- Oculus has announced the Oculus Rift S, an updated model of its Oculus Rift headset designed for use with personal computers.
- Starting at $399, the Oculus Rift S promises better visuals, improved tracking and a more comfortable headset design.
- The Oculus Rift S will be compatible with existing Rift software, and will share new content with the original device.
- Oculus will release the Rift S and the standalone Oculus Quest headset during Spring 2019; the official dates have not been confirmed.
Oculus has revealed the Oculus Rift S, an update to the company’s flagship virtual reality headset. The Oculus Rift S offers enhanced visuals compared the original Rift, improved tracking with no external sensors, and a new halo headband design similar to the PlayStation VR headset.
The Oculus Rift S will launch later this Spring for $399, and will still require a PC for use. The company’s standalone VR headset, the Oculus Quest, which has also been priced at $399 will launch later this Spring as well. Both headsets will make use of the Oculus Touch controllers.
Though it offers some improved technology, the Rift S isn’t a significant upgrade over its predecessor. The biggest addition to the Rift S is the ability to use the headset without sensors. The Rift and Rift S will be able to play the same games and the original device will still be supported by Oculus updates in the future.
The Oculus Rift S is a more reasonable deal at launch than the original Rift; back in 2015 the Rift launched at $599, while the Oculus Touch controller cost $199. After numerous price drops that $798 package is now available for $349. The Rift S will sweeten the deal by adding a second touch controller and a more elegant headset for just $50 more.
In terms of specs, the Rift S will offer 1280 x 1440 resolution in each eye, with an 80 Hz refresh rate. As with the original Rift, you’ll need to pair it with a gaming computer with 8GB or more of RAM and a mid-level or better graphics card. The Rift S will have a five foot cable and will automatically track your environment. a new feature called Passthrough+ will allow users to see their surroundings through the headset too.
Oculus had reportedly been working on a much more substantial upgrade to the Oculus Rift, the Rift 2. Facebook decided to cancel development of the Rift 2 back in October, which reportedly led to the departure of Oculus founder Brandon Iribe.
VR technology has been slow to catch on across the tech industry and many companies are feeling the pressure to lower the barrier of entry for new VR users or abandon the tech entirely. Rather than investing in a new generation of expensive hardware. Oculus is taking a cautious approach by iterating on current technology. Oculus Rift S and the Oculus Quest are due out in Spring 2019, though the dates have yet to be confirmed. Oculus also offers the standalone Oculus Go headset for $199.