I have used three all the three major VR devices. I have reviewed all of them and consider Oculus Rift the best one among them. If the score of Oculus Rift is 100 for me, HTC Vive scores 75 and PlayStation VR (PSVR) scores only 60.

Screen-door effect – Oculus Rift wins

Vive’s screen-door effect is so obvious that it’s hard not to notice it. In contrast, PlayStation VR and Oculus Rift do not have as this serious issue as Vive. But if I further compare between Oculus and PSVR, I found Oculus’s pixels are smaller than PSVR’s.

Field of view – Vive wins

Oculus RiftHTC VivePlayStation VR
90 degrees vertical (+/-)110 degrees vertical (+/-)100 degrees vertical (+/-)

Although there is a difference in the field of view among the three devices, I don’t really feel it when playing games.

Headset cable – PSVR wins

Oculus Rift HTC Vive PlayStation VR
thin; on the left sidethickest; on the backsidethinnest; on the left side

The headset cable of HTC Vive must be hung when you play a game, or you might get trapped by the cable.

The headset cable of Oculus Rift
The headset cable of Oculus Rift
The headset cable of HTC Vive
The headset cable of HTC Vive
The headset cable of PlayStation VR
The headset cable of PlayStation VR

Headphone – Oculus Rift wins

Oculus headphone is integrated into the headset and the sound quality is unexpectedly the best.

Comfort – PSVR wins

PSVR is the most user-friendly and most comfortable VR device. In contrast, Oculus and Vive do not give a sense of comfort.

Clarity – Oculus Rift wins

Generally, the center of VR lenses is clearer than the rest of the lenses. This is due to technological restriction. If you let me compare the clarity of the center of VR lenses of these three devices, I would say Oculus has the widest range of clarity, following by PSVR. However, I somehow feel the clarity range of Vive’s lens is a bit narrow.

Oculus Rift's Fresnel lenses are lighter and can produce a broader field of view at a shorter focal length.
Oculus Rift’s Fresnel lenses are lighter and can produce a broader field of view at a shorter focal length.
PSVR is made of two pentile OLEDs.
Vive’s distance sensor is placed between the lenses, checking if users wear the headset.

God Ray effect – PSVR wins

VR lenses have a weakness of diffuse glow when there are bright elements on the dark background.

Oculus RiftHTC VivePlayStation VR
serious God Ray effectacceptable God Ray effectno God Ray effect

Resolution – Oculus Rift wins

When it comes to the resolution of the Oculus and Vive, they are the same, providing two screens with 2160 x 1200 total resolution. However, you can’t see as high resolution and crystal-clear experience through the Vive as you can through the Oculus because Vive causes a more serious screen-door effect.

On the other hand, although PSVR has the lowest resolution among the three VR devices, its screen is actually better than Vive’s because PSVR does not experience screen-door effect much. However, many people said that PSVR’s lens is blurry. I would say… don’t be fooled by this! PSVR does not have high-solution screen not because of its hardware but because of PlayStation 4’s inability to process digital imaging.

Oculus RiftHTC VivePlayStation VR
2160 x 12002160 x 12001920 x 1080

Motion controllers – Oculus wins

Oculus Rift controller
Oculus Rift controller

Because I started using the Oculus before trying the Vive, at first I didn’t understand why people praised Oculus so much. Until I used Vive’s controller, I finally found it so hard to operate. It is bulky and heavy. What’s worse, I found it hard to grab it and considered it unergonomic. Also, Vive’s touchpad totally lost to the Oculus’s analog sticks. This is especially obvious when I play the game that allows you to move at will. Touchpads suck!

HTC Vive controller
HTC Vive controller

As for PSVR‘s MOVE controller, it is harder to use it. It is completely the product from the last generation. It does not have any touchpad nor analog stick. When I play a game where my gaming character has to walk, I can’t easily control it. This is believed as a fatal weakness of the PSVR. However, the PRVR make up for this by having an AIM shooting controller, which players from other platforms are very envious of.

PlayStation VR controller
PlayStation VR controller

By the way, you can buy an additional Vive‘s locator, which is able to capture the full-body motion. With this accessory, when playing VRCHAT, others can see you dancing.

Play area – Vive wins

Vive's base stations
Vive’s base stations

Vive’s location technology is for sure the best. Its range is so wide that it can track the 360-degree play area. That is the ability other VR devices cannot compete with. This also sends a message that Vive’s core value is based on room size. The larger the room is, the more suitable it is to play games there with the Vive. But what if the room is small? Don’t worry! Vive’s locators can effectively help us avoid hitting the wall. When you get too close to locator’s recognized boundary, the Vive’s lens will show a blue grid.

Oculus Rift's sensor
Oculus Rift’s sensor

Oculus sensor is easily installed by USB. But it is hard and annoying to organize long USB cables. Also, USB bandwidth overload is problematic. The package of Oculus includes two sensors which can track close to 80% of the room scale. But the sensors might still lose tracking signal on your backside. So to achieve a whole-room tracking, three Oculus sensors need installing. And an additional third sensor placed at the rear of you should be at least five meters away. *Note: it is said that people encounter an issue of USB bandwidth overload when having three Oculus sensors in the room.

PlayStation VR camera & MOVE
PlayStation VR camera & MOVE

As for PSVR‘s location technology, it is mediocre. Theoretically, it has a 90-degree location capability on the left front and right front. But in fact, I think MOVE is only accurate at 60 degrees of the left front and of the right front. Once its degree is over 60, it might start to receive no signal. When its degree comes to more than 90, users cannot play the game with the PSVR. When I moved forward, stepped backward, lifted and waved MOVE controllers, crouched, PSVR’s camera cannot track me either because my MOVE goes out of the camera signal range. The headset and MOVE would be even constantly shaking because of wrong location.

How to solve this issue?

SONY officially suggests that the camera be placed on top of the TV. But I don’t agree with it. When your lifted hand blocks the headset light sent from the camera on the TV, tracking is already wrong. So the camera should be placed about 170-180 cm above the floor and its lens should be adjusted to about 30-45 degrees down such that the whole body can be captured by the camera and won’t block headset light. PSVR has other tracking issues, such as tilted controllers. So I would say its tracking ability is not as great as the other two VR devices.

Interface – Oculus Rift wins

Oculus is similar to Steam Home, having an interface of the virtual room. But Oculus’ new 2.0 interface is better and looks very comfortable. Its maneuverability is also very user-friendly. In contrast, Steam Home looks old-fashioned. As for PSVR, it uses the original PS4 interface.

Software – Oculus Rift wins

Oculus RiftHTC VivePlayStation VR
Oculus Home Store
SteamVR
Viveport
SteamVR
Viveport
PS4

In addition to accessing the Steam VR database, Oculus also has many high-quality exclusive games. Some of its high-quality games even changed my impression on what a game is supposed to be. Lone Echo, Robot Recall, and The Climb are classic games of Oculus, for example.

Although Vive’s players can install Revive software to play Oculus’s exclusive games, I don’t feel its gaming experience is as great as Oculus’. I tried to play the games on the same computer with Revive and Oculus and found that Revive’s performance is much worse than Oculus’s and that Revive’s screen is a bit weird. Beside this, Vive’s controller is not a perfect match with Oculus’s games. It is also said that some of Oculus’s games run by Revive get laggy or shut down.

The number of released PSVR’s games is relatively low. But there are new PSVR games released every week, so maybe PSVR’s platform will have as many games as other platforms.

Hardware – Oculus Rift wins

Included in Oculus Rift's box
Included in Oculus Rift’s box

Surprisingly, Oculus seems to have lower hardware standards. But Oculus brings a fascinating and smooth gaming experience that Vive does not have.

Included in HTC Vive's box
Included in HTC Vive’s box

When I played an Oculus’s game with the Vive, the gaming performance would not be as great as it is when playing a Vive’s game. But this is understandable. What I did not understand is that the Oculus still performed better than the Vive when I played games from Steam VR. It is probably due to some technology reducing system processing load.

Included in PlayStation VR's box
Included in PlayStation VR’s box

With the release of PS4 Pro and of its recent games, the screen of PSVR has improved. It does not have as coarse resolution and blur as it used to have. It depends on the games. The image quality of some games might be as delicate as that of the games played on the computer with GTX1060. If you still have a stereotype of poor image quality of PSVR, you should try it to play the recent game Wipeout from PlayStation Pro. It would turn around your impression.

Oculus RiftHTC VivePlayStation VR
CPUIntel i5-4590
equivalent or greater
Intel Core i5-4590
AMD FX 8350
equivalent or greater
PS4 Console
GPUNVIDIA GTX 970
AMD R9 290
equivalent or greater
GeForce GTX 1060
Radeon RX 480
equivalent or greater
PS4 Console
RAM8GB4GBPS4 Console
OutputHDMI 1.3HDMI 1.4
DisplayPort 1.2
PS4 Console
Input3x USB 3.0
1x USB 2.0
1x USB-A 2.0PS4 Console
Operating systemWindows 10Windows 7 SP1
Windows 8.1
Windows 10
PS4 Console

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