The promise of virtual reality has finally evolved from the basic 3D of 90s arcade games to a real headset you can buy and use at home. The releases of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive made VR a real thing for gaming, but neither is cheap: $600 for the Rift, and $800 for the Vive.
Both the Vive and Rift are now complete, with the Rift's Touch controllers available for purchase. They definitely add a dimension to the VR experience but that kind of interactivity has been available on the Vive since its unveiling.
One area where the Rift still falls behind the Vive is room-scale support. it's possible if you add more sensors, but the Rift sensors don't have nearly the room size support as the emitters on the Vive.
The real issue with VR however is content. There's still a major hole in content that desperately needs to be filled by big publishers. Because of this, we still can't outright recommend either headset at this time. For those who are interested in the cutting edge or just wanting to the novel experience without having to wait, our pick would still be the Vive, although the Rift is now a much better solution than it use to be.
Right now there are two major players for VR headsets for the PC. No one else has demonstrated products that are consumer ready other than HTC and Oculus. There's Sony with its PSVR headset, but that isn't for the PC (at least until modders get their hands on it).
Despite both the Vive and Rift being available for purchase, we can't give a definitive buying recommendation at this time. There still aren't many compelling games available for either platform and by the time big titles come, Oculus is expected to even the playing field between the Rift and Vive in the coming months in terms of hardware. We also expect that eventually, nearly all VR games will be made to work on both. We recommend the Vive for a more complete experience right now if you're desperate for VR. If you're not, the safe bet is to spend your money on regular ol' PC games for the next few months and watch for more development on the content side.
While there's no other realistic competitor to the Vive or Rift, there are some other headsets that could compete with them in the future, like Starbreeze's StarVR and OSVR, or Open Source Virtual Reality. We don't expect either headset to gain as much developer backing as the Rift and Vive, but it's still early days for VR. In five years, who knows?
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