The world of gaming as we know it is changing. No longer are players confined to one side of the screen and forced to watch a virtual world from the comfort of their armchair. Today, thanks to the advent of virtual reality technology, playing games is about to get a whole lot more immersive.
Oculus Rift was one of the first products out of the gate in terms of development and, according to most, it will be the market leader when it hits the shelves. However, it’s certainly not the only player in the game. Sony’s PlayStation VR (previously project Morpheus), HTC’s Vive and Microsoft’s HoloLens are all entering their final stages of production and all appear to be highly equipped to take on Facebook’s Oculus Rift.
Oculus Rift Has the X Factor
However, it appears as though Rift will get the jump on its rivals for two main reasons. Aside from already having an affinity with the gaming public through its early versions and demos, Oculus Rift recently partnered with Xbox One. Announced in June 2015, the new partnership will see the VR headset paired with an Xbox One control pad, however, it won’t be a direct partnership.
According to reports, Xbox One content won’t be directly available for the Rift. However, players will instead be able to stream content from their Xbox, through Windows 10 and onto Rift’s Oculus Cinema application. This will essentially create a theatre for Xbox games, but it won’t directly link the two products.
PlayStation’s VR Polish
For some this revelation was somewhat disappointing but hardly surprising given that Microsoft has been working on a VR project for the last seven years. For those that want a fully connected VR experience, Sony’s offering seems to be the obvious choice.
Aside from being a cheaper alternative to Oculus Rift (pricing for a Rift headset will start at $350+/£230 but a whole package will cost around $1,500/£990), the PlayStation VR headset will be fully integrated into the PlayStation platform and, therefore, linked directly with the top games.
According to PlayStation’s top brass, the product is already more polished than its rivals and recent tweaks have seen the product augmented with the following credentials: 100-degree field of vision, 1920 x RGB x 1080 resolution and 120fps output. Not only that, but PlayStation already has a loyal fan base, the gaming pedigree and a movie studio in-house through which it can create custom content.
Visions that will Benefit All
Despite these advantages, however, the overall scope of PlayStation VR won’t quite be as wide as wide as Oculus Rift. In fact, when it comes to overall ambition, Rift’s creator, Palmer Luckey appears to have his sights set the highest. Although his rivals at Microsoft, PlayStation and HTC might have more experience and pedigree, Rift has been something of a personal passion for Luckey and that could give it the edge.
However, regardless of which headset comes out on top, gamers are set for a series of treats in 2016. Although the release dates are still somewhat vague, the first half of 2016 could mark the biggest turning point in the gaming world for many years and it will certainly mark a new, more immersive world through which gamers can roam.
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