VR Headsets Comparison Summary 2018

vr

#1

There are a few on the market now, and more on the way, so wanted to provide a simple (heh) comparison table:

Name Release Date Price Resolution Per Eye Field of View
Oculus Rift March 2016 $399 1080x1200 110º
HTC Vive April 2016 $499 1080x1200 110º
Playstation VR October 2016 $299 (needs PS4) 960x1080 100º
Samsung Odyssey November 2017 $399 1440x1600 110º
Samsung Odyssey Plus / + November 2018 $499 1440x1600 110º
HTC Vive Pro April 2018 $1,399 1440x1600 110º
Pimax 5K+ January 2019? $699? 2560x1440 200º
Pimax 8K January 2019? $799? 3840x2160 200º
Lenovo Explorer April 2018 $349 1440x1440 110º

Notes:

  • FOV is diagonal.
  • Screens are all OLED
  • Pimax price and date are probably fictional.
  • Pimax 8K is upsampling, so not true 4K source per eye as yet.
  • Pimax FOV of 200º might need to realistically run in a lower mode i.e. 150º?
  • Odyssey Plus is reportedly using AMOLED panels with ‘Anti Screen Door Effect’ tech.
  • Lenovo Explorer has no physical IPD adjustment as opposed to Oculus, Samsung, HTC and (I think?) Pimax HMDs

As this post will date badly, I’ll turn it into a wiki so others can edit.


Samsung Odyssey & Odyssey Plus News
Samsung Odyssey & Odyssey Plus News
VR Noobie
#2

What is the point of using OLED exclusively? Is it for the residual luminance of black pixels? It sure isn’t for the improved power consumption.


#3

I’m not sure. I think it is about low persistence (90HZ is 11ms a frame to update). I suspect also it is more just to do with following what the cell phone industry is doing in terms of what panels are getting built for that. The Samsung OLED panels are really for the Gear product line, with everything else in VR just picking scraps to fit.


#4

Do all unwired headsets have their own processors?


#5

There are wireless connectors for the Vive so it can run untethered, but generally yes, either that or they use a beefy smartphone as as a ‘plug-in’. The popular phone plug-ins are the Google Daydream and Samsung GearVR.

A quick summary of the latest Standalone VR headsets (I won’t do specs, as less interesting for us I think, as we like the ‘tethered’ to PC):

Name Release Price Notes
Oculus Go 2018 $199 3DOF media viewer
Oculus Quest 2019 Q1 $399 The follow up to the Go, looks pretty powerful as a true 6DOF standalone.
HTC Vive Focus 2018 $650 Lacks good software support
Lenovo Mirage Solo 2018 $400 Lacks good software support

There are other headset by Pico, Xiaomi etc but less well known.

The big sell for these VR ‘consoles’ (as they are all self-contained) is the price point (no $3000 PC required) plus the ability to play in large spaces, as they use ‘inside out’ tracking which doesn’t require you to set up sensors etc and run wires.

Big ‘true VR’ games untethered (my ‘2. VR Games’ here) on cheap hardware might allow VR to cross ‘the chasm’ for main-stream appeal.


#6

I need to do some homework on this VR business now that I have a 1080Ti. I’m struggling slightly with the terminology!

In terms of system requirements, do newer models have higher demands (say the Vive Pro) or can you just crank down the settings until you upgrade your PC?

It looks like NZ doesn’t have a great selection of VR gear for our sim requirements - no Rifts for sale, mostly Vives and Vive Pros.


#7

You can yes, and just treat the higher resolution as a bit of ‘future proofing’. The one that is very much about that is the Pimax, in that it can display a theoretical 200 degrees for a field of view, but the sheer number of pixels required (often for the very edge of the display where the lens are distorting now) is nigh on impossible to drive at a decent frame rate on any PC outside of the NSA. Pimax users are then ‘switching modes’ to just display at 150 or 170 degrees until CPUs/GPUs or things like eye tracking tech catch up.


#8

Thanks a lot for that! I think I’ll be looking at my options to join the bandwagon in the new year when I’m back home…exciting! :slight_smile:


#9

I’m hoping by not trying the Pimax, I’ll be preserving some of the “wow” factor for when wider FOV headsets are ready for prime time. Sort of like being a track and field fan and staying in the dark and not knowing that Michelle Jenneke is out there, all the while watching old Bruce Jenner highlights.

Pimax will have to prove to this first generation of their users that they deserve the business. Product support after the point of sale is an important thing yet to be determined with them.

For sims I can just suspend my FOV disbelief by saying I’m wearing a helmet. Funny because VTOL VR actually constrains your view another couple of degrees with a virtual helmet (I think they added that in one of the last few patches, because I swear I don’t remember that being there when I first bought it…)


#10

Added Lenovo Explorer specs as it seems to come up a bit more as it is being heavily discounted recently.


#11

Has anyone else seen this announcement?

Vive Pro Eye headset are currently unknown, its biggest upgrade is a rarity in the PC VR space: built-in eye tracking, so that a users’ eye direction and movement can be measured for the sake of better VR performance.


#12

It looks very interesting, but not sure of the specs, maybe a 1.5 gen device? A stand-alone headset with a phone, also possible to be used as a PC VR device. Seems very modular, which seems to be a smart way of doing it. Product page here:

The Vive Pro eye tracking module that leads to foveated rendering, which would really help out desktop sims in terms of higher resolutions.

The rumors are that there is a Valve designed new HMD being revealed soon, and this isn’t it I don’t think.


#13

Gen 2.0 is getting closer by the minute…


#14

But isn’t there two devices? The Pro Eye and the Cosmos? But I do agree, no specs yet on the screen resolution. Supposed to be released in the second half of 2019 so there is lots of time to wait and see :slight_smile:


#15

wanted to check Lenovo Explorer and got this

2019-01-08%2017_42_14-Lenovo%20Explorer%20_%20Mixed%20Reality%20Headset%20_%20Lenovo%20US%20-%20Avast%20Secure%20Browser


#16

Here is a good look (maybe) of what the O+, Vive Pro, and Pimax 5K look like through the lenses. I’m not positive that this can be a true test of image clarity or not because you have a camera lens interacting with another lens…so I’m not sure how representative that really is or not. But it is interesting…


#17

I think it does demonstrate that the O+ anti-SDE technology actually works, but perhaps at the cost of image sharpness. But the colors look good on the O+, and the Pimax (particularly considering the price) doesn’t really blow me away. Of course, the Pimax sports a much greater FOV though right? So maybe that makes up for it… Whatever the case, I’m really happy with my O+…


#18

I suppose that we are to assume that the sweet spot would be in the center of the image, which negates what is going on at other places, like when the F1 cars drive away. To my eyes, the Vive Pro looked the best on average, and the PMax is disappointing given the size, expense, and hype of the thing.

I hate to sound like a curmudgeon, because I really enjoy (as long as I’m not being shot at) flying and driving in VR. But really, given the time that the community has been waiting for pupil tracking or some other tech that will allow you to focus on objects in the distance, pardon my exasperation, they all suck.

I’ve gone back to my first gen Odyssey and so glad that I hadn’t sold it yet. The Plus has a better image, when I can find it. But at what cost. To get that better image I have to spend about 2 minutes tweaking the position on my head, turning the nose dial and then being careful not to let it move, all the while feeling the pain build in my forehead. Where as the original is far more comfortable and forgiving as to the fit and position. I really tried to like the Plus, but finally threw in the towel due to the pain and constant tweaking that it required.

Maybe one of these days we’ll get a test where the presenter doesn’t refer to the equipment as not revolutionary but evolutionary. That expression is beginning to get long in the tooth, IMO.

Rant out. Going to enjoy the Eagle/C101/Yak in VR while my kids are Nintendo stricken.


#19

VR does sort of suck currently. Fresnel lenses, super-high resolutions - of which then needs a super-powered PC only to effectively throw away about 60% of the pixels because there aren’t being looked at, wearing a heavy awkward headset that cuts you off from the world.

I see it a bit like books vs kindles debate, in that people are making the content regardless of the device it is used to consume it, and using one always over the other is sort of dogmatic. I kept the Odyssey because I had a Rift already, but that got ‘adopted’ elsewhere in the house and I didn’t have the heart to grab it back.

If VR gets better (smaller, lighter, foveated render, non-fresnel lens etc) is pretty much entirely out of our hands. Mobile VR is where the research and product money will be spent, and if a coincidental off-shoot of that tech makes PC VR better then it’ll be a happy accident or more niche companies that pick up the advances. We just have to wait and see I think.


#20

Wholeheartedly agree, although I hold on to the hope that someone will figure out in their garage what Oculus and company couldn’t find despite throwing billions at the problem. We have lots of unicorns around this house too.