Although E3 2015 played host to some amazing games this year two things stole the show in our eyes, and both were virtual reality headsets that will be available to the public some time in the first half of 2016.

Oculus finally revealed its consumer headset at a special event in San Francisco last week (with Pocket-lint in attendance) but we finally got to have a play with it at E3 as there were no physical demonstrations at the time. And although Sony had Morpheus headsets available to try at last year's videogames conference, the experiences this time were more mature - in more ways than one.

We were also fortunate enough to try the headsets and experience different games and scenarios on each almost back-to-back. That's why we've decided to compare them both in the same piece rather than in separate hands-ons. They are similar in style and will be major rivals on release so it seems obvious really.

READ: What is Oculus Touch and how does it work with the new Oculus Rift?

With the Oculus Rift, we actually got to try a couple of very different demo experiences. We played Chronos using an Xbox One controller on the consumer version of the headset and then a demo of the Oculus Touch motion controllers while wearing the Crescent Bay version (which also has motion tracking properties).

Our Project Morpheus demo session included two different London Heist: The Getaway gameplay experiences, an Eve Valkyrie space battle and quite simply the most terrifying experience we've ever had in VR, Capcom's The Kitchen.


We don't know prices, as they haven't been revealed officially yet, but we suspect they will be similarly ticketed and rumours in LA suggest they will come in around the $300 mark (£188). That seems fair considering the tech and the fact that the HTC Vive - Valve's equivalent - will come in around that price too.

They also both need dedicated hardware, although the PC set-up Oculus has detailed will cost you a fair penny more than just a PS4 and a couple of Move controllers.


To be honest, with several prototypes and development kits under its belt, Oculus has designed the device that feels more comfortable to wear and is seemingly lighter. It was also the easiest to put on and focus so the screen was super sharp.

Pocket-lintproject morpheus vs oculus rift which vr experience won e3 2015  image 14

That said, Sony's device is still a prototype itself and could change a touch before the final build edition is released.


Sorry Oculus but you're headset looks bland and uninteresting. Of course, that doesn't really matter to the wearer, but it's not going to make you look cool. Instead it still looks a bit like a painted shoebox stuck to the front of your noggin.

Pocket-lintproject morpheus vs oculus rift which vr experience won e3 2015  image 9

The Project Morpheus is a much cooler-looking device, with Tron style lighting effects that help a PS4 track you in the virtual space using a PlayStation Eye camera - much like with the Move controllers that are also needed for many of the demos.


The screens on both headsets looked the same in resolution, contrast and sharpness. And while it was still easy to see the dots, regardless of the high definition properties, we were soon immersed in the experiences rather than looking out for image flaws.


Ultimately, hardware is just a tool to deliver experiences whether that be a console, computer, even a smartphone, and that is no more applicable than with virtual reality. Therefore, the most important aspects in our comparative test of the devices centre on what we actually did with them. And we have to say that both headsets blew our tiny little minds; albeit in very different ways.

Pocket-lintproject morpheus vs oculus rift which vr experience won e3 2015  image 12

The Kitchen on Project Morpheus, for example, became one of the biggest talking points of this year's show - at least amongst the people who had experienced it or witness someone else doing so. Rather than an actual game, it was a proof of product by Capcom that quite literally had our hearts racing more than if we had spent twenty minutes cross-training.

You start tied to a chair in a manky, dirty basement, with another man tied up on the floor next to you. You can look around but have limited view - behind you especially as you're tied to a chair. It's very Saw or Hostel and quite frankly petrifying. We thoroughly enjoyed it (no spoilers here as you might get to have a go yourself some time) and although we mostly smiled through the showing, others screamed.

Pocket-lintproject morpheus vs oculus rift which vr experience won e3 2015  image 13

We also got to play a couple of the London Heist: The Getaway demos, which used the Move motion controllers brilliantly in order to give you floating hands in the virtual world.

The best of the two had us sat in the passenger seat of a car racing away from a bank job or similar and we were set upon by motorbike riders and other enemies in SUVs. We had to dispatch them by shooting an ingame Uzi, and pick up and reload magazines of bullets along the way. One particular aspect we loved was the ability to open the car door and physically look out behind the car to dispatch enemies behind us.

Oculus has also created motion controllers in the shape of its Oculus Touch system - currently the Half Moon prototypes - and they give you even finer control. They work in a similar way to Sony's Move accessories, but have control over your fingers too. The bottom three fingers can be opened or closed, the trigger finger has a separate touch control, and there are thumbsticks too. This way you almost have complete control over your hands in the virtual space and the software were experienced showed every aspect of how this could be useful.

Pocket-lintproject morpheus vs oculus rift which vr experience won e3 2015  image 15

It was fun too as we were joined in the virtual world by an Oculus employee who we could see and hear in the software, but was actually in a different room. We played ping pong with complete control over the bat, threw boomerangs, caught balls and so much more. Perhaps the most impressive part was that the table in front of us was so convincing that we were disoriented to find after the experience that it wasn't there.

Of course, that demo was presented through the last prototype model of the headset, Crescent Bay. We did get to try to final build though while playing Chronos - an adventure/puzzle game that replaced the right thumbstick camera with a fixed position. However, you could look around each room as you entered and they were vast. Again, it was quite weird to be pulled back out of that world when finished.

Pocket-lintproject morpheus vs oculus rift which vr experience won e3 2015  image 6


And that's about that. We have to be completely honest and say that we wouldn't really know which device you should opt for when they are released as they both offered incredible experiences of many different flavours. It will really come down to what hardware you own: PS4 or PC.

If really pushed we probably enjoyed or time with the Oculus Rift more. It showed us more about the potential of virtual reality and not just in gaming. But if we were to say what won E3 2015, it was VR itself. And both Oculus and Sony have perhaps changed our minds over how big the tech could become. These are magical times.