Although both virtual reality gaming headsets are still not yet available, the rivalry between the two is already staggering. After Facebook acquired Oculus Rift back in 2014 for $2 billion, it became a serious contender against Sony’s Project Morpheus. Although HTC Vive has just introduced the first Steam VR headset, for now, the other two have invested the most money and time into creating their products, and use very similar technology.
Where the Rift has a 110-degree viewing angle, Morpheus only has 100-degrees, which means the Rift has a bigger field of vision.
The most recent Rift prototype, Crescent Bay features 1920 x 1080 screen, which is split vertically to produce a resolution of 960 x 1080 to each eye. Project Morpheus has the same specs, but where the Rift has a 110-degree viewing angle, Morpheus only has 100-degrees, which means the Rift has a bigger field of vision. Project Morpheus also has on their demo version a small gap that light could penetrate, so that if you concentrate hard enough, you can see your feet. Honestly though, this might not be the worst feature during some games.
The Rift uses OLED technology that it ripped from Samsung’s 5.5-inch Note 3 smartphone, so it has natural colors with great contrast ratios. Sony’s second and most recent prototype for Morpheus improved its display size from 5-inches to 5.7-inches, and added RGB subpixels as well as OLED.
Rift is topping out at a refresh rate of 90Hz, but Morpheus boasts an impressive 120Hz, which higher even than the HTC Vive as well.
Sony will allow a second user to connect to a screen and see what Morpheus-wearer is experiencing.
Both headsets will need to partner up with hardware to produce the images. Rift has created a notably flexible platform that will support Windows, Mac and Linux-based computers, so long as the computer is “running current generation 3D games at 1080p resolution at 75fps or higher”, according to it’s site. The developer kit has a webcam which tracks the LEDs that are embedded on the headset that collects even more positional data and Crescent Bay manages 360 degree head tracking and positional tracking.
Morpheus, meanwhile, will require the PlayStation 4 to use. Additionally, Sony developed a second box thats connects the PS4 via USB and HDMI, which is specifically designed to handle the VR operation. Although this is less flexible, the secondary box includes an HDMI-out, which will allow a second user to connect to a screen and see what Morpheus-wearer is experiencing. Additionally the PlayStation Camera provides equivalent tracking, which means it can locate in both the front and directly behind the user.
Project Morpheus has its own specially designed 3D positional audio engine by Sony.
Obviously, the Oculus Rift had the disadvantage here. Although they announced new Oculus Audio SDK that would use Head-Related Transfer Function technology to create a true sense of 3D audio spatialization to immerse users “sonically in a virtual world, surrounded by realistic sounds in all directions”, Sony, renown for its advance in the music industry, wins this one. Project Morpheus has its own specially designed 3D positional audio engine.
Anyone can create a game and upload it to the Internet, and Rift will be able to play it.
Last, but certainly not least: games. Oculus Rift and its flexibility hold the advantage. The PC world already has tons of games that are already prepped for the Rift, whether they are new games, ports or fan-created. Valve, a major gaming company, has been upkeeping its technology to ensure that games will be Rift ready when it is finally released. Anyone can create a game and upload it to the Internet, and Rift will be able to play it.
The PlayStation Network, however, is very different. Although there is tons of cool games already demoed in 2014, and undoubtedly there will be more soon enough, simply put, developers will have to make their games Morpheus compatible - and approved by the PlayStation Network.
Unless you're already a PlayStation user, the conclusion is clear: Oculus Rift offers the best VR headset.
The score might technically be a tie, but it will depend on each user. Unless you're already a PlayStation user, the conclusion is clear: Oculus Rift offers the best VR headset.
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