PS4 Project Morpheus vs Oculus Rift vs HTC Vive vs Razer OSVR vs Samsung Gear VR: Most Anticipated VR Tech?
Virtual reality is without a doubt the latest fashion in terms of technology. Just like Kinect and PlayStation Move last generation, those are supposed to extend consoles and PC's lifecycle for at least another couple of years. But VR could be not limited just to video games, becoming a true mass phenomenon simply as smartphones and tablets were a few years ago.
It will be a matter of quality, first of all, and then the price will determine whether it's going to be a commercial success or not. For that purpose, there's much curiosity for what Sony will do about Project Morpheus' early release (Q1 2016) and pricing, since it's going to have a close relationship with PlayStation 4, that costs “only” $399: could this device cost more than the console it is supposed to fully support?
It's hard to say at this point, but we think Sony will consider very well its next move, maybe trying to reduce the huge price effect on common people with a couple of more convenient bundles. On this matter, Samsung VR seems to be the best deal for those not willing to invest thousands of dollars right away.
In 2016, we will finally see what Oculus VR has worked so much on for the last three years, giving a new life to the virtual reality technology that everyone had given for death in recent times. It will be interesting to also understand if Mr. Mark Zuckerberg will be able to deliver a proper gaming launch for the platform or limit it to smartphone/casual purposes.
HTC Vive could fill the gap between virtual and augmented reality, offering a truly immersive experience for those who want to be totally wrapped in a digital gaming adventure and got disappointed by the recent Microsoft HoloLens previews. We can foresee Valve's support will be fundamental for HTC Vive to become a mass product. Same as OSVR, a very ambitious project that will need protagonists of the virtual reality industry to convey in order to make it an interesting enough development environment for everyone.
There's so many virtual reality devices incomings, we only chose five of them among those closer to the official launch and more quality-wise reliable. Let us know in the comments section if you have any other VR name you would like to include in our list.
22-year old Palmer Luckey was lucky enough to have a vision: he literally resurrected virtual reality in 2012, convincing Internet users to fund his project with more than $2 million. Then, Facebook bought the entire Oculus VR company for $2 billion – that was smart.
The latest prototype is called Crescent Bay, it's the third version of the device, and features a 360-degree perspective, 1080p visuals, improved head-tracking, lower weight, built-in audio, a low persistence OLED display and more.
As you can see, a lot of improvements needed to be made before the device could be ready for launch and, in the end, it's going to miss the 2015 scheduled release by just one year.
Project Morpheus by Sony
In early 2011, Anton Mikhailov and his team at Sony Computer Entertainment started to work on a new virtual reality project. Three years later, it was revealed at Game Developers Conference as Project Morpheus.
In 2015, GDC's public witnessed once again a Project Morpheus-related announcement by Sony: the release date is slated for Q1 2016, while the latest prototype has a 5.7-inch (1920x1080) RGB OLED display, 120hz refresh rate, 100-degree field of view, and nine LEDs for positional tracking. PlayStation Eye camera is required to move your head or grab Sony's standard DualShock 4. And, talking about PlayStation, it should be noted Project Morpheus (or whichever will be its final name) will be the first virtual reality device to be released on a console. Hype is running wild, but someone fears the price won't be as competitive as it should for that market.
Mobile World Congress was the right occasion for HTC to unveil Vive, the new virtual reality device developed in partnership with Steam's giant, Valve. This is not yet another virtual reality headset since it is said to deliver a “premium experience” in comparison with other competitors.
What's innovative in Vive is “Full Room Scale”. This feature allows the player to get up, walk and move around virtual objects with complete tracking of head-mounted displays and controllers, while other devices like Oculus Rift are limited to static experiences (sit down or stand and move your head).
If everything goes ok, Vive, which is believed to release in time for Christmas 2015 (with first developer kits being provided in Spring), could be a true, Steam-supported link between classic virtual reality and the augmented reality offered by Microsoft HoloLens.
This one is interesting. Razer has launched this new project called Open Source Virtual Reality, a new platform that, according to CEO Min-Liang Tan, will become the “Android of virtual reality. Think of it as an open-source software platform that includes multiple game engines, head-mounted displays, and control schemes.” At this point around to dozen companies support the project. Among those, we find Leap Motion, Virtuix, and the International Game Developers Association. The first dev-kit has been dubbed “Hacker” and features a 1920 x 1080 screen with the roughly 100-degree field of view.Specs-wise it's kind of Oculus Rift second dev-kit, anyway the OSVR has still a long road ahead to develop and look if there is any chance to gain a good market share.
Samsung Gear VR
Facebook sliding in the virtual reality business was a sufficient signal for Samsung to do the same, so the Korean giant has jumped in and presented his very first VR headset. Called Gear VR, this device is powered with the same technology of Oculus Rift but uses a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 as both a processor and a display.
While this could look strange at first, it's a good point in Samsung's favor since Note 4 has a 2560 x 1440 Super AMOLED display with 60Hz refresh rate and a 96-degree field of view. Not bad for just a smartphone.
Which of these is your favorite virtual reality device? Express your preference right below!