Facebook announced that a new version of PC-tethered VR headset called Oculus Rift S. It would be released soon, along with the release of a new standalone headset, Oculus Quest, in Spring 2019. Interestingly, these two new devices will be released at the same time and at the same price. One thing in common is that they will be the Oculus’s first devices equipped with Inside-out tracking system called Oculus Insight.
One of the major differences between the original Oculus Rift and Oculus Rift S is the tracking system. A new version doesn’t need external sensors for tracking. Instead, the tracking sensors are built into the headset. This tracking system is called Oculus Insight. The same system is used for Oculus Quest, which will be released at the same time. There are 5 tracking sensors built into the Oculus Rift S, while 4 sensors are built into the Oculus Quest.
Oculus Rift S uses a headband instead of a head strap. In general, a headband can be tightened more than a head strap. That’s why a headband is suitable for gaming involved a lot of movements. It is used for many Windows Mixed Reality headsets, PlayStation VR headset, and Lenovo Mirage Solo. Actually, Lenovo helped design and manufacture Oculus Rift S, and the logo of Lenovo is printed on the side of the headset.
Oculus Rift S eliminated bulky headphones attached to the head strap of the original Oculus Rift. Just like Oculus Go and Oculus Quest, it has open-to-air speakers. The speakers are built into the headband offering a 3D spatial audio. The sounds from built-in speakers can be overheard by people nearby. If you need complete privacy, you need a pair of external headphones plugged into a 3.5mm audio output on the side of the headset.
A pair of Touch Controllers are expected to come with Oculus Rift S. It’s slightly different from the original Touch Controllers come with the original Rift, and exactly the same as ones come with Oculus Quest.
Oculus Rift S is compatible with all games and apps in the original Rift platform. However, the platform of Oculus Quest is different from the platform of Oculus Rift. It’s worth noting that some games and apps available on both platforms may support cross-buy and cross-play. It means that if you buy a game or app from one of the platforms, you don’t have to buy it from the other platform. However, it’s not strictly enforced, so developers always have the choice whether or not they make their games and apps cross-buy.
The price is $399 USD. It’s very interesting that It’s the same price as Oculus Quest.
- Oculus Rift S: 1280 x 1440 per eye (2560 x 1440 total) 80Hz
- Oculus Rift (original): 1080 x 1200 per eye (2160 x 1200 total) 90Hz
- Oculus Quest: 1440 x 1600 per eye (2880 x 1600 total) 72Hz
Who is Oculus Rift S for?
Is Oculus Rift S worth upgrading for existing owners of original Oculus Rift? Ease of setup is not much benefit for them because they already set up old Oculus Rift. Both original and new Rifts need to be tethered to PC, anyway. So, they don’t make much use of Oculus Insight tracking system. The resolution is better, but not that shockingly improved.
What about a new user? Oculus Rift S and Oculus Quest are the same prices $399. But, Oculus Rift S needs a powerful gaming PC. I don’t think a new user wants to spend over a thousand dollars on starting VR experience when the other headset (Oculus Quest) allows you to do that for $399. And two new headsets are release at the same time. So honestly, I have no idea who Facebook wants to target at with Oculus Rift S.
It’s been saying that Oculus Quest will be a break-through for VR market. More and more people are expected to get into VR technology with the Oculus Quest. But, what about Oculus Rift S? Oculus Insight tracking technology eliminates external sensors. It gives users benefits of ease of setup and freedom of choice where you start playing VR to a certain degree. Unlike Oculus Quest, Oculus Rift S has to be still tethered to a gaming PC. Although it has built-in sensors, the VR environment is still in a room where there is a gaming PC and within the length of the wire to the PC.
- Oculus Quest overview – Release Date, Price, Specs, etc
- Oculus Go all-in-one standalone VR headset review
- Lenovo Mirage Solo with Daydream Standalone VR headset review
- What is Windows Mixed Reality?
|Oculus Rift S
|a little heavier than Rift
|about 100g heavier than Rift
|Type of Display
|2560 x 1440
|2880 x 1600
|2160 x 1200
|2560 x 1440
|Field of View
|slightly larger than Rift
|about 100 degrees
|Number of Cameras
|2 or 3
external sensors necessary