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Virtual Reality Headset Showdown (Oculus vs Vive)

By May 24, 2016 May 22nd, 2020 No Comments

As purveyors of digital activations, we at NEXT/NOW use virtual reality to transport users into deeply immersive and memorable brand experiences. We have found both the HTC Vive and its competitor, the Oculus Rift, to be amazing tools that both achieve incredible results.

But which one is best, the Oculus or the Vive?

Well, that depends mostly on what you are hoping to achieve. Both have OLED panels that combine for a 2160 x 1200 resolution with a super speedy 90hz refresh rate to give you an incredibly crisp viewing experience. With 110 degrees of view, both will absolutely make you feel that the world expands in all directions around you.

As for comfortability, the Oculus is a bit lighter, less bulky, and rests easily upon your head. The Vive is a bit bulkier, due to a built in camera, and as a result is slightly more front-heavy, which may give the feel of it wanting to slide forward until you get used to it. Both are padded in all the right places and could be worn for long periods of time without discomfort.

From there, the differences grow more notable. The Vive, uses light sensors placed in a strategic range away from each other to create a virtual 15’ X 15’ box that you can move around in. This includes walking, jumping, ducking, bending over, crouching, etc… Coupled, with the Vive’s, handsets (which serve in the VR world as virtual hands) you are free to interact fully with the world around you. When you walk too close to the edge of the virtual box, a grid lights up to warn you from going to far. Its built in camera is a safety feature that can be activated to detail the room around you and prevent unwanted run-ins other people and objects.

The Vive is what we offer to our clients as a way to add physicalization to an activation; a way to get users up and moving. The Oculus also promises to have handsets and movement tracking too, but not for some time. Their movement box will also be much smaller at a modest 5’ X 11’’.

For many of our clients, we use the Oculus to create sit-down experiences. Like what we did for Glade and for our award winning Intel Inside activation, where users were able to take a virtual tour of the future. We’ve also used the Oculus for original gaming experiences where users are able to participate and play by simply moving their heads toward objects. This can be a very simple point of entry for users that requires little instruction but yields instant results. For HMS, for example, another award winning campaign, we created an environment where users became superheroes and flew around protecting the city. We also just released a 2016 version of the HMS game that put users in a digital sci-fi world full of vortexes, bonus points and non-stop action.

As an agency, we build immersive environments for brands that utilize VR technology in exciting and effective ways. As both VR devices discussed have a semi-hefty price tag, with additional costs in the form of compatible desktop technology, the point of entrance for most consumers is likely still a bit in the future. As a result, the technology remains an incredibly fresh and unique experience brands can offer their customers.

To see more of the Virtual Reality activations we’ve created, explore our work at or stop into our showroom in Chicago’s Haymarket Square. Write us at

Next/Now Agency

1200 West Lake Street
Suite 2
Chicago, IL 60607

T: 312.945.6222