Oculus Rift S Improves on the VR Headset That Defined a Generation

That means the design of the Rift S is vastly different from the Rift and Oculus' other headsets, and it's more inspired by what Lenovo does with its own VR headsets.

We didn't get a chance to test out the Rift S' passthrough+ feature, which, combined with the built-in room-tracking, could end up being the biggest upgrade to Oculus' new headset.

Oculus didn't provide an exact release date for the new Rift S although the Facebook subsidiary stated that it will be released in Spring 2019 for United States dollars 399 (around RM 1621) which is oddly the same release timeframe and pricing as per Quest. See their launch video below.

As mentioned earlier, the Rift S makes use of Oculus Insight tracking technology to remove the need for those bothersome external sensors, meaning it can deliver out-of-the-box room scale with minimum fuss.

The new headset version should support all existing games with Oculus Rift support. However, the Rift S does borrow from the upcoming Oculus Quest in other areas. Apart from internal sensors, the HMD has five inside-out tracking sensors to track the new Touch controllers and let users observe their surroundings without taking off the HMD.

Oculus Rift S Improves on the VR Headset That Defined a Generation
Oculus Rift S Improves on the VR Headset That Defined a Generation

Elsewhere, the Rift S bumps the resolution for each eye from 1,080 x 1,200 to 1,280 x 1,440.

The new 2019 Oculus line-up is therefore a choice between the Quest and the Rift S, depending on whether you have (or want to buy) a reasonably high-end PC or not. And thanks to some help from Lenovo, Oculus claims the Rift S will be more comfortable as well, due to improved weight distribution, better light blocking, and a redesigned Halo headband similar to what you get on the PSVR and HP Reverb.

The budget Oculus Go is sticking around for now, though it's being framed as a more basic VR content viewer than a serious gaming device. The field of view is slightly larger too, though the refresh rate actually drops from 90 Hz to 80 Hz. As for audio, the unit has an integrated near-ear speakers in addition to a headphone jack.

Between the departure of former CEO Brendan Iribe and Oculus' recent focus on standalone VR headsets like the Oculus Go and the forthcoming Oculus Quest, it sort of felt like the company's PC roots were being left behind.

  • Latoya Cobb