Custom PC - - FEATURE -

Play­ing a VR game is a truly re­mark­able ex­pe­ri­ence, and if you ever have the chance to try a VR head­set, you ab­so­lutely should do it. Is it ac­tu­ally worth in­vest­ing in a head­set of your own? Per­son­ally, we would say yes, if you have the money and a PC ca­pa­ble of run­ning it. There’s a suf­fi­cient li­brary of VR-en­abled and VR-spe­cific games avail­able now for you to get a good amount of use out of it, al­though many VR-spe­cific games are quite short ex­pe­ri­ences, so don’t ex­pect one VR game to last you dozens of hours of play.

As for which VR head­set you should buy, for the mo­ment Cus­tom PC rec­om­mends the Ocu­lus Rift. With the touch con­trollers added into the bun­dle, it’s now ca­pa­ble of do­ing al­most ev­ery­thing the Vive can do at a con­sid­er­ably re­duced cost, even if you pur­chase an ad­di­tional sen­sor for full 360-de­gree mo­ment. The Rift is also more com­fort­able to wear for longer pe­ri­ods, and it’s eas­ier to play SteamVR games through the Rift than to play Ocu­lus plat­formex­clu­sive games with the Vive. The Vive is still a fan­tas­tic sys­tem, and there are ad­van­tages to own­ing one, such as hav­ing all your VR games play straight through Steam, but at the mo­ment the Rift is just a bet­ter all-round VR ex­pe­ri­ence.

How­ever, late last year, HTC an­nounced the Vive Pro (see p14), a brand new Vive head­set that in­cludes in­te­grated head­phones, and a much sharper 2,880 x 1,600 OLED res­o­lu­tion, with a mas­sive 78 per cent in­crease in pixel count over the stan­dard Vive and Ocu­lus Rift. The re­ports are that the

vis­ual qual­ity in­side the hel­met is much closer to a stan­dard 1080p dis­play. The Vive Pro is due later this year, but it won’t be cheap, with www.over­clock­ers. list­ing it for pre­orderorder at £799 inc VAT. Nonethe­less, If the Vive Pro is as good as is claimed, then it will be a no-con­test be­tween Vive and Ocu­lus (al­though Ocu­lus is work­ing on its own fol­low-up to the Vive) in terms of the ex­pe­ri­ence. That’s for the fu­ture, how­ever. At the mo­ment, Ocu­lus wins the day.

Ocu­lus Rift

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