UPDATE Nov. 25th: I have updated the comparison chart! You can see it here.
From my recent blog reader poll results, I got the following results on who has created user accounts on which social VR spaces:
The “Big Five” social VR platforms
After Second Life and OpenSim, the next biggest section of the reader responses were these five newer social VR platforms:
- Sansar (149 readers, 8.87%)
- High Fidelity (145 readers, 8.63%)
- VRChat (101 readers, 6.01%)
- Sinespace (83 readers, 4.94%)
- AltspaceVR (68 readers, 4.05%)
Not far behind were a few more newer competitors
- Rec Room (54 readers, 3.22%)
- Somnium Space (53 readers, 3.16%)
- Bigscreen (35 readers, 2.09%)
- Facebook Spaces (29 readers, 1.73%)
- Oculus Rooms (26 readers, 1.55%)
- vTime (20 readers, 1.19%)
- TheWaveVR (16 readers, 0.95%)
So, I decided to draw up a detailed comparison chart of just these 12 social VR platforms. Note that in this chart, I excluded platforms that did not have VR support (e.g. Second Life, OpenSim-based virtual worlds).
I also did not dwell on technical details, such as the underlying game engine, user creation tools, etc. Instead, I focused on the three things of most interest to consumers:
- How you can access the platform;
- What options do you have for your avatar;
- And whether you can go shopping!
This print on this chart is a little small to show up on the constrained width of this blogpost, so I saved it as a picture to Flickr. Just click on the chart below (or the link above) to see it in Flickr in full size. You can also use the Flickr magnifying glass to get an even closer look!
You can also download this chart from Flickr in any size up to its original size (1656 x 914 pixels).
If you feel I’ve made any mistakes, or left anything out, please leave me a comment below, thanks! I do hope that people who are trying to figure out which social VR spaces to explore will find this comparison chart useful.
UPDATE Oct. 23rd: Someone on the Virtual Reality subReddit has helpfully pointed out this thread on the official Sansar website’s Feature Requests section, where it would appear that Sansar does now work with Windows Mixed Reality headsets. Sansar user Vassay wrote in July 2018:
After Windows 10 April update, WMR headsets work with Sansar in full scale – meaning all the benefits, including moving your avatar. Tested and confirmed on several systems already.
One thing to be weary is that Sansar works with WMR headsets through SteamVR libraries, so some updates to SteamVR can sometimes break things. But from what I’ve seen, things are mostly stable and work correctly.
Happy VR to all 😉
Also, there is an interesting comment on the discussion thread about this chart over on the High Fidelity user forums:
Clothing in High Fidelity is doable, but is limited at this time to whichever avatar is was made for, since global clothing options isn’t really a thing.
So can you have clothing in High Fidelity? Yes, and not just attachments either. Apparently Ryan forgot that Menithal’s robes are completely separate, that items made in Marvelous [Designer] do work here, or that I had a greeter uniform before all greeters got one…
To which I would reply: Yes, technically you can make clothing for your custom avatar in HiFi (if you have the skills), but there is still no default, dressable avatar for which you can buy clothing from the marketplace, like you already can in both Sinespace and Sansar. Note that I am making a specific distinction between actual avatar clothing that conforms to your body and the simpler avatar attachments (such as hats and wings) currently offered at the in-world stores in High Fidelity.
Second Update: It turns out that Windows Mixed Reality headsets will work with any SteamVR-compatible virtual world. High Fidelity users report they can use their Windows MR headsets to navigate very well in HiFi.