Facebook’s Jason Rubin on Quest, Rift S, & the Direction of Oculus


Last week at GDC Oculus revealed their first new PC VR headset in three years, the Rift S. We sat down with Facebook’s Jason Rubin, VP of AR/VR Content & Partnerships, to learn more about the strategy behind Quest and Rift S, and where Oculus is trying to steer its ecosystem.

Jason Rubin joined Oculus in 2014 and has been a key figure in guiding the company’s content investments and strategy. Following the recent Oculus shakeup and deeper absorption into Facebook, Rubin is now overseeing AR and VR content & partnerships at Facebook. Rubin has been a key spokesperson and a tempered voice for Oculus throughout his time at the company; he is also seen as one of the last visible pillars of the ‘old’ Oculus.

In a wide-ranging interview with Rubin at GDC 2019 last week, we got to learn more about why the company believes that the Rift S is the right choice to push its VR ecosystem to reach a critical point of sustainability.

Rubin was quick to say that Oculus expects to deliver a next-gen headset down the road, but explained why the company doesn’t believe that now is the right time for a ‘Rift 2’.

“Beyond any shadow of a doubt, at some point we will have a next generation [headset] where we add some sort of feature that breaks all the old stuff and makes it either not work or seem obsolete,” he said. But the company presently believes that growing a cohesive audience is more important than pushing technical boundaries.

“Our goal is to bring as many people into the ecosystem as possible. Bifurcating the ecosystem with a Rift and a Rift 2—just to put that out there—is not the right thing to do right now.”

Rift S Isn't the Headset Fans Want, But Facebook Wagers It's What Their Ecosystem Needs

Alluding to the initial $800 price of the Rift and Touch controllers back at their launch, Rubin explained that the company believes price is a critical factor.

“We know from Rift we don’t want to sell an $800 system. […] We think these two devices [Quest and Rift S] are the right thing to do to suck more people into the business. Once more people want VR, are in VR, and love VR, some subset of them are ready to go to the next generation.”

When pressed on whether or not the company could have approached the PC segment with both the Rift S and a higher-end headset (like a ‘Rift Pro’) for the enthusiasts and early adopters that form the foundation of the company’s PC VR business, Rubin explained that the company doesn’t believe that a multi-tiered approach is worth the costs and complexity.

“There’s a cost to everything that a company does. And while there might have been some people we’d make very happy with much higher resolution screens or something along those lines, some group of people would have to prototype that device, some group of people would have to deal with the supply chain for that device, some group of people would have to deal with warehousing, shipping, and everything else,” said Rubin. “And those people—when you can only have a company of a certain size (we can’t grow infinitely)—those people would be taken away from the other things we’re working on. […] I can tell you, sitting around the room these are hard discussions [internally], but I think we’ve made the right tradeoff with where we are right here.”

Though there are other VR headsets on the market, Oculus’ platform is closed, which means users don’t have choices beyond the two PC VR headsets that Oculus supports. In 2017 the company said they wanted “go big” with support for other for third-party headsets, potentially through the OpenXR standard.

When I asked Rubin if this was still on the roadmap for Oculus, he said he wasn’t up to date on the company’s OpenXR plans. And while Oculus publicly committed last week to providing an OpenXR app runtime, our understanding is that this is primarily focused on allowing developers to easily port apps into the Oculus ecosystem, not enabling support for third-party headsets.

Hands-on: Oculus Rift S is a Better, Easier to Use Rift (with a Few Tradeoffs)

On the content front, Rubin said that Oculus isn’t slowing down, and believes content is the key to selling hardware to grow its ecosystem.

“Our content [investments have] remained consistent if not expanded every single year since that statement was made [in 2016, about committing $500 million to VR content]. So we’re still wholly committed to making software that drives the hardware purchase,” he said. “And frankly, we think that the content that is on the system is the single most important reason that somebody would want to get into VR. So we’re a little… dumbfounded, if you will, by companies that bring out headsets with no content to drive them, or aren’t investing in content.”

And finally, we touched on the still unannounced VR FPS that’s in the works by Respawn Entertainment. Rubin doesn’t expect that the success of Respawn’s breakout hit, Apex Legends, will impact the development of the game in any way, and Oculus Studios is taking a hands-off approach to let the studio work its magic.

“You do not partner with Respawn and then get involved in designing games for Respawn. Respawn is a fantastically talented company—as far many of the others that we work with: Insomniac, Sanzaru…—we let them design the product they want. So, absolutely, a Respawn product is a Respawn product.”

This article may contain affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product we may receive a small commission which helps support the publication. See here for more information.

Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • Johan Pruijs

    Great interview. Makes a lof of sense!!

  • wally

    I see the strategy behind this and i can understand that they aim for mass adoption. I think seeing the state of Facebook (it needs to grow and grow) that the VR department need to start making money (or reduce the cost). A niche market headset will not bring the revenue and content and a plug and play headset will.

    I will probably buy a Rift S (i currently do not own any headset). But i will wait till the assembly line is matured and the teething problems are ironed out. (they might be able to lose a couple of grams).

  • daveinpublic

    Really good interview. One take away for me is that Oculus is a finite company, even though we tend to think they have unlimited resources and staff. I think they’re making a lot of tough decisions, a lot of good decisions, and they’re trying to keep players happy while making a successful business.

  • Mradr

    It sounds more like comp-out honestly. He repeated things that every manufacturer has to deal with and do it well. Even startups can produce more than one SKU to support more than one group of users. I mean the comment like, “its a choice not a force” and at the same time stop selling CV1 is just an example of, “We know, but we just don’t care” to me. Basically – we wont be seeing a CV2 for a few more years from what it is sounding like and the Rift S is the carry over until then. Aka, the Rift S is the new high end and their “upgrade” because there isn’t another headset coming out any time soon in the “pro” market. More or less, this guy just gave me and everyone else that wants a higher end headset the middle finger for people that just want low cost headsets even though the cost of entry isnt the headset – but the PC it self. Amazing!

    • NooYawker

      Proliferation is their goal, the more people that use their product the more data they can gather.

    • mellott124

      It’s clear they want to chase the larger Facebook customer base and cater less to the gamer. Shouldn’t be too surprising to anyone. They want farmville people. There are more of them.

    • Edit: OMG, this thing is a rant, I’m so sorry! xD

      Cost of entry for VR is a fickle beast and it seems like many people are waiting on a wide array of things. If we focus on PCVR and consider the Steam Hardware survey, roughly ~37% of PC users already own the hardware to run VR. Based on a recent report that Valve has 90 million monthly active users, that’s a potential audience of ~30 million people who’s only cost of entry is the headset itself. But these are PC gamers, they aren’t near as cost averse as the average console gamer, and headsets today are very much in the acceptable ball park compared to other PC components. So why isn’t this crowd flooding into the the VR space?

      At that point we have to consider there are aspects to the current state of VR holding these would-be headset owners back, you have to ask what else is an issue? For some it’s hardware limitations like resolution, FOV, the tether, and so on. But I think the biggest thing is perception of VR content. I think a lot of this crowd is asking themselves, “what would I honestly do with this thing?”. Personally I’m blown away by all the amazing things I’ve done in VR, but many of those moments are A) totally unexpected surprises and B) usually do not translate to a flat screen in a meaningful way. In that sense, VR is really PC’s best kept secret, because there are a relatively small number of users having these incredible moments and we can’t really share those moments with people outside of VR very easily or in some cases at all.

      This, to me, is why Quest is so important. It’s going to be so much easier to share those magic moments with people, and guess what, a lot of this sector of PC users are going to try a Quest, and it will convince them to buy a PCVR headset, because now they have the perspective they were missing to make that purchase with confidence.

      • Chuck Griggs

        Well said, I couldn’t agree more! Just to add to that, I used to game years ago and just gave up on it due to having to have to upgrade cards every few years to usually play one game. I just jumped on the console band wagon and called it a day. Then I got a free GearVR with my samsung phone. It was definitely cool. Not engaging enough to play with regularly but it was definitely something that intrigued me. Then I got my wife a great b-day surprise last year so on my b-day she wanted to get me something equally as great. So I told her I thought it would be neat to dabble in a high end vr system just to see what it could do. I figured it would be a neat thing to show people when they came over an play around in from time to time. That was 6 months ago that I got my rift. I now exercise in it regularly for cardio, I play EchoVR almost daily because it is such an amazing esports game. This is one of those experiences that can’t be mimicked in 2D. I also spend quite a bit of time in Elite Dangerous which is a PC space flight simulation that is unbelievably amazing to view in VR. Being able to fly around our galaxy and visit planets in real time is breath taking. I have had it for 6 months now and I don’t get sick of it. I play games pretty much exclusively in VR, even if it is clearer in 2D. The experience of being in the game can’t be explained to someone who hasn’t been there. You just have to experience it.

      • Travis Foster

        Heh. Oculus Quest sells PC Gamers on Valve Index and Steam. Poetic possibility.

        • Probs yeah! Or they’re going to buy a PSVR or WMR or Pimax or whatever makes the most sense for them. Rising tide raises all ships and all that jazz.

    • Tesla

      They could have installed the damn HP Reverb LCD panels and nobody would complain a word. Better tracking + 2160k x 2160k per eye is an improvement despite LCD. Now they saved these few tens of dollars and 99% people complain and see no reason to upgrade. I guess soon Rift 1 users will simply move to other platform like WMR with things like HP Reverb, being in reality a Rift 2.

  • Justin Hogue

    PS5 vr headset(whenever it comes) may push the market more than anything. Long time off from now.

    • Tesla

      Not long. Why long? Should be soon, within a year or two.

      • Justin Hogue

        I guess 2 years feels long to me. Probably won’t include vr on release.

  • 144Hz

    A gutless Quest instead of the Rift S would’ve made sense and saved them money.

    • wow

      rift S was built as cheap as they could make it so they could have higher margins. I’m sure the margins on the quest is much less.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      a Quest with a videopassthrough thethered solution would have been better, it would cater for both worlds with only one headset, so his speech about splitting up his company on less products as they cannot grow would make more sense if they had gone with only one headset which could do both..

      • Jistuce

        Quest with a tether would also work to get customers off Steam and on to Oculus Store. Buy the headset for the existing library of tethered games, and then “well, I have a free-roaming headset, may as well get some software to use it that way”.

        • Andrew Jakobs

          Personally I think it would have been the better way to go. Only one headset to focus on, could have saved a lof ot money in the long run (but might have made the Quest a teensy bit more expensive).

  • Arashi

    There’s only 1 problem with this strategy: “Free isn’t cheap enough”. I strongly believe we first need better VR to interest the masses. I don’t believe that making mediocre VR available to the masses is going to help anybody at all. Like just see how bad the Quest graphics are compared to PC graphics. Or how bad the Rift S resolution will look compared to the HP Reverb resolution. I just don’t see joe average jumping into VR just because they can afford it. It needs to be good too and that’s just not the case in my opinion for the current gen.

    • Cybis Z

      High resolution headsets require very new, very beefy computers well beyond $1000 in price (probably closer to $2000). Hell, an RTX 2070 alone will set you back $600. Combine this with a high-end $800 headset? Plus the cost of games (maybe a few hundred)?

      The mass market does not consist primarily of wealthy ultra-enthusiasts – the only people both able and willing to pay these absurd prices just to play some computer games.

      I think the Rift-S is a good direction. Its launch price is a little bit high but not terrible (there’ll be good discounts no doubt this holiday season), and its recommended specs are a GTX 1060 – the most popular video card according to Steam – not an overpriced $600+ GPU released only a few months ago.

      Admittedly, GPU prices are still inflated due to the cryptomining bubble last year. If it weren’t for damned bitcoin, I don’t think hardware requirements would be as big of a problem.

      • Tesla

        Cybis Z spreads fairy tales. Do you have VR headset at all? Odyssey+ (299 USD to 499 USD) VR headset with 2880×1600 pixels resolution works easily with 1050 Ti (150 USD card!), but only if you want to generate the world with super resolution (supersampling at 200-300%) you need 2080 RTX for 700 USD. It is proven that Pentium G4560 and newer similar cheap CPUs can render with 2080 RTX at not that much lower FPS than with i7. So… to sum it up – Pentium G4560 for 50 USD, motherboard for 50 USD, 16GB DDR4 memory for 80 USD, 256GB SDD drive for 60 USD. and PC case for 30 USD , monitor for 80 USD (In case you don’t even have PC.) GPU – 1050 Ti for 150 USD or Geforce 2080 RTX for 700 USD. How much is it? Can you sum it up?
        299-499 USD for Odyssey+ (top VR headset now) + PC for 350 USD + 150 USD or 700 USD for GPU. Total price is 650 USD for PC with 1050 Ti or 1200 USD for PC for super super VR. Odyssey+ is 299-499. Total is 1500 to 1700 USD including best VR headset and 2080 RTX. People were buying 199$ HP and Lenovo WMR headsets on Black Friday 2018 last November. I bought my Odyssey+ for 299 USD, better than Vive Pro for 1500 USD. VR is not expensive now. I can tell you that I can play all VR titles and experiences with 250-300% supersampling (about 2200×2700 per eye!) with my 2080 RTX and i7-6700k. My setup is very future proof.

        • Cybis Z

          You say it works easily with a 1050ti, and yet you play with a 2080 RTX.

          I mean, yeh, a 1050ti might work good enough for Beat Saber and maybe GORN. It was the “minimum spec” video card for the 1080×1200 Oculus Rift for a reason though. You’re not going to have that great a time playing a non-cartoon game on a higher resolution headset with that card.

          • Tesla

            I had. I played ALL games at medium quality, which wasn’t bad at all and some of them at high quality. I switched to 2080 RTX, because the apetite grows with time. I wanted to switch it all to maximum and not only that. Also to render textures at 2200×2700 per eye. That 1050 Ti is really very good for VR. Remember, 3D engines are better optimized now, like textures, than it was in 2014.

        • Andrew Jakobs

          BS, man, we have a Vive at work and it’s powered by a 1050, and that one even has problems driving the original vive. Don’t even need to try a higher resolution headset..
          A lot of consumers don’t have 1400 to spend on a computer and a headset… They already have problems for a simpel PS4 with a PSVR.. It’s the mainstream that needs to grow. not the highend..

        • Chuck Griggs

          so you are saying all a non-enthusiast has to do is to be able to buy all these components and assemble a computer themselves to save the money. I think you just made an argument against yourself. You just laid out a scenario that would require someone to have some technical expertise and understanding to execute. I have a rift and love it, the clarity has not been an issue for me.
          I will buy my step daughter a Quest for XMas. I agree that it won’t compare to the PC based solutions but it will be good enough to get some adoption of those that don’t want to drop $1K plus on a system that they must be tethered to with a cord. and have a lot of technical knowledge to build.

          • Tesla

            I just listed these to show that very basic PC can work with VR. Just order Pentium Gxxx and you can have PC VR for cheap.

          • Tesla

            I will buy Quest to show VR to all people I know. VR must be more popular.

    • Tesla

      They could have increased the resolution to 2160k x 2160 per eye like HP did with the newest HP Reverb… and nobody would complain about the Rift S. Now, they have shitstorm going on. Because they wanted to save 20-60 USD on 2160k LCD… I would give them 500 USD + 60 USD, no problem. Right now I stay with Odyssey+ as its 10x better than Rift S and everything else on the market. No screen-door effect is a big thing with Odyssey+. Everything smooth and sharp.

      • Andrew Jakobs

        Yes YOU woudl give them 500+60 USD, but regular consumers already think the $500 is very steep.. And with the increase of resolution also comes an increase of minimum requirements, and a lot of people still don’t even have the minimum requirement for the currentgen..

      • Chuck Griggs

        The reverb also requires a 1080 card at a minimum which would require a lot of folks to upgrade their video to use and increase the price of the unit.

      • beestee

        WMR controllers are not great, so there’s that. I agree on many of the WMR headsets themselves being great though, just wish they were supported directly by Oculus Home…and only if they had better controllers, or a way for them to see the IR LEDs on the touch controllers.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      What is meidiocre VR? as long as you’ll require very expensive GPU’s to drive a highend headset, it’s just completely nonsense for a company to target that insignificant small group of people. I guess a lot of people here seem to forget you need a good GPU, and with prices of $400+ just for a freaking GPU you won’t get a large group of people to buy those highend headsets.. And to me the current headsets for VR are pretty decent, especially if you can get the price way down.
      Also it seems you still haven’t learned that resolution itself doesn’t really mean anything, a lower resolution display can still look better than a higher resolution display, there’s more to it than only pixelcount.
      So IMHO the current gen (Vive/RiftS/Quest/Odysee etc) are pretty good, and the price just needs to come down.

    • >>I don’t believe that making mediocre VR available to the masses is going to help anybody at all.

      It worked for the console market. I think Oculus see themselves in that space more than the PC market.

  • wheeler

    But with the same-ish gen 1 hardware will the market grow enough in order to justify the Rift 2? Is it really good enough? In my experience it’s not. While I find the gen 1 hardware good enough as an enthusiast, almost all of my friends’ Rifts are back in the box or on the shelf. They just can’t be bothered to tolerate all of its discomforts (both visual limitations and ergonomics)–flat gaming is ultimately a better experience for them. It’s not *just* about content. They can’t even be bothered to put on the headsets to try new content that’s good. Step outside of the enthusiast VR subreddit bubbles and you’ll find that same sentiment is pervasive.

    It’s a “race to the bottom” just with more aggressive marketing–this is why Iribe left (all of the leaks the “coincidentally” emerged around that time have come true btw). It’s a fundamental difference in the vision for the company. If 4 years from now the Rift S has failed to secure any significant gains in PCVR, what are the higher ups at FB going to think? “Time to push out 2nd gen hardware!”? I doubt it.

    “…a next generation [headset] where we add some sort of feature that
    breaks all the old stuff and makes it either not work or seem obsolete…”
    Why would a next gen headset need to “break” all of the old stuff? He’s conflating the two to make it seem less palatable.

    • MW

      I agree. I have same observations.

    • Tesla

      Exactly. I especially back the last sentence. He tried to exaggerate things, even claiming that the Rift 2 might cost 4k USD if they make all what people ask. There is a difference between adding 2160k x 2160k panel to the Rift S like 599 USD HP Reverb has and adding everything. He is manipulating and annoying the viewer.

      • Andrew Jakobs

        yes, because you know exactly what all that extra hardware costs, and with the 2160k x 2160k panels also comes the need of higher specced GPU’s.. Yes, maybe you have a 1080+ GPU, but a lot of people don’t even have a 1060+ GPU..

    • while I agree with a lot of what you started off with but where you lead into is all wrong. I am in that group of gamers who got a rift and now it just sits on my desk. it’s not because the res is too low or it’s not wireless it comes down to the games for me and what’s out now is boring to me. I feel for me room scale ruined vr game design. the games feel simple the AI feel dumb (except in gunheart). once I was over the feeling of being in vr it felt empty to me and gives me little to no reason currently to use it.
      That said I plan to buy an rift s i’m pretty excited to do so already on to waiting list. but i’m doing so to play games like stormland

      • wheeler

        Just curious, by not liking roomscale are you saying that you only like seated VR? (or do you like standing VR as well?) And do you feel that VR’s immersive element alone is sufficient to keep you interested in VR? Or does there need to be some greater level of interactivity over flat games? I mean there may be a day when the visuals of VR are so good that gamers will even use it to play flat games. I’m just genuinely interested in why people stop using the headsets

        • no I don’t play standing as well. i’m more into vr to play games that feel more like the 2d games I love not like real life. I don’t care as much about immersion. to tell the truth I have never felt it. VR just gives me a new way to play games the fact that I feel no sickness while using the thumbsticks moving around like a normal fps makes the fact that most vr games ai comes at u in a straight line maddening to me. (gunheart has great ai btw)

  • kontis

    you can only have a company of a certain size (we can’t grow infinitely)—those people would be taken away from the other things we’re working on.

    Someone tell that guy he is working for THE F*** FACEBOOK.
    He seems to not be aware.


    • FireAndTheVoid

      My perception of this is that the Oculus aquisition was a moonshot gamble by Zuckerberg. If VR is the future, then they got in at the ground floor. Unfortunately, VR adoption has been anemic compared to the wildly optimistic predictions of many investors in VR. That means, at the moment, Oculus is a money-pit for Facebook. Since they are a publicly traded company seeking to maximize returns for investors, they have decided to scale back their investment in the gamble that is VR – including limiting the number of employees dedicated to managing the supply chain. This doesn’t bode well for the future of Oculus. IMO, if the Quest and Rift S aren’t successful in attracting a significant number of new people into the Oculus ecosystem, then Facebook may very well abandon VR as a failed experiment. They want to see a return on their investment and who knows how much patience they have in waiting for that return.

  • MosBen

    I previously speculated that Oculus may go with a two-tiered hardware approach going forward, with low end mobile (Go), high end mobile (Quest), low end tethered (Rift S) and high end tethered (Rift 2) products. That appears to be incorrect, and now I feel like they’re probably going to phase out the lower end mobile part going forward, eventually settling on a 6DOF enabled mobile system that retails in the $200-300 range (whether it’s called Go or Quest), and a higher end tethered system at the $400-500 range.

    That said, though I’m reading between the lines a bit, I think that I’ve been right that the reasons why they’re holding off on the Rift 2 are 1) to give developers more time to work out the kinks of VR development, 2) to give their R&D department more time to work on some specific hardware upgrades that aren’t ready yet, and 3) to allow PC hardware to become cheaper and more powerful such that when the Rift 2 launches most PCs less than a few years old with a discrete graphics card/chip will be able to meet the targeted minimum spec. And frankly, as much as I’m ready to upgrade my PC and dive into the second generation, this makes perfect sense to me. When Rift 2 hits, it seems like it’s likely to feel like a real next generation product, rather than just an upgrade from the first generation.

    • kontis

      D) to just slowly leave a platform they cannot control with competing stores and migrate the devbase and userbase to standalone

      Quest being a significantly more expensive device to manufacture, but sold at the same price as Rift S tells us everything we need to know.

      Facebook is not a PC-peripheral company. Quest was the first project they started immediately after acquiring Oculus, even before GO.

      • Simple O’Rourke

        And their next iteration will most likely be a Quest2 with PCVR offloading capabilities. I’m fine with that.

      • MosBen

        I mean, except that he specifically said that they do intend to put out a Rift 2, so it sure doesn’t sound like they’re abandoning PCs in the medium term. Sure, maybe he’s lying, but there’d need to be some kind of evidence that they’re not really working on a tethered HMD, and Half Dome certainly seems to be evidence to the contrary.

        • FireAndTheVoid

          Does the captain tell people that the ship is sinking when he is trying to convince people to board the ship?

          • MosBen

            Like I said, it is possible that he’s lying and there’s no tethered HMD in the works. But the existence of Half Dome seems to be evidence to the contrary, and cynicism isn’t a replacement for evidence.

          • FireAndTheVoid

            I’m not making any claims – it was just an observation that companies aren’t always forthcoming when it isn’t in their best interest.

          • MosBen

            Fair enough. Kontis was a bit more definitive, which I don’t think is warranted if only because people have actually used prototypes for potential future tethered HMDs.

  • Simple O’Rourke

    External sensors needed to die, I’m glad they did it sooner rather than later. Resolution will come along with eye/face tracking soon enough. After hearing this interview I have more faith that VR is going to start growing exponentially within the next 5 years. Don’t like FB much but maybe this is the kind of company that needed to be here to open VR up enough to get it to grow a lot faster than maybe it would have without a large company’s backing.

    • Trenix

      They wont die anytime soon. You’re also limiting the potential of games because of the limits of these crappy sensors. The fact of the matter is, you will never have 360 tracking with inside out headsets. Maybe in a decade, just maybe, but I doubt it.

  • MW

    “growing a cohesive audience is more important than pushing technical boundaries.” What a nonsense. There will be no growth whinout breaking boundaries in new tech.
    What he actually said is: there is no money in VR today so we will wait and see – the patient will survive or die. With this approach he surely will die…

    • Yoshi Kato

      Total agree. However, this sort of rhetoric coming from Oculus/Facebook is completely expected. Facebook couldn’t care less about creating cutting edge hardware. They’re just trying to create a mass market ad dispenser you strap on your head.

  • Jerald Doerr

    You’re my hero Ben… Great questions you know WE all wanted to ask… I’ll say de-evaluation sucks. . hmmm and the weal was revalotionevry not this….. Someone clearly went to Mark Zuckerberg class on how to be a weasel… But it must be hard selling a Snickers .7

  • Chiron202

    Obviously, Wall Street is running vr development now. So what could possibly go wrong?

  • Terry Springer

    He is dead wrong and Oculus has been going in the wrong direction for some time now. The biggest issue with VR and the rift today is that the visual quality basically sucks. The perfect large enough scale fanatical market is sim-gamers. High fidelity driving sims and flight sims that appeal to a large user base is both perfect for VR and primarily ignored in favor of going immediately to mass market appeal. It’s not working. This target market demands higher quality graphics overall and is willing to pay for it. If the performance was there – plenty would pay $1,000+ for the VR device providing it. Hook the hard core gamers – the rest will eventually follow. I got my rift very early and have spent hundreds of hours trying to get it to work well in DCS world but the reality is the device is just not capable of providing a good experience in high end flight sims. Period. THAT is why it fails.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      No he is NOT dead wrong, he’s actually completely right.. YOU are wrong, YOU are only thinking of your own needs and YOU are propably willing to spend those $800+ on a better headset. But that’s not what’s needed. What’s really needed is getting more people into the VR ecosystem, and that’s just nog possible when you have a headset that has a high price. Even the $399 is a rather high price for getting regular consumers into the game.
      And you’re dead wrong, there won’t be plenty that would like to pay $1000+, yeah, maybe you, but most people don’t.
      VR will advance steadily, as GPU power will advance and consumer display prices will slowly drop, but it’ll take a few years before we’ll see a good 4K/eye headset for $399 or lower..
      Again, you are still too focused on your own needs and your own narrow vision..

      • theonlyrealconan

        Can’t disagree with you more. Thank god valve does not listen to those like you. Time will tell who is making the right headset. Even the Odyssey plus is miles ahead of this “upgrade”.

        • Andrew Jakobs

          Oh please, I’m just being realistic, and looking at what valve brings out, don’t count on it being $399, my bet is more in like $699 (but I hope I’m wrong). But then again, Valve has a different vision, they don’t go for getting as much people into the game.. And to be honest, I’m a bit dissapointed at the specs for the new valve headset, I expected more from them..

  • bud01

    lol this dude was in my dream the other night im sure, he was with some younger girl or some thing and she was bitching about some thing, worlds within worlds.

    One point about the outside in tracking and that first team that developed that.

    I think it needs to be underscored they never made a mistake, they absolutely excelled brilliantly to the extent that their work can be referenced when considering some of the best hardware project work of all time. Which part of that is a mistake or a failure.

    A company not turning tail and going another direction but the fact a company actually does change the fundamentals of tracking now, it is really valuable, its highly desirable,

    What I mean to say is the change could be about any thing of importance about the product but in detail, the fact a pretty important part of the device can get changed like that now, its worth some thing, it means the company is very healthy indeed, it means that is a fresh team, a good company from top to bottom and bottom up, they are working this tech with no stupidly going on.

    If Rift S came out and it was still dependant on external sensors…it would mean that Oculus was dead now, its a good observation to see this truth,

    Again Oculas is not just delivering 150% with the Rift 1 as they did, they are doing the same thing again of excelling beyond any ones measure stick, I can see this now after a few days but initially got the view wrong.

    That team that developed the initial tracking system thou that was amazing work and just because its now inside out all the way forward, does not mean it was wrong, it was right, at the right time, giving the right experience and now thankfully things are getting even more interesting.

    I am definitely going to get a Rift S because this is definitely the Oculas we know and love.

    Well done guys, keep going.

    Excellent interview,

    • beestee

      I agree with all of this (except the dream bit, that’s all you bud ;) )

      We can have our lofty ideas of what we think is important for VR going forward…but Oculus have the capacity to create any prototype they desire. The fact is, they have been eyes on with the tech of the future through prototypes and we as consumers have not.

      I trust them enough to know which direction is best, if only for one reason: It took until the Odessey+ for other HMD manufacturers to begin surpassing the original Rift. The Touch controllers have not been surpassed yet. They probably won’t be surpassed until the Quest and Rift S launch with the Gen 2 Touch controllers.

  • Rosko

    Good interview, asked the wright questions. Disappointed with the answers from Rubin though I really hope we see a quality product from another manufacturer.

  • Noting about the Rift S really bothered me!! Just that it wasn’t OLED!! A modest bump to Resolution, sure, even the 80hz refresh rate! ((then again they up and admitted that this wasn’t a cost based feature, but something deliberately done to maintain the same minimal PC Requirement Specs of the CV1 Oculus!!)) Quite Frankly, I wasn’t fussed at all about this Refresh whatsoever, I just got annoyed that they forced us into LCD junk panels, which is a total Downgrade from the Original Rift, and that’s just a HUGE slap to the face of loyal fans and customers!! I’m still Team Oculus, though, don’t get me wrong! They’ve some of the best Software / User Interface features and things that I’m still very much a fan of! I’m instead, more or less, expressing much disappointment, and not out of hate and dislike to the company, but more as a consumer that expected more that wasn’t delivered, is all! OLED was a core feature set of their CV1, why’d they have to go and break that in this refresh? They didn’t even give a 2 tier option where they provide a Rift S with LCD and another slightly more pricier version of Rift S with OLED!! And what makes it all the worse, is they up and pull all the CV1’s off the shelves across the whole Country in attempts to shove this “Refresh” down our throats for those of us who never got a CV1 headset yet!! It’s even a bigger joke that the Quest, ((At the very same price, mind you,)) Offers an OLED screen, with an even bigger jump in Resolution!! It’s not as though I was expecting a Rift CV2 at this time, just something, as they’ve stated “Refreshed” would have been great! Having made Rift S with the same panels as Quest would have made a lot more sense to me!! They’ve already got them in production for Quest, so why not put that in Rift S as well? Nah, but instead they’re recycling their “Go” panels, from the lower than expected volume of Go Sales to slap into the Rift S to say “Well, that’s a big expense saved!”” What Rubbish! And clearly the things I’m saying about Rift S right now are what a lot of other disappointed folk have been saying, and yet this guy’s talking about something else, as though we were expecting some HUGE Gen 2 product, and that’s not it at all! Sure maybe some of us were expecting something much beefier under the Hood, but it’s to me, he’s doing Damage Control and Side-Stepping the real issue which is 1.) Pull all CV1’s off shelves and discontinue their production to save costs so 2.) Slap unsold Oculus Go materials into Rift S and make it the only available PC version with no alternatives even offering higher Price to Consumers for other Editions, and finally 3.) Make the Issue sound as though the folks that are complaining are just impatient ungrateful peeps with unrealistic expectations, who want the Sun, Moon, and Stars! Crimeny!! We’re not stupid afterall! I mean I can’t speak on behalf for the rest of us, but at least for me personally, I feel as if this guy thinks Rift Consumers are gonna buy this bogus explanation and not see into the real truth of the matter!! His explanation makes logical sense, if and only if it’s being explained as though folks were ONLY complaining about it not being a major technological leap on the lines of a Rift 2, but the FACT is most of us already knew it wasn’t going to be that, we’ve known that it was some sort of “refresh” only thing with Inside Out Tracking, but we at least hoped it wouldn’t be WORSE than Oculus CV1!! LCD panel at 80hz?!! Seriously?!!

  • Paul

    Good interview, adding more depth than Norm got from Nate. Having owned Dk1, Dk2, Rift, Lenovo explorer and multiple Go headsets… I was kind of spooked when I saw the Rift S (Facebook have clearly done their research). I sold my Rift for the exact reasons Rubin is talking about. It was just a pain in the butt to get into VR. Even with a permanent 4 camera setup + Rift. I decided to downgrade to a laptop and WMR, but the software was holding back the experience (hardware was fine). Revive wasn’t cutting it, and the tether was still an annoyance. Hence, I decided to buy a couple of Go’s, and was shocked by how good the experience was (Oculus Rooms/Catan is just amazing in multiplayer). Even bought my mum one, so my son could have time ‘together’… beats a phone call any day. For me, the Rift S is interesting, but I just can’t go back to a tethered experience… powering on a laptop just to get into VR (this is 2019… no thanks). Mobile VR is so much more accessible, when all you want to do is jump in for a quick board game, with family, or watch some Netflix. IMO they should’ve released Quest, with an addon wireless module for PC tethering (or just that USB C cable – c’mon Carmack!). Most people, will be ‘shocked’ at what the mobile device can do (I was – coming from a 1080 + rift setup). My only grievance, is that they should unify Go/Quest stores (I don’t want any more than one headset for VR). When PC VR is wireless, I’ll come back, but it will always be second place to the accessibility of standalone mobile. Quest is the future…. take my money already!

  • Hivemind9000

    After reading this I no longer think Oculus will be a company to lead the VR revolution. They are essentially aiming for the middle-of-the-road market where a majority of casual users will be, probably in line with some Facebook strategy for their vision of social VR and world domination.

    Nothing wrong with that, but I think VR is still a long way from its true potential, so it needs constant innovation and companies pushing the envelope of what is possible for the years to come. I plan to support those companies and their products to the best of my ability (companies like Pimax) despite the risk and expense as I think VR/AR/XR is the future of computing and entertainment and I want to be part of its genesis. Long live the revolution!

  • crim3

    “…that breaks all the old stuff and makes it either not work…”
    Caution, programmed obsolescence up ahead!

  • The banding on that wall is impressive

  • Pizzy

    Anyone know if we can charge and use the Quest at the same time yet? That is the main and only question I have that I want answered. It’s a pretty big deal. I for one could careless if I need to wear a battery bank and have a cord running up to the Quest if it means more play time..

  • Ghosty

    He’s wrong… Now is the time to push the technological limits to make VR good enough for the masses! People like me will just migrate to the best hmd available and that won’t be Facebook VR!

  • Thoemse

    While I refuse to be part of oculus’s closed ecosystem (sold my rift on release and went for a vive) I can see the logic behind their buisness plan. It will benefit VR in general if they get more people into VR. The closed wall thing is a bummer but once you get to love VR you can still step up to a better headset if you wanna spend more money.

    So yes The Rift S and the quest are a good thing. In the meantime I’ll keep enjoying my Pimax 5K+. A brilliant device that I would not advise anyone to buy because it really doesn’t work for non enthusiasts. It is the counterpart to the rift S. They tried to make the best technical possible headset ditching any ease of use on the way. Lovely to own but I doubt you can be successful on a large scale like this.