How to two of the newer top-of-the-line VR headsets compare to each other on key features? This handy infographic lays it all out.
The software that comes alongside the Oculus is much better than the Index by a long shot, and there are many more AAA games available in the market for the Oculus. Also, due to being recently released, only a small amount of demos and indie games use the full functionality of the Index’s controllers, putting it at a disadvantage. The Index uses SteamVR for their games and is restricted to it, whereas the Rift S is not.
The Comfort Factor
Both headsets score very well on comfort. The “halo ring” in the Rift S allows anyone to enjoy VR for an extensive period of time without pain. The Index also has micro-fiber lining nicely placed for a premium feel and long usage. The Index has an advantage as far as audio goes, as the speakers don’t require you to wear headphones and give a nice surround sound that adds to the immersion.
Don’t Forget the Accessories!
For the accessories of each headset, both companies went their own way. The Index has 2 external sensors, which can improve tracking but comes at the expense of a more difficult setup. The Rift S, however, uses inside-out tracking (built into the headset itself) which does not require any cameras and makes the setup that much easier. For the controllers, Valve has had some issues with the thumbstick, while the Rift S scores highly with lightweight, comfortable controllers that are widely supported.
Show Me the Money
The Valve Index has much more of a premium feel, but not everyone has $1,000 to throw at VR, especially while the industry continues to change. This, for many people, will make the Rift S the smartest choice. Yet the Index does mark a big milestone for the industry in terms of technical specs, even if that is likely not enough to convince consumers that the whopping $600 price difference is worth it.
Looking at these headsets it really hits home how far the VR industry has come,how much it still improving, and how even now in these relatively early days of the spatial computing era there really is something for everyone if you want to immerse yourself in Virtual Reality.
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Alice Bonasio is a VR and Digital Transformation Consultant and Tech Trends’ Editor in Chief. She also regularly writes for Fast Company, Ars Technica, Quartz, Wired and others. You can follow @alicebonasio on Twitter, connect with her on LinkedIn or subscribe to her Inside VR/AR Newletter for all the latest curated immersive news.