When taking the mobile market into consideration, there are an enormous amount of virtual reality (VR) head-mounted displays (HMDs) currently either in the works or available to purchase. When looking at the main contenders within the industry, however, it’s easy to identify the 3 leaders; Oculus VR with the Oculus Rift, Valve with its SteamVR system powering HMDs such as the HTC Vive and Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) with the Project Morpheus HMD for PlayStation 4. A time will come when these kits compete for consumer’s money but, for now, SCE itself has nothing but praise for its future rivals.
Speaking with Business Insider, SCE’s Shuhei Yoshida stated that all 3 of these companies have overcome ‘technical challenges’ to make ‘great VR systems’. “The technical advancements, for the last two years, around virtual reality has been amazing,” Yoshida said. “We’re talking about every event we see something new and exciting happen. And, I think I can say all 3 companies have overcome the technical challenges of creating great VR systems. And developers are learning to produce great experiences on these systems. Then the next biggest challenge is to get as many people to try this.”
The first of these kits to release will be the HTC Vive, which is set for a holiday 2015 launch. Following that, the Oculus Rift will be arriving in the first quarter of 2016. Project Morpheus itself is scheduled for the first half of next year, likely putting it as the last of these devices to hit the market. Each has their own advantages; SCE itself is keen to push the more social side of VR with systems such as its ‘Social Screen’ concept while Valve is supplying Room Scale user-tracking with SteamVR and Oculus VR utilises resources made available by parent company Facebook.
Seeing how these HMDs perform as they go head-to-head over the next few years is going to be fascinating. VRFocus will continue to follow each one, reporting back with the latest on them.