have to give the edge here to the HTC Vive Pro, for its purely superior display hardware.
Winner: HTC Vive Pro
Quality and Performance
In terms of raw build quality, these headsets are largely equally of high quality. The Oculus vs. Vive debate often comes down to a matter of personal preferences, aesthetics, and little things, rather than any glaring deficiencies on the part of either headset manufacturer. Both are sturdy and well-built, and should have long usable lives if they are treated well. The HTC Vive Pro, like the HTC Vive before it, tends to be a bit more comfortable, especially for those who wear glasses normally, than the Oculus Rift. But again, some of that is a matter of personal preference, too, and there are plenty of Oculus users who would feel like an alien was on their heads if they put on an HTC Vive.
Performance-wise, much of the actual “heavy lifting” on either of these tethered headsets belongs to the associated PC that they are plugged into. That means that in the battle of the Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive Pro, it’s really the computer that determines “the winner”, so to speak. When compared in laboratory benchmarks on identical systems, the scores that both receive are effectively statistical ties. The graphics are obviously better on the HTC Vive Pro, and a little less forgiving on system specs, whereas the HTC Vive regular edition is more forgiving than the Oculus Rift. But these are all relatively minor things. One of the most noticeable performance differences is in the room tracking, which is definitely superior on the HTC Vive Pro. However, we’re getting a bit ahead of ourselves. We’ll cover that in greater detail in a later section of our Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive Pro comparison.
In terms of content, both headsets are widely seen as almost interchangeable. Originally, there was a lot more fragmentation in the VR headset market. Oculus-only titles and Vive-only titles were a bit more common. In those days, the choice of Oculus vs. Vive made a big difference in your potential uses or enjoyment of the headsets. Originally, because HTC worked with Valve to develop the core HTC Vive (and by extension the Vive Pro), the HTC family had a bit of an advantage on content. SteamVR far surpassed the native VivePort service, to provide a significant amount of VR games, apps, and experiences. However, it wasn’t long before the Oculus Rift was supported on SteamVR, either. Their Oculus Home market also has quite an extensive library of software to choose from.
Looking at the HTC Vive Pro vs. Oculus Rift today, there’s not much difference in the content that’s available. Both can utilize SteamVR, so that’s a draw. Oculus Home and VivePort offer different titles, but the amount and quality generally are comparable. And both systems allow the use of third-party software, converters, video players, and similar, since that all depends on what’s installed on the PC they are connected to. As a result, we have to call this section of our comparison a draw.
Tracking, Immersion, and Accessories
The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive Pro both have quality tracking capabilities for your head while wearing the headset, along with wireless controllers, and the coveted room tracking, which really completes the immersion. And, there’s no denying that the HTC Vive Pro has better room tracking. They use the Lighthouse 2.0 infrared pulsed laser tracking system, which offers better response time and a much larger range than on the Oculus Rift. Add to that additional cameras and proximity sensors in the HTC Vive Pro, and it definitely has the edge. That’s not to say there are any issues with the Oculus Rift’s system. And, depending on the size of the area where you intend to play games with the headset, the extra space afforded by the HTC Vive Pro may be wasted. But, on paper and in practice, you can do more with the HTC Vive Pro, so it has to be the winner in this category of our Oculus Rift vs. Vive Pro comparison.
Winner: HTC Vive Pro
Price and Value
This aspect of comparing the Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive Pro is really where the Vive Pro falls down on the job. The price difference in the MSRPs is huge. You could afford several Oculus Rifts for the price of one HTC Vive Pro. Yes, it has the much-better-quality display resolution, and better, larger area, more-responsive room tracking. The onboard sensor suite is somewhat better. But does that all equate to, essentially, a $1k difference in MSRPs? Not in our mind. That makes the Oculus Rift the better value proposition.
Winner: Oculus Rift
Overall Winner: HTC Vive Pro
Despite the fact that the Oculus Rift is more affordable and a better value, the HTC Vive Pro is still the superior machine overall. When it comes to the Oculus Rift vs. Vive Pro argument, though, it all comes down to your financial means, intentions for the device, and long-term use. If money is no object, and/or the higher resolution of the HTC Vive Pro is critical, then it’s definitely worth it. It’s a superior headset when you take price and value out of the equation.
But for most of us, money IS an object. The Oculus Rift provides a much better value to consumers. It does pretty much everything the HTC Vive Pro does, but at a much lower price. Yes, the resolution is inferior, and the room tracking/head tracking is a bit below the specs on the HTC Vive Pro. But to spend that kind of upcharge for the Vive Pro just doesn’t make sense in our book. After all, the way technology develops, it’s likely several new, higher-spec models of headsets from major manufacturers will come out in 2019 or 2020 that may blow the HTC Vive Pro out of the water. So don’t spend more than you can afford, and don’t discount the Oculus Rift just because it didn’t win in our head-to-head comparison of these two devices.