Virtual reality headsets comparison

Today, many virtual reality headsets are being developed. Each has its own characteristics and special abilities. The HTC Vive and the Gameface, for instance, take advantage of Valve´s Lighthouse technology to track your position exactly. Thus you’re free to move around in a certain area. Starbreeze’ StarVR offers a 210 degree field of view, covering almost evering you can perceive, whereas the FOVE tracks where you’re looking at to control the action. Project Morpheus works together with a PS4, and thus will be running for a reasonable price. Use the following specifications table to compare the different VR headsets.

Specifications table

 Oculus RiftHTC ViveProject MorpheusStarVRTotemFOVEGamefaceTotem
NameOculus RiftHTC VivePlayStation VRStarVROSVR HDKFOVEGamefaceTotem
ManufacturerOculus VRHTC, ValveSonyStarbreezeRazer, SensicsFOVEGameface LabsVRVANA
Field of view>110°>110°100°210°100°>100°140°105°
Positional tracking6DOF6DOF Valve Lighthouse6DOF6DOF6DOF6DOF6DOF Valve Lighthouse6DOF
ControllerXbox One controller/Oculus Touchtwo SteamVR controllers, one for each handPlaystation Move/DualShock 4--120hz Eye Tracking-AR
Audiointerchangeable headphones built inexternalexternalexternalexternalexternalexternalexternal
RequiresHigh-end PCHigh-end PCPlayStation 4High-end PCHigh-End-PC/AndroidHigh-End-PC-PC
Release dateQ1 2016Q4 2015Q2 2016-Q4 2015May 2016--
Expected price$599/699€>$600~$400-$600--$375--

VR terms explained

Field of view

The field of view (FOV) describes the extent of what can be seen by using a VR headset. With eye movement, humans usally are capable of noticing approximately 270 degrees. A FOV of 100° may already be enough to “believe” digital VR worlds being real.

Head tracking and positional tracking

Head tracking refers to the rotation of your head, whereas positional tracking registers the exact position of the headset. A variety of sensors like gyroscopes and accelerometers are needed to enable head tracking, whereas positional tracking can be done by IR cameras for instance.  Usually, better VR headsets are tracking your head in six dimensions (six degrees of freedom – 6DOF): limited movement (forward/backward, up/down, left/right) and rotation of the three axes pitch, yaw and roll. Thus you’re able to freely look around in digital VR worlds and even move your head a little forward/backward, etc. As mentioned in the beginning, some VR headsets are even able to track their position over a larger area. Thereby you’re able to walk around in digital VR worlds. For more information about positional tracking, take a look at how positional tracking works.