Side-by-side Specs for Virtual Reality’s Big 3: Playstation VR (PSVR), HTC Vive, and Oculus Rift

HTC Vive vs PSVR vs OCULUS Rift

Here they are, The Big 3: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and PlayStation VR.  All have launched with preorders and, with the exception of PSVR, to some degree are in the hands of consumers. If you weren’t part of the first series of orders you can still pre-order today with delivery before the end of the year, once again PSVR is the exception as all their preorders are close for the time being. If you’re new to Virtual Reality I suggest reading up on the subject here where I attempt to translate all the technical mumbo-jumpo.

But when will they ship? How much? And what are the major differences? 

Now that they’ve landed some will wonder what to buy. This isn’t a product review, it’s a simple side-by-side comparison of each product’s specifications.  If you’re interested in what you’ll get for your money, you’ve come to the right place.

Price: go with what you know.

Don’t be fooled by the prices, they all require additional hardware which could have a significant impact on your purchasing decision. If you have a Playstation 4 (PS4) you’ll almost certainly want to buy the PSVR as you’ll be able to jump into a high-quality VR experience while only forking out $399.99 – this is incredibly cheap compared to the alternatives. For HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, it’s somewhat more complex. You’ll need a minimum specced PC, which will run you at least $900+ in addition to the headset price. Unless you happen to have the right specced machine, you’ll be spending a fair amount more. If you are up for the challenge, you can attempt to upgrade your current PC by following this guide. If you only need a new video/graphics card check out this list of the top VR ready GPUs (graphic processor units).

Hardware: a value proposition.

The old saying “you get what you pay for” holds true hither. HTC Vive supports room-scale tracking and includes two wireless controllers. You’ll have to purchase add-ons to get the same features out of the PSVR and Oculus Rift. The wildcard here is PSVR. Its specs won’t turn heads, but the price and platform will. Whether you have a PS4 or not, the cost is still well below its cohorts. Moreover, it’s built on PlayStation’s ecosystem that promises more content, and seamless integration with a platform that’s already in millions of homes. It’s easy for a buyer to overlook some spec shortfalls with all PSVR has to offer.

Availability: what are your summer plans?

No prime shipping here. You’ll be waiting until at least June 2016, and that’s not guaranteed. HTC and Oculus have had a rough start and are suffering from delayed shipments. PSVR will hit post offices in October 2016, Oculus Rift around August 2016, and HTC Vive will be the early bird in June 2016 – but keep in mind these dates can change. One thing is for sure; each manufacturer will want them available for the holiday season. In the end, PSVR will likely steal the show.

Don’t want to drop $700+ on Virtual Reality? No problem. Check out my favorite budget friendly mobile VR headsets.



Refresh rate

Field of view

Tracking Type

Tracking Area

Audio Hardware




Required GPU

Required RAM

Required CPU

Required Connections



Current Order Ship Dates


HTC Vive


2160 x 1200 (1080 x 1200 per eye)

90 Hz

110 Degrees


15ft X 15ft



Included (Two SteamVR Controllers)

Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Laser position sensors,

Two "Lighthouse" Base Stations and Forward Facing Camera for Room-scale tracking 


Nvidia GTX 970 or AMD R9 290, Equivalent or Better


4 GB or More

Intel Core i5 4590 or AMD FX 8350, or Better

1x HDMI 1.4 and 1x USB 2.0

555 grams

Windows 7 SP1 or newer

June 2016


Oculus Rift


2160 x 1200 (1080 x 1200 per eye)

90 Hz

110 Degrees

Seated (Room-scale Ready)

5ft X 11ft



Xbox One Controller and Remote

USB-connected IR LED sensor, which tracks via the "constellation" method


NVIDIA GTX 970 or AMD R9 290 Equivalent or Better


8 GB or More

Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater

3x USB 3.0 ports plus 1x USB 2.0 port

470 grams

Windows 7 SP1 64 bit or newer

August 2016


Playstation VR (Core)



1920 x RGB x 1080 (960 x RGB x 1080 per eye)

120Hz, 90Hz

100 Degrees

Seated (Room-scale Ready)

5.7ft X 7.2ft (with optional camera)

Supplied Earbuds


Not Included in Core Product 

Three-axis gyroscope and three-axis accelerometer


PlayStation 4 Console 



2 x HDMI, 2 x AUX, Stereo Headphone Jack, HDMI TV, HDMI PS4, USB


610 grams


October 2016



VR’s Big 3: PlayStation VR, HTC Vive, and Oculus Rift | Spec Comparison

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