HTC Vive vs Oculus Rift: Games

Right, let’s get down to possibly the most important section of our comparison – the games selection. While many had hoped that Oculus games would play nice with HTC Vive games and vice versa, it seems that isn’t the case and instead the two have a similar relationship to the likes of PlayStation and Xbox. The Oculus Rift had 30 games available at launch while the HTC Vive had 20 more, totalling 50, at the beginning of April. There is a myriad of HTC Vive games in development at the moment due for release over the coming months, as is with the Oculus Rift.

The Oculus Rift has more exclusives than the HTC Vive, including Lucky’s Tale and EVE: Valkyrie (for now anyway) so if you want to be able to brag about playing a game only a portion of VR players can play, the Oculus looks to be the better choice. However, there have been more and more updates pushed via Steam recently that enable HTC Vive support, including the likes of Project CARS, offering Vive users a VR-ready driving simulator.

One annoyance is that while Oculus Rift owners can browse Steam, owned by Valve, co-producer of the Vive, HTC Vive owners can’t browse the Rift equivalent, Oculus Home. Oculus CEO Palmer Luckey has stated in the past that Oculus “can only extend our SDK to work with other headsets if the manufacturer allows us to do so” insinuating that HTC and Valve are to blame for the incompatibility issues, although Valve has refuted the assertion.  

Essentially, it comes down to choice – sure, Oculus may have more exclusives but HTC Vive games are arguably better quality due to the fact that you can walk around and use the bespoke Vive controllers while with the Rift you’re pretty limited in terms of what you can do. We’d advise taking a look at the Steam VR listings page as there is where you’ll find a complete list of VR-ready games, and will also tell you if they’re compatible with the Rift, Vive or both.

HTC Vive vs Oculus Rift: PC requirements

Despite the high cost of both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, the real hidden cost is in the computer hardware that’s required to power those graphically intense VR-enabled games. Both the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift require a pretty beefy GPU, with either a Nvidia GTX 970 or AMD R9 290 as a minimum. To give you some idea about the price, the GTX 970 costs around £340 at the time of writing.

It doesn’t stop there either, as the Oculus Rift also demands an Intel Core i5 4590 processor (around £170) or better, and at least 8GB of RAM. The HTC Vive isn’t as demanding in this area, asking for an Intel Core i5 4590 or AMD FX 8350 or greater but only a minimum of 4GB of RAM. It’s also worth noting that the Oculus Rift requires an HDMI 1.3 port or better, as well as two USB 3.0 ports. The HTC Vive, on the other hand, requires either an HDMI 1.4 port or better, or a DisplayPort 1.2 or better, along with a single USB 2.0 port.

We’d recommend taking a long hard look at your existing PC setup and decide which is better for you, as you’re already splashing out a minimum of £500 for the headset without any PC upgrades.

Read next: Best gaming PCs for virtual reality

HTC Vive vs Oculus Rift: Spec comparison

Specs

HTC Vive: Specs

  • High resolution 2160x1200 display
  • 90Hz
  • More than 70 sensors, tracks movement to 1/10 degree
  • Bluetooth connectivity for notifications
  • Front-facing camera
  • Base stations, allowing you to walk around in VR
  • Controllers that allow you to interact with environments