Today was the day that win a free Oculus Rift VR held its pre-E3 press conference in San Francisco. After an introduction presentation from Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe, some major news was announced.
Performance-wise, the Oculus and Gear VR are two different beasts. The Oculus is a clearcut winner here, offering up two integrated OLED displays, bolstered by an accumulated 2160 x 1200 pixel crystal clear image and buttery smooth 90Hz refresh rate. While the Gear VR presents a fair challenge to the Rift in terms of resolution, as you can imagine, an Ultra HD image exhibited from a 6-inch smartphone will likely pale in comparison, and graphics performance is limited by smartphone hardware.
The Rift is an expensive piece of hardware on its own, running a $599 price tag. But when you factor in the need for an extremely powerful PC, that price point suddenly skyrockets. The Gear VR, on the other hand, is affordable for anyone with one of the compatible Galaxy smartphones at $99. Sure, for under 100 bucks you aren’t guaranteed the same level of immersion as you’d expect with the Rift, but it’s a nifty, low-cost sample of the future.
The Oculus Rift and Gear VR both deliver on almost paradoxical fronts. While Oculus brings the power of PC gaming to a head-mounted virtual reality display, Gear VR serves as a convenient introductory point for anyone only casually interested in this emerging tech. Especially in reference to pricing, much of Oculus Rift’s features remain ambiguous.
Considering both peripherals bear some sense of innovation, although in antithetical ways, making a decision on which is objectively better” isn’t really needed this time around. They’re both powered by the same company (Gear VR is designed in conjunction with Oculus) and are both sure to evoke their fair share of buzz by the time their respective release dates roll around.