Comparison: Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive

By |2019-07-20T14:32:52+00:00October 26th, 2018|
Oculus Rift Comparison2
HTC Vive Comparison2
Developer:Oculus VR
HTC Vive & Valve
Headset Type:TetheredTethered
Original Release Date:2016-03-282016-04-05
Platform:Windows PC (Mac support is limited)
Oculus Home,
Windows PC, Linux (macOS coming soon)
Content:SteamVRVivePort, SteamVR

Resolution:1080 x 1200 pixels (each eye)1080 x 1200 pixels (each eye)
Field of View:110°110°
Refresh Rate90 Hz90 Hz
Onboard Sensors:Accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, tracking cameraAccelerometer, gyroscope, camera, IR laser receiver

Oculus Touch controllers x 2 (included), Xbox One 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)
Vive controllers x 2 (included), any PC-compatible game controller (sold separately)
Yes, Lighthouse 2-station pulsed infrared laser tracking system (included), up to 15 x 15 feet
Audio:Integrated headphones3.5mm headphone jack, deluxe audio strap and headphones sold separately
Microphone:Integrated microphoneIntegrated microphone
Headset Connections:HDMI x 1, USB x 1HDMI x 1, USB x 1, Power x 1
Additional Connections:Require additional USB x 1 for each room tracking sensorUSB Aux Device Port x 1
Weight:1.0 lbs1.22 lbs


Core Hardware

On spec, both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are quite comparable.  They have the same resolution on their display, the same field of view, the same refresh rate, and largely the same parts and electronics inside.  Their implementations, interface, and outward styling are somewhat different, of course.  But in terms of what’s running under the hood, these two are effectively the same for all intents and purposes.

Winner:  DRAW 

Quality and Performance

The build quality and performance of both devices are, again, quite similar.  The Oculus Rift has a better overall user feel, and weighs a bit less, but the HTC Vive benefits from more comfortable accommodation for users with glasses.  They’ve also done a good job at addressing some of their earlier shortcomings in terms of comfort and feel for users.  Both systems perform equally well on an identical PC that meets both of their minimum specifications.  While the minimums are somewhat more forgiving on the HTC Vive, we’ve noticed their objective scores in benchmarking tests on higher-end gaming rigs are close enough to be statistically about even.

Winner:  DRAW


Both devices can use the SteamVR platform, which currently features over 2,800 VR game and app titles.  The HTC Vive is arguably more suited for this platform, as it was co-developed by SteamVR owner Valve.  While this was a point of differentiation for the HTC Vive at release, support for the Oculus Rift is now part of the SteamVR capabilities, so they are effective dead even there yet again.  The Oculus Home content portal offers a la carte content purchases, whereas the VivePort content portal offers a subscription-based model.  They both have pros and cons, and different exclusive content that may sway users one way or the other.  We consider that basically a wash.  And both can play and utilize third-party and custom downloadable content equally well.

Winner:  DRAW

Tracking, Immersion, and Accessories

Both the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive have everything they need for fully immersive game play, movie/scene viewing, and app or experience enjoyment.  The HTC Vive has more accessories available than the Oculus Rift.  Some see this as a negative, because they all come at an additional cost.  However, we see them as generally positive – especially the wireless pack, that can take your tethered HTC Vive experience into wire-free territory (at least for 2-2.5 hours while the charge lasts).  At the same time, the HTC Vive has clearly superior room-level tracking capabilities, nearly double the covered size of the Oculus Rift, and much finer and more accurate tracking.

Winner:  HTC Vive

Price and Value

The Oculus Rift is $100 lower in MSRP as of this article’s writing than the HTC Vive.  While undoubtedly the higher-quality room tracking capabilities and functions of the HTC Vive, along with the link box that comes with it for cable management and extended user range, have a value, it’s an open question whether or not that value equals the price difference.  Likewise, it’s hard to compare the typically-included 6 game titles’ worth of credit on the Oculus Rift with the value of 2 months of free subscriptions to the VivePort service.  Given the price point, and the “all in” price of the base unit plus additional accessories, the edge has to go to the Oculus Rift on this one.

Result:  Oculus Rift

Overall Winner:  Oculus Rift

It really is neck and neck, but the Oculus Rift edges out the HTC Vive slightly in our overall comparison.  While the HTC Vive outperforms on room tracking, and offers more accessories and functions, all of those come at an added cost, both in terms of the MSRP difference and in the actual purchase prices of the accessories.  At the end of the day, the Oculus Rift is cheaper, and though it doesn’t offer the same range of accessories, when money is a consideration, it does everything the base HTC Vive does, and costs less.