After an impressive three-year tour of duty for Oculus’ first PC VR headset, the Rift, along comes the Rift S. Oculus bills the headset not as a sequel, but a remaster. With a focus on ease of use, Rift S aims to make VR more accessible and playable than ever, but that’s come at the cost of some of the original’s biggest selling points, making the headset a good choice for newcomers but a tough sell for existing Rift owners.

Update (May 4th, 2019): The write-up of our in-depth review is complete and has been added to this article.

As usual, we’ll start up top with a high level review summary followed up with an in-depth review further down.

Oculus Rift S Review Summary

Photo by Road to VR

With the original Rift now discontinued, Oculus is fully replacing the headset with the Rift S. While the headsets are pretty similar at a high level (including being fully compatible with the same library of content)—there’s a few key differences, some good, some bad—that are revealed upon a closer inspection. First, let’s talk about the major differences.

For one, the Rift S effectively has an all-new design. The halo-style headband is a very different approach to fit and ergonomics than the original. The on-ear headphones have been removed in favor of speakers hidden in the headband near your ears.

Then there’s the change in tracking. While the original Rift required external cameras to track the movement of the headset and controllers, the Rift S uses ‘inside-out’ tracking which uses cameras on the headset itself to understand its movement and the position of the controllers in 3D space.

Photo by Road to VR

And finally, there’s the change from the original Rift’s pair of OLED displays to a single LCD display which offers higher resolution, but also necessitates the removal of the original’s IPD adjustment. Along with that new display comes new lenses too.

The Rift S is a capable headset, and it’s paired with the very strong Oculus content library. The benefits of inside-out tracking are hard to ignore; easier initial setup with no need for sensors sitting on your desk, less prep time before playing, and pass-through capabilities which make it yet easier to dive into VR.

The inside-out tracking isn’t as good as the outside-in approach of the original—not quite achieving the sub-mm jitter that makes the Rift’s tracking feel super tight—but it’s easily ‘good enough’, including being robust enough to confidently tackle Beat Saber’s hardest difficulty.

The shift from the original Rift’s head-mount approach (which was generally well liked, even three years after its debut) may turn out to be the most controversial change to the Rift S because of its implications for ergonomics. As with some other VR headsets with halo style headbands, the user has to make a choice between ideal comfort and ideal clarity—at least when it comes to my face, you can’t have both.

Photo by Road to VR

This is somewhat unsurprising considering that Oculus appears to have let Lenovo lead the design of the headset in a significant way; Lenovo is the company that made the Mirage Solo, one of worst fitting headsets I’ve ever worn. That said, the Rift S’s ergonomics are nowhere near as bad as the Mirage Solo, but they do feel like a step backward from the original Rift.

The main major problem seems to be the ability to get your eyes into the sweet spot of the lenses while achieving the most comfortable fit. Everyone’s head is shaped differently, but at least when I strap the Rift S on for comfort, I end up with my eyes too far away from the lenses, which puts me outside the sweet spot (increases blur around the periphery) and gives me a less than ideal field of view. If I strap the Rift S on for clarity, I have to really cram the visor against my face, and it’s clear that I’m sacrificing comfort to achieve that level of clarity.

Photo by Road to VR

Now, I have a lot of experience in fitting headsets on my head and I know what to look for visually to dial everything in so that it looks and feels good. With the Rift S, achieving the ideal visuals is not very intuitive, and I have a feeling that many new (and even somewhat experienced) users will put the headset on in a way that’s comfortable (but not quite clear) and then complain that visuals aren’t that great. To be fair, this is a challenge that every VR headset faces, but it just seems easier than most to go wrong with the Rift S, and that’s not even accounting for the lack of physical IPD adjustment, which means that those on the outer edges of the IPD range are destined to for sub-par clarity no matter how they adjust the headset.

That said, if you get a fit that feels comfortable and looks good, the Rift S is a mostly easier to use version of its predecessor. The upgraded resolution (from 1,080 × 1,200 to 1,280 × 1,440) offers a sharper view and a nice reduction in the screen door effect (thanks to moving from OLED to LCD). The newer lenses bring a moderate reduction in internal reflections (god rays), and the sweet spot is said to be larger (though as we discussed, this is very dependent on fit). With solid inside-out tracking, you’re also getting ‘room-scale’ capabilities (large area tracking with full 360 coverage) out of the box, which is how it should be.

Along with the above, the convenience of inside-out tracking and pass-through are an important step forward that reduces the friction between wanting to jump into VR and actually doing it—which is why Rift S can be a great choice for newcomers.

Photo by Road to VR

For those who have been using a Rift for three years though (and are already ok with the friction they have gotten used to), the downsides that come with the Rift S’s upsides don’t feel like three years of progress.

Beyond issues with fit, the hidden speakers in the headband are a significant step backwards in audio quality, and also results in positional audio being less clear directionally. Even if not comparing the Rift S speakers to the original Rift’s pretty darn good headphones, the Rift S audio quality still leaves me wanting, and even Oculus Quest’s hidden speakers seem to do a better job thanks to offering up a bit more bass.

Yes, there’s a 3.5mm jack, and yes you could plug in your own high quality headphones. But not only are many headphones unlikely to fit well over the headband, it’s well established that almost nobody wants to deal with a separate pair of headphones when it comes to VR headsets except the most adamant audiophiles.

Photo by Road to VR

Luckily there’s a ray of hope and redemption for the Rift S’s ergonomic and audio issues. The headset has a little slider on the visor which allows it to be completely separated from the headband, and the headband itself appears to be where the speakers are located. So, Oculus could conceivably offer something like a Deluxe Audio Strap (as HTC did with the original Vive) which make the Rift S significantly more attractive to existing Rift owners who might not otherwise feel its downsides counteract its upsides. Whether or not Oculus would consider this is unclear, so only time will tell.

– – — – –

The Rift S is a good choice for newcomers who weren’t ready to jump into VR for reasons of complexity and friction. Even though there’s some ergonomic issues which are likely to impact clarity, the Rift S is still going to give users the easiest and (potentially) best looking way so far to enjoy Oculus’ strong library of VR content.

SEE ALSO
Oculus Quest Review – The First Great Standalone VR Headset

That said, the Rift S isn’t going to do much to delight veteran Rifters looking for their next step in immersion. But then again, Oculus has made it pretty clear that the goal of Rift S is to bring new users into VR—not to appease enthusiasts and early adopters.

Oculus Rift S In-depth Review

Hardware

Visuals & Audio

Photo by Road to VR

One of the biggest changes from the Rift to the Rift S is a new display which bumps the resolution up from 1080 x 1200 to 1,280 × 1,440. The new display also drops from a 90Hz to 80Hz refresh rate. While the difference isn’t stark, those used to 90Hz headsets might feel that things are a little less smooth, and a small number of highly sensitive people might notice more flicker in very bright scenes (80Hz didn’t bother me on the Rift S, though I have felt uncomfortable due to flicker on some other headsets with lower refresh rates). 80Hz on the Rift S, to me, doesn’t feel like a major downgrade from the 90Hz of the original Rift.

The display also moves from OLED to LCD which has pros and cons. On the pros side, the LCD display uses an RGB sub-pixel structure which means it actually has a lot more sub-pixels than an OLED display of the same resolution. This means both better fill factor (less screen door effect) and increased sharpness.

In terms of screen door effect—even at 1,280 × 1,440—the Rift S’s LCD display looks about comparable to the Vive Pro’s 1,400 x 1,600 OLED display. Between the Rift and the Rift S, the improvement in fill factor seems to me to be more substantial than the improvement in sharpness. In darker scenes and against high frequency textures, the screen door effect can nearly melt away if you aren’t looking for it. Brighter scenes and flatter textures will make it more apparent.

On the cons side, LCD lacks the dynamic range of OLED, which means that colors don’t pop as much and dark scenes are more washed out on the Rift S.

That said, OLED is often prone to significant black smearing which is most prominently seen when there’s very dark objects against very bright objects (for instance, a black square against a white background). While it generally has much less smearing as the Rift or most other VR headsets with OLED displays, the Rift S is still susceptible to a bit of smearing, though for some reason it happens more when the background is in the grey range rather than white. This isn’t obvious if you aren’t looking for it, but it crops up from time to time.

While mura (inconsistencies in brightness and color from one pixel to the next) wasn’t great on the Rift, it’s hugely improved on the Rift S, to the point of being just about invisible. Mura is typically most visible in dark, low contrast scenes, but on the Rift S it appears to be effectively non-existent.

The new lenses in the Rift S (which, as far as we know, are identical to those used in Quest and Oculus Go) do bring about a reduction in god rays and internal reflections, but they remain bothersome in high contrast scenes (especially when brighter objects are near your peripheral view while darker objects are near the center).

When it comes to field of view and ‘sweet spot’ (the ideal optical center), Oculus says both are improved over the Rift, but in my experience these two factors are significantly influenced by how close you can get the lenses to your eyes and how well you can get your eyes in the sweet spot, which has everything to do with ergonomics and fit, so we’ll dive straight into that section right after a quick note on audio.

The Rift S does away with the Rift’s on-ear headphones and instead employs hidden speakers in the headband. In theory, this means nothing in your way when putting the headset on, and nothing to press against your ears (potentially causing long-term discomfort) as you play. However, the speakers on the Rift S are a significant step backwards in audio quality, and also results in positional audio being less clear directionally. Even when not comparing the Rift S speakers to the original Rift’s pretty darn good headphones, the Rift S audio quality still leaves me wanting; even Oculus Quest’s hidden speakers seem to do a better job thanks to offering up a bit more bass.

Yes, there’s a 3.5mm jack, and yes you could plug in your own high quality headphones. But not only are many headphones unlikely to fit well over the headband, it’s well established that almost nobody wants to deal with a separate pair of headphones when it comes to VR headsets except the most adamant audiophiles.

For what Oculus says is their “most advanced, PC-powered gaming headset,” the audio quality isn’t where it needs to be. Oculus has said they’re considering an official headphone accessory for Rift S, and I think they ought to get that out the door fast and make it part of the default package.

Design & Ergonomics (and impact on visuals)

Photo by Road to VR

From an aesthetic standpoint, the Rift S feels like a bit of a step backward from the original Rift, which felt a little more solid and looked a little more svelte. Still, both are relatively bulky things to wear on your head, and the only thing that truly matters is whether it’s comfortable and looks good once it’s on your head. Still, it’s a little weird to see (what I would argue is) a regression in design sense when Oculus had set such a strong precedent the first time around. As far as we know, this seems to have much to do with Oculus partnering with Lenovo on the design of the Rift S—the design similarities between Lenovo’s Mirage Solo and the Rift S are clear.

While theoretically the move to a ‘halo’ style headband should increase comfort, fitting the Rift S for both comfort and visual clarity seems to be more challenging than with the Rift.

If I ignore what I’m seeing through the lenses and simply adjust the headset on my head for maximum comfort, I end up with a lower than ideal field of view and a lot of blurring around the periphery because my eyes don’t wind up very close to the sweet spot. If I want to achieve maximum visual fidelity, I need to move the headband to rest less comfortably on my forehead and also cram the face gasket as close to my face as possible, which does result in a wider field of view than the Rift and a much larger sweet spot, but it comes at the cost of a less comfortable fit.

Photo by Road to VR

The key issue seems to be the face gasket, which keeps the lenses too far from my eyes. Even though the Rift S has an eye-relief adjustment, this moves the entire visor at once (including the face gasket), which means I have to push the foam against my face more than I’d like if I want the lenses in the ideal position. I actually found that I could get a much wider field of view and be much more inside the sweet spot by removing the face gasket entirely; even though this meant my peripheral field of view was exposed to the outside world, it was almost preferable to play this way because of the improvements in field of view and clarity.

So, at least for the shape of my head, I have to choose either to fit the headset for ideal comfort or ideal visuals, or compromise somewhere in between. On the original Rift, I never felt like I had to make that choice. I’ve been using and fitting VR headsets for years, and I have an experienced eye for know what things should look like through the lenses—so when I’m missing a good bit of field of view or the peripheral blur is encroaching far more than it should be, I know what the issue is. For newcomers to VR (which the Rift S is positioned towards), I’m willing to bet that a non-trivial number of people are going to think the headset just doesn’t look that great (smallish field of view and blur in the perierphy) because they will suffer from poor eye placement in respect to the lenses.

Photo by Road to VR

The issue with the gasket felt so bad that I actually found that I could have a much better visual experience by playing without wearing it at all; even though this exposed my peripheral view to the outside world, I got a much better field of view and a larger sweet spot more comfortably by doing so. It’s also worth noting that the way the gasket snaps back into place is less intuitive and more annoying than on Rift or Quest. This probably won’t bother most people, but if you plan to get a workout going in your headset, you’ll likely be removing it from time to time for cleaning.

The ergonomic issues created by the face gasket could be (and I think should be) addressed by offering different face gaskets to better fit a wider range of faces. Better yet, future designs should have an eye relief adjustment that’s independent of the face gasket (like we see on PSVR, Vive, Vive Pro, and Index).

There’s another adjustment factor though which can’t be fixed after the fact: the Rift S lacks a hardware IPD adjustment, which means you can’t adjust the distance between the lenses to best align with your eyes (as you could with the original Rift). The Rift S has a fixed hardware IPD of 63.5mm, which is spot on with my own, so while I’m (fortunately) not losing clarity that way, some inevitably will. Oculus says that Rift S is ‘best’ for users with an IPD between 61.5mm and 65.5mm, compared to the Rift which is ‘best’ for those between 56mm and 74mm.

So, in summary, the Rift S can be comfortable for long term play, but you very well may need to sacrifice some visual quality to achieve that comfort.

Tracking

Photo by Road to VR

The Rift S uses an all new ‘inside-out’ tracking system which doesn’t require any external sensors, bringing a bunch of convenience benefits. There are five cameras on the headset that look at the environment around you and figure out how your head is moving through computer vision. The cameras on the headset also see your controllers to figure out how they’re moving.

The original Rift uses an outside-in tracking system that required setting up external sensors, which only offered front-facing tracking (unless you were willing to set up a more complicated sensor configuration for greater coverage). With the inside-out system on Rift S, everything from initial setup to session-to-session use is made more convenient.

Also a plus for the inside-out tracking system is that it’s inherently ‘room-scale’, which means it tracks in all directions and across room-sized (or larger) spaces. Room-scale tracking out of the box is nice to have, but the heritage of the Rift means this feature won’t likely be well utilized for some time to come because just about all of the existing VR games made specifically for Rift assume the vast majority of users will only have a front-facing tracking setup, and this will likely continue to be the case for the foreseeable future since there will be many more Rifts out there than Rift Ss for some time to come. That said, there’s some games that do benefit from having room-scale tracking today, and the Rift S tracking system will make it easier to get the best experience out of those games.

From a performance standpoint, the Rift S tracking system is pretty darn good. Compared to the Windows VR headsets (which all use the same two-camera inside-out tracking system), Rift S is a huge improvement, specifically because its five cameras offer a drastically larger controller tracking volume which greatly reduces the frequency of controllers losing tracking. That said, Rift S tracking isn’t quite as perfromant or robust as the tracking system on the original Rift.

I was a little disappointed to see that the Rift S doesn’t fare well on the ‘tap test’ (tapping the visor with your finger to test for instantaneous latency). Doing so causes the world to jolt briefly in response to the taps, which suggests that the instantaneous latency is a little slower than you’d find on the Rift or other headsets with outside-in tracking. In most cases this isn’t an issue—prediction quickly catches up to the initial movement impulse to make the tracking feel tight—but you may notice it during moments of fast and sharp head movements (like when really going hard on Beat Saber, or head banging to the beat in Electronauts).

The Rift S also shows a bit more jitter than the Rift. Jitter comes from the limit of precision in the tracking system, and can be thought of as the average variation between tracking estimates of an object that’s completely still in reality. An ideal tracking system would have 0mm jitter, meaning that when the tracked object is sitting absolutely still, the system is recording the exact same position from one measurement to the next. This is very difficult to achieve in practice, and most tracking systems have some level of imprecision, which makes the system think that the object is jumping or ‘jittering’ in place. In the context of a VR headset, jitter means that your virtual perspective will shake in equal proportion to the jitter of the tracking system.

The gold standard for tracking precision in VR is often said to be ‘sub-millimeter’ jitter, which means the variations in tracking estimates of a still object are less than 1mm from one measurement to the next. At this level, it’s very hard to see the jitter because it’s so minute. Oculus claims sub-mm precision on the Rift, and Valve claims the same about their SteamVR Tracking system.

Even though it’s close, the Rift S doesn’t seem to hit this sub-mm mark. If you hold your head steady and look at a virtual object a few inches from your face, you’ll be able to see it shake slightly. In most cases this is something you’ll never see unless you are looking for it, and generally won’t be an issue. But too much jitter (even when it doesn’t seem obviously visible) can be uncomfortable, especially in cases where you have static virtual objects very close to your face (as your brain will naturally use them as a static frame of reference). With the Rift S, the exact amount of jitter seems likely to be impacted by how ideal (or not) your environment is for tracking. I would venture to say that this won’t be an issue for most people, but it’s is less than ideal for anyone especially sensitive to motion sickness.

The Rift S Touch controllers are a little different than the original Rift controllers. To my hands they are ever so slightly less comfortable, but otherwise highly functional and well made. The Rift S controllers are exactly identical to Quest’s controllers, and are even interchangeable. | Photo by Road to VR

For the vast majority of users, Rift S tracking is going to be absolutely good enough for the vast majority of content. It’s good enough to play Beat Saber’s highest difficulty without frustration. Though, because the inside-out system has some inherent blind spots on controller tracking (like if you hold your controller behind your back), there are some edge cases where it could be problematic. In my testing so far this hasn’t presented any real issues (and to be fair, the default front-facing tracking on the Rift would also struggle with a controller held behind the back!). This is going to be content specific, of course, though I was really surprised to find how well the system held up to a bow game where you draw the arrow right under your chin—even in this particularly difficult case, the tracking held up the vast majority of the time and didn’t prevent me from enjoying the game. Testing the same scenario with a Windows VR headset left me frustrated at how often the controller tracking was lost.

Similar to pretty much every inside-out tracking system out there, Rift S could have trouble tracking when there’s some confounding environmental factors. Things like very bright lights or windows, large mirrors, or moving shadows could throw it for a loop. In my testing of the Rift S, I haven’t seen the tracking outright fail (and drop me to a black screen), but you will see the occasional hiccup either in the headtracking or the controllers. In general though, it feels like a very robust system that’s up to the challenge.

Continue Reading on Page 2: Experience »

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  • Oli Norwell

    Looks like the ‘headband’ style VR headsets have won the day then, all thanks to the PSVR really starting the trend in 2016.

    • Icebeat

      Funny that the Quest doesn’t use the same design

      • Cybis Z

        I think Oculus started development on the Quest before the halo-headband became all the rage. They’ve been working on it for a long time.

        • Fam Wired

          Probably just a Plan B when they scrapped Rift 2?

          • AndroidVageta

            Definitely is. It’s basically created by Lenovo with the lack of passion and technological drive being proof that it’s a stop-gap halfassed headset.

        • Someone says that it is a project started when Palmer and Brendan were still at Oculus

    • MeowMix

      Lenovo has the rights to use the SONY PSVR halo for their headsets. So it is infact the PSVR halo headband (not like the WMR halo that people think). It’s slightly modified and supposedly improved.

      • Agree the halo on the Lenovo WMR is definitely an improvement over the Dell, HP, Acer or Samsung variants.

      • Lucidfeuer

        They don’t “have the right”, they licence the design to Sony (if they own it).

        This means that headsets that don’t just are scum greedy corporation that don’t want to spend the extra licensing cent per unit.

        That’s my main problem with the Index.

    • Trenix

      How have they won? The article literally said it was worse. Lenovo made you a headset and Oculus had probably little to no part in it. If the trend continues, then I’ll keep holding off from VR, as will millions of others. VR has had major step backwards, this year has nothing but disappointments.

    • Erilis

      I have felt one benefit on the halo style headset as opposed to the quest, in my personal use. When I use a pc, and especially virtual desktop, having a halo style head strap allows me to glance at the keyboard. If I take off the face gasket like the author said he was most comfortable, I can almost fully see my keyboard (at an angle). I don’t really have a need for it in quest, because it’s just for games, but rift s may give it a little more possibility for productivity.

  • Rudl Za Vedno

    Very, very bad. They didn’t even care to do proper R&D on ergonomics.

    • Buddydudeguy

      Are you kidding? It blows the original Rift out of the park.

      • Glenn Powell

        Speaking on paper only, nothing about Rift S blows CV1 Rift out of the Park. Rift S is a downgrade in literally every sense. Lower refresh rate, no manual IPD adjustment so you and your friends likely won’t be able to play on the same platform, LCD over OLED for more grey blacks, halo headsets at least on PSVR wobble all over, and are not designed for roomscale like the ballcap style design the CV1 uses. Also loosing the headphones is a big no-go for me, at least Valve Index speakers seem like they will almost produce surround sound for your ears with massive base compared to these GO like speakers designed for mobile headsets. I’ve been a Rift owner since 2016 and shelled out almost 2k for my computer and headset plus controllers back when it launched. 100% could validate that cost, but I in now way can validate $400 for the Rift S, which spec wise is on par with a 2017 WMR HMD. Quest will be and is amazing for mobile VR, and has a better head strap, and may actually compete with PC VR Rift. But Rift S is a joke at least in terms of paper stats. I will wait and try it though, hopefully I eat my words.

        • care package

          I think your opinion is the joke.

          • Robbie

            Except he isnt speaking opinions.. he’s speaking facts you moronic imbecile.

          • care package

            “Rift S is a downgrade in literally every sense”, isn’t an opinion at all. Wow you sure told me didn’t ya Robbie.

        • daveinpublic

          What about price? Oculus knows what people want, but they’re the only ones who setting the bar this high at this price point. They were probably losing money on each Rift with the OLED screens, etc, and now they can actually make money. They knew that they had to increase resolution to stay relevant but didn’t want to pass off the R&D costs and resolution costs to the consumer, so they collaborated and found the best of each world. Plus they have room to cut prices even more. When you can point me to a proper VR headset that has just what you want at the price of the Rift S, let me know.

      • Oneofcountless

        Are you delirious?

        • Buddydudeguy

          Are you? Lower persistence, better text legibility, better comfort, no fucking with sensors, larger sweet spot…it’s a better HMD. If you can’t see that you’re stupid. I can respect not rushing to replace your CV1 but if you think the CV1 is a better HMD you must be hooked on sniffing glue.

          • Oneofcountless

            Sideways move by Oculus at best. Once the shining star of VR, Facebook is slowly but surely dismantling the Oculus dream.

          • AndroidVageta

            Plenty of reviewers are already bashing the Rift S for it’s downgrades and sidegrades. It’s not a better headset because it’s LACK OF ERGONOMICS means that the narrow IPD will look like shit for a LOT of people. The lack of contrast and color of the OLED is less desired. You’re dumb.

          • Buddydudeguy

            ” you’re dumb” lol. The point you realized you have nothing to add, but posted anyways.

          • AndroidVageta

            Is that the only thing I said according to your blind fanboy eyes? What about ALL the other stuff I said before that? Yeah, you being dumb is correct!

  • The Bard

    Samsung Odyssey+ for 299$ is the right choice for everybody, including newcomers. Why do you do this? Did Facebook pay you? Underspec Rift S(hit) edition with grays from LCD and low resolution… damn!

    • Buddydudeguy

      It’s not the right choice for anyone let alone everyone. lol@ two cameras.

      • The Bard

        Can be even 10 cameras, does not matter. I am using it since 4 months and its really great. Just need to have spacious room with stuff inside and not blank walls in low light. What you look with your eyes is the most important and Rift S is CRAP. Odyssey+ OLED 2880×1600 is a total minimum for me. What for the controllers if you watch screen-door crap on Oculus and HTC…

        • Buddydudeguy

          No, but k.

        • DarkAvry

          Nah its trash, i almost got them now, they 359$ [482$ with INT shipping and taxes from Amazon] but then i read some reavews and nah, I HATE touch ANYTHING, i dont play touch game, i dont use touch pads and so holding two gamepads with touch crap instead of proper buttons is a NO.
          Like the bro above said, only 2 cameras, Rift S have MUCH MUCH superior tracking, cameras pointing both down and up not just forward.
          The Samsung doesn’t use Real RGB OLED like PSVR but the cheapo trashy mobile version of it called AMOLED just like rift and vive first edition, its garbage with pentile pixel arrangement, to the point that PSVR with lower actual resolution has HIGHER PIXEL density then Rift and Vive Gen 1.

          This will be tad more expensive for me, probably 500-520USD with int shipping and taxes but much better, also it has Facebook behind it with exclusive games , and no im not some FB fanboy, never had FB account in my life but i like how they pay people money to make exclusive games.

          • graziano

            Jesus Christ DarkAvry you’re fighting for the Rift like a mother lion for her cubs. I hope you’ll find your IPD outside the Rift’s usable range and the lack of proper headphones will make you go crazy over your mother’s ranting downstairs. And may the SDE be with you. I own the Odyssey+. I’m so glad I didn’t wait for the new Rift, even more glad i haven’t ordered it. Take care bro.

          • DarkAvry

            On PSVR i didn’t need to change IPD

            I have Sennheiser headphones why do i need any build in crap ones?

        • VRMAN66

          yes, Odyssey+ has pleasant image (colors and SDE), but Oculus Games support it’s not good, only SteamVR games.

          • The Bard

            It is not fault of Samsung Oculus is a closed software and only Oculus stuff works there by default.

        • MOT

          Agree. The odyssey currently has the best screen in vr.

          • Buddydudeguy

            Good thing the screen isn’t all that matters. Odyssey is garbage.

        • Robbie

          You are beyond insufferably stupid….

    • Matty

      In italy the only you can find is 600€ for some strange reason..

      • The Bard

        Order online through BigAppleBuddy.

    • Robbie Zeigler

      Garbage tracking

  • Luke
  • John Smith

    Being a huge Oculus fan back in the day I lost massive faith in the
    company during the initial Rift release by facebook. Up until DK2,
    Oculus were legendary in their pioneering efforts but after Luckey and
    Iribe’s resignation it became nothing but lies and contradictions in the
    former shadow of the company. Putting all of that aside, the Rift S seems like just another ploy by facebook to cash in on the VR space. I have no problem with cable headsets as they continue to offer superior tracking/graphical solutions. Preorder a Valve Index or get a used Vive instead. The Rift S lackluster inside out tracking is the main dealbreaker for me, not to mention facebook camera’s pointing out from every orifice. Zuckerberg can keep giving them away all he wants to try winning over journalists and reviewers. I’ll wait for the Index. Valve haven’t dropped product support like Oculus has done with DK2, Gear VR and soon the Rift. Nor have Valve lied to their customers either unlike Oculus who contradicts every single thing they have said in the past from a cancelled Rift 2 to boasting an open source headset then blocking paying Vive users on Revive (cross platform software Luckey totally supported) only to apologize and go back and forth numerous times on the subject. Don’t get me started on the broken updates, where they promised store credit and didn’t deliver, endless bugs, poor USB driver utilization and dropping 1050+ titles
    from the store likely forcing existing Oculus users to repurchase the same games all over again, it never ends. Purchasing one of these Rift S units is a direct attack on the very same people who sweated and teared to bring VR back to to where it is today. Buy a Vive, send a letter to Palmer begging his forgiveness, sinners.

    • care package

      “lack luster inside out tracking” lmao. Nice rant.

    • Oneofcountless

      This. Palmers vision for the Rift was never this. Once the shining star of VR, Facebook is slowing but surely dismantling the Oculus dream. Thank God for Valve!

    • Anfronie

      lol palmer got pushed out because he was clearly done being useful.

  • cryoburner

    So, worse color quality and contrast than the original Oculus Rift, worse tracking, worse sound quality, worse refresh rate, worse ergonomics, and no IPD adjustment, all at a higher price than what its predecessor has been selling for? This seems like little more than a way to increase profit margins. Aside from improvements to the ease of setup and a moderate increase in pixel density, it appears to be a downgrade to the original design in almost every way.

    I get the impression that when Facebook canceled the Oculus Rift 2, they simply licensed this design from Lenovo, tweaking it a little, tossing in their own controllers, and calling it a day. This could potentially be a decent product for around $300, where it would be competing more directly with similarly-specced Windows Mixed-Reality headsets, but it seems overpriced for $400, especially when Oculus is launching it alongside the Quest for the same price, which undoubtedly costs them more to produce. And maybe that’s what they want, to deter users from adopting PC VR, and drive them over to their mobile platform instead, where they will be locked into buying content from the Oculus store and will need to replace their headset after a few years once the performance is inadequate and the battery has run down.

    • Justos

      What are you on about? The OG rift/vive had pretty bad contrast for OLED to begin with. As well as the never showing true blacks due to smear and godrays. Refresh rate is not a huge hit, low persistence is where its at. Worse ergonomics how? the thing has a halo strap, the design everyone claimed to be the best of the best for comfort.

      Oh this ‘cancelling rift 2′ thing again. So you think the Rift S is oculus’ last PCVR product. how naive.

      • cryoburner

        Of course there will likely be future Oculus headsets for the PC, but reports from last year were that Oculus had abandoned their existing plans for an upgraded successor to the Oculus Rift, and that’s the device I am referring to here. The design of this new headset aligns with what was getting reported back when Oculus co-founder Brendan Iribe left the company, namely that other executives canceled the project to focus on cutting costs rather than improving the experience…

        https://techcrunch.com/2018/10/22/oculus-co-founder-is-leaving-facebook-after-cancellation-of-rift-2-headset/

        So, after 3 years, we get a Lenovo headset that is in some ways a little better than the original Rift, and in other ways worse. It’s probably more a successor to Lenovo’s Explorer Windows Mixed Reality Headset than anything, except with a lower resolution and refresh rate than even that device. Releasing a lower-end headset is fine, but cutting corners while keeping the price the same or higher is arguably not. I do imagine they plan on reducing the price in the future though.

        And sure, the display may have some advantages over those used in the original Rift, but it seems like the choice of screen mostly came down to cutting costs, especially the move from dual adjustable screens to a single larger panel with fixed lenses. As for the ergonomics, I’m simply going by this review, in which it is mentioned multiple times that the reviewer didn’t find them to be on par with what was found on the original Rift.

        • MOT

          Agree. Rift s has a lower res screen than the lenovo explorer.

        • AndroidVageta

          The only downsides the Rift’s screens have compared to the Rift S is resolution. I don’t care what homeboy says about the Rifts contrast…it’s still miles better and the people that keep saying what he’s saying are merely detracting from the Rift S being an inferior product.

      • hmm

        “So you think the Rift S is oculus’ last PCVR product.”

        The Rift was Oculus’s last PCVR product. Rift S is from Lenovo.

      • AndroidVageta

        “The OG rift/vive had pretty bad contrast for OLED to begin with. As well as the never showing true blacks due to smear”

        Yeah and you know what? The Rift S is still worse. Also the only way I’ve EVER been able to see the Rifts “pretty bad contrast” is if I’m literally staring at nothing but black…then, and only then, can I see a hint of backlighting. Outside that, when it comes to REAL WORLD use blacks look BLACK. The Rift S is still a downgrade in this regard, even if the Rift wasn’t the best.

    • Jonathan Winters III

      It really does seem Oculus are trying to deter users from PC, and direct them to Quest. Actually, they are doing that, intentionally or not.

      • alboradasa

        Let’s not forget Zuckerberg’s ultimate aim when he bought Oculus was to create his own platform/ecosystem, so he wouldn’t have to rely on running software on other people’s operating systems/hardware. This seems like a step in that direction.

        • NooYawker

          His ultimate aim is to maximize people using his product. Aim for the lowest common denominator because at the end of the day, FB makes it’s profits from data mining its users.

        • Francesco Fazio

          Look for as much as I am supporting the concept of free software and maximum compatibility if you take a look at the history of important companies like Apple, this statement proves to be wrong. Close systems and as less compatibility as possible proved to be right way to make a huge business.

      • HybridEnergy

        Too bad the Quest can barely not take a complete shit running a 2016 dated game like Robo Recall, if what you say is true they are guiding their sheep to inferior products.

    • xxHanoverxx

      Higher price? Remember that the controllers were sold separately, and cost $99.

      • cryoburner

        No, the Oculus Rift & Touch bundle, including the controllers and two cameras, has been priced at just $350 for the last half-year or so, and prior to that it had been $400 since 2017. This is a price hike for what is essentially a worse device in many ways. Or even if we ignore the recent $350 pricing as a way to clear out stock of the original, launching a new device with significant downgrades even at the same price is clearly disappointing.

  • Thunk

    The Halo headband is technically an improved version of the PSVR’s, as Lenovo licensed Sony’s design for use with their own headsets.

    https://www.engadget.com/2018/10/31/lenovo-sony-psvr-design-deal/

    So anyone who said PSVR is the most comfortable VR headset should have few problems with the Rift S in terms of comfort.

    • Glenn Powell

      PSVR headset wobbles like no tomorrow on your head if you move around much. They forgot to take into effect that PSVR doesn’t use roomscale tracking and users mainly stay pretty still. Where as with Oculus room scale your standing, jumping, twisting, turning, laying in prone shooting, laying on your back in bed watching movies, and really the CV1 ball cap design was much better for this. The halo headset may have been favored by PSVR users, but I think it will fail for room scale users.

      • Tharny

        Seem to be not a problem from those that actually have tried it for hours.

        • Fluke

          While it’s generally not too much of an issue, I have to agree with the above comment. I have a Rift and PSVR, and the way the PSVR hangs in front of your face doesn’t provide anywhere near as much stability (as the Rift for example) if you move really quickly.

          Saying that, if you wear glasses, the PSVR design certainly provides the best fit in that regard (Rift is that bad that I had to get lens inserts).

          • Tharny

            Guess thats also why they added the top strap, to get more stability and comfort. The design also remove the big issue with CV1 and glasses, and i belive that was important for Oculus. I use glasses and contact lenses myself, but i have never bothered to get lense inserts. But i only play with my contact lenses on.

            Guess i find out anyway with time when i get the S in house ;)

      • MOT

        Not in my experience.

    • amit

      best indian vr headset available with vr platform watch 100 movies on this vr headset https://360pano.in/VRbox.html

  • I want the full review!

  • RationalThought

    So here is my issue. My Oculus died and is out of Warranty……so they said I can get refurbished for 250 (just headset). So my choice was that deal or get an Oculus S. I wonder what Ben Lang would recommend.

  • care package

    Wasn’t difficult for me. SDE became a big problem for me. Sold my Rift and pre-ordered an S. Wow I’m so weird I tell ya……

    • Lucidfeuer

      Rather I think you’re the one who believes the headlines.

    • AndroidVageta

      Have you tried the Go? The LCD pixel grid being in front of the backlighting means the SDE is ALWAYS there and WAYYY too many people overstate the lack of SDE on these higher resolution devices. If the SDE was a big problem for you with the Rift the Rift S isn’t going to be that much different. For me personally I prefer Rift’s more dynamic/irregular SDE than the Go’s (Rift S) set and constant grid. You’ll see!

      • care package

        What in THE hell are you talking about? Dynamic/irregular SDE vs. constant grid? lol. I’ll see all right. All headsets out there right now or coming soon have their drawbacks. It’s almost strange really.

  • Jonathan Winters III

    “The hidden speakers in the headband are a significant step backwards in
    audio quality, and also results in positional audio being less clear
    directionally.”
    This alone is a deal-breaker, as the halo band is too big to allow me to wear my headphones. Not only that, but having to wear external headphones is just another PITA.

    • James P.

      More of a PITA than constantly having to redo the sensor setup? For me, some high end earbuds will do just fine, in exchange for convenient tracking, a higher res screen and better ergonomics.

      • AndroidVageta

        Who is constantly redoing their sensor setup? You set it up and don’t have to mess with it again. People like you keep saying this as if it’s some constant issue with everyone or something.

        • James P.

          It’s an issue with smaller living spaces. When you have a 650 sq. ft. apartment and there are no permanent places to put the cameras that aren’t unsightly, you have to make compromises.. hence the sensor setup. It can be worked around (always placing the sensors back in exactly the same position before starting the Oculus program), but none of it is super convenient.

          Beyond that issue, another benefit.. no dead zones, especially near the floor.

          If people like me keep saying this, maybe it’s because there are a lot of other people like me out there. Just saying.

        • Todd Bruno

          only dumb as.se.s are redoing their sensor setups. the new POS oculus are for newbies like this one

        • Mrflappywilly

          I certainly had to, many others did as well. despite buying the recommended USB card i would go days with no issue then one or two sensors would have major tracking issues,.

    • Tiny Rick

      As a PSVR owner, I’ve never had an issue with over the ear headphones.

  • USPatriot

    Quickly losing faith in the Oculus direction. I used to be a Huge Oculus fan but now I think Valve is taking the better approach. It’s been a pretty “meh” year in VR for me which is a shame because I want VR to be huge. It’s just not getting there and Facebook isn’t helping imo.

    • Oneofcountless

      You’re right, Palmers vision for the Rift was never this. Once the shining star of VR, Facebook is slowing but surely dismantling the Oculus dream.

      • Trenix

        That’s cause Facebook’s agenda is profit and data retrieval, not VR.

        • Lucidfeuer

          It’s not even profit, they don’t make profit of of it, it’s the speculative branding value of making VR and the extraneous data that is Facebook’s agenda. They don’t care about actually making competitive products and selling them for profit.

        • Erilis

          I hate to be the devils advocate, but selling rifts at 400$ a pop, and contributed to the development on pretty much every game that’s on the oculus store (at least for quest), I don’t think they even made a profit yet.

          • Trenix

            They’re low spec devices, I’m sure they are making profit.

          • Erilis

            I meant to say that the quest isn’t sold with much profit. Think a galaxy + SAMSUNG gear, controllers, sensors. Yeah, misspoke, the rift s is just an upgraded Lenovo, like a test device for the quest.

      • Buddydudeguy

        WTF are you babbling about.

      • Erilis

        Facebook has not been acting like google, dismantling their whole vr divisions. Content is king for VR, what’s the point on having the best headset there is, if there is no apps to use on it.

    • It’s all going to work out just fine. Different companies can cater to different market sectors, it’s actually a very good thing. The Rift S is not an exciting headset for anyone following VR closely, but there are a steady stream of newcomers on a budget looking to get into VR and Rift S is probably the best value to price proposition. I also think it’s awesome that enthusiasts finally have a legitimate upgrade in the Valve Index. Then you take into account the Quest, a full roomscale 6DOF experience that’s $400 all in, ~$500 cheaper than the next best available option (PC + WMR), that’s a massive drop in barrier to entry.

      All three of these headsets will play a major role in growing the VR market in the coming years.

      • Tiny Rick

        As someone who jumped in the PSVR as my first headset, the Rift S seems like a good entry point for me into the PC VR world. It’s clear it’s not a perfect headset but it’s seems decent enough for a jumping in point at it’s current price.

    • Francesco Fazio

      Hey why not changing your name in John Rambo or Rocky ? Maybe you could change it to Bruce Springsteen or something like that so people will understand you have been so “lucky” to be an average dumb yankee :) Congrats man !

    • daveinpublic

      I’m a fan of Valve, and like the Index. I think that Rift S is still a great headset to have in the mix. It tells the other companies what price point they have to hit in order to stay competitive.

    • Dave

      Valve’s current direction is too expensive w/ little to no games to take advantage of such hardware. Yet anyways. Maybe in a year or two.

    • I agree.

    • Anfronie

      Facebook is trying to get “butts in the seats”. That is it. Yes they want profit like any other company but it’s all about the numbers. That is always the goal. GET MORE PEOPLE IN VR.

  • Thanks Ben, I too have problems with the halo design because it is to rigid to take all head & face sizes into account. With that being said, I also have Lenovo WMR HMD and find that it be best WMR headset for fit and comfort. I guess I will find out soon enough with the Rift S. However I can’t say the original Rift CV was any better for my “fat face” since it seems to fit better on thinner face and found having to completely redesign my own face foam, which also improve the eye to lens distance giving me a little more FOV.

    On the note of a removable headband on the Rift S. Could you provide a more detailed image of the hinge? It appears the headphone connector is standard dual ring/tip stereo right angle 1/8 plug, which is great. But as far as the hinge/fastener, it seems to be reinforced aluminum plate with probably aluminum pins in the band to ensure physical integrity. This would have to be milled or removed and placed in the new plastic shell of what evern headset design you are willing to make. However, none of that is too critical and yes could see immediate replacements either in the hobby ‘maker’ market or third party by the end of the year.

    Do you know more about the Windows Mixed Reality support? Either through your writings or elsewhere and actually seeing on the Microsoft store webpage for preorder, it seems there is more support or relationship between the two of them. Not that is necessary, but could also explain the Lenovo partnership and similar specs as the WMR headset. (I for one, would not mind if Microsoft adopted the additional cameras for inside/tracking). This also brings up the point of the how they handle SLAM and if more processing is being done in the headset instead of just multiplexing the video streams and sending them back to the host PC. If it is the former, this would allow for lighter mobile PC solutions to be created to offer many of the advantages the Quest with its all-in-one design. It should be noted this is the direction HTC Vive took with the Cosmos due to the Qualcomm integrated SLAM solution allowing more throughput to be used for for graphics and audio.

    I guess I will find out more once I get mine or hopefully a teardown from IFIXIT soon if they take the time to do an accurate component listing.

    • AndroidVageta

      “which also improve the eye to lens distance giving me a little more FOV.”

      Glad to see I’m not the only one that did this! My custom pad makes the Rift feel like a different product when compared to stock. I use the stock pads when demoing and when I put it on holy heck it feels like I’m looking through binoculars! The lenses being closer makes all the difference…higher FOV, no binocular sensation, larger sweet spot…really makes a world of difference.

  • Rlee

    I’m buying it because of the inside out tracking and the bump in resolution. I don’t use the CV1s headphones anyway and the IPD adjustment isn’t needed for me.

    • Erilis

      I feel the same way, I think it’s been exaggerated a bit. The optics are so good, that the whole thing looks like one big sweet spot, at least compared to odyssey+, and though resolution doesn’t sound amazing, with the sub pixels clarity is improved considerably. Framerate 80, is just as bad as 90hz, it needs to get to 120hz, as it stands, it’s pretty much the same thing. I just bought the quest, but now I’ll get this one as well. it’s expensive this hobby

  • amit

    360 pano vr heaset is the best one in whole world . it is cheapset way to experience virtual reality .www.360pano.in is an indian vr company
    you can visit there website https://360pano.in/index.html

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Bullshit, it’s just a branded cheap aliexpress chinese android /phone headset. Wouldn’t suprise me if it’s your company.

  • Grey Lock

    As a Rift CV1 owner and fan, I’m finding the Rift S to be too little of an improvement to upgrade to it.
    – The audio is worse.
    – The headband is worse (I also have the Lenovo WMR HMD and greatly prefer the Rift headstrap)
    – The resolution is better BUT is the lowest PC HMD resolution of any headset released since 2016 :-(
    – The only upside is the inside out tracking which eliminated all the external cameras.

    Oculus would have done so much better if they based the Rift S on the Quest:
    – Average 2019 resolution of 1440×1600 per eye
    – Comfortable Headstrap
    – Four Camera Inside out tracking (same as Cosmos, only other inside-out competitor)
    – The audio would still have been a downgrade but they could offer an optional headphones.

    But I think the best deal would be to offer a Quest that also works with PC. Even if it was $600 it would be well worth it to have both devices in one.

    • Fam Wired

      I would have payed almost the double to get a Quest with streaming/cable connection to a PC. They probably missed something big here when launching two separated products instead of a killer gadget.

      • Dude

        You can still pay double and just buy both the quest and rift s

    • MOT

      Got to agree. The resolution is poor ame lower than all the wmr headsets.

    • Dave

      Grey Lock I think the refresh for the Rift, the Rift S was essentially a cost cutting exercise as the Rift was too expensive to make.

      It does concern me therefore the direction Oculus and Facebook are taking as they could have easily released a 1.5 with the current technology invested in todate and have a wonderful Rift Pro headset for something like 650 dollars but they didn’t.

      • care package

        It wasn’t about cutting costs. It was about providing some upgrades to the Rift while maintaining the same PC spec requirements as the Rift. All those 1.5s out there come at a higher cost, and they’re just 1.5s. Those higher specs require higher specs.

        • Khaz

          Absolutely agree.
          I think its really obvious that Oculus is going with the strategy to get as many new users as possible to make the VR platform more worth to invest and more interesting for developers (VR will at the end rise/fall with the available software and interested devs).
          So its a logical step to keep the requirements due to the fact not every VR-interested user has the best Highend-GPU and HMDs like Index (for more than double the money) still are not 2nd gen but still come with higher requirements.
          So Rift users can continue using Rift if they dont need the upgrades like getting freed from the sensor/setup chaos while other PC users with not perfect rooms for VR now loose the hurdle to start with it. So I think I-O-Tracking is the most important point/upgrade here. Also they can get these upgrades without needing to also upgrade their PC system to more highend.
          And when the time is there for real 2nd gen for a valuable price and the software that uses these features is really available (or the devs willing to develop it) than Oculus has the user base to invest in a real 2nd gen device.
          Also they are checking if the way to go really is PC VR or mobile VR. If the masses will go with mobile then it will doesnt really matter if you have a Oculus, Index, Vive Pro headset because devs will concentrate on the mobile plattform and simpler/more abstracted graphic games that dont need PC systems (I dont hope so).
          Whats the benefit of a “highend” Rift Pro or Index without enough titles using their advantages (like new knuckles features)?
          Also I would rather invest my GPU power in games with better graphics and more vivid landscapes than in a little more pixels and higher refresh rates (which I miss less than virtual landscapes with a real wow factor).

    • Andrew Jakobs

      The S isn’t meant for people with a CV1 to upgrade to, people should get that out of their head. If you already own a CV1 you should not ‘upgrade’ to the S, unless your Cv1 is broken.

      • Trenix

        As someone who’s tried all VR headsets, I haven’t kept any and this one certainty isn’t making me want to buy. I’d personally buy the older model, but definitely not this one. Also how are you going to completely change the model of a headset to be something completely different? Imagine if you bought a mouse that was once wired, now going completely wireless. Maybe your wired mouse breaks and the warrant covers it. Now you get a wireless mouse you never wanted?

        I’m seeing this kind of crap happen with products far too often. If they wanted to release a inside-out tracking device, it should of been separate from the original. They didn’t give the buyers a choice, because they believe the buyers are idiots. They are pushing you what to buy and yet people are too stupid to understand that.

        • Andrew Jakobs

          Yeah, I know, an example is the PS3, the superslim PS3 is an aweful PS3 version.. But I can imagine from their standpoint, the Rift CV1 is done, their effort is on the Quest, and they just outsourced the production/creation of the S to another company, so they didn’t have to deal with it. I agree, it’s not the best choice, best choice would still have been to add a videoport to the Quest and not produce the S at all. I guess it got harder for them to also get the needed parts for the CV1 to produce more. Or they should have just updated the CV1 with the same panels/lenses als the Quest and nothing else, kept the same formfactor..

        • Robbie

          Oh you again.. everyone ignore this moronic lying pos.. me and another guy exposed this lying troll on another vr topic.

          • Trenix

            You got me! Nah, you’re just mad you lost the debate. It’s cool bro, some people are just losers.

          • Francesco Fazio

            LOL love your answer :)

      • care package

        The S is an upgrade for those who want reduced SDE and god rays, and for those who want to do away with external sensors. Sold my Rift for the S. My Rift just collected dust because the SDE bothered me more and more.

        • Robbie

          Stfu broke boy.. you never owned a rift.

          • Trenix

            You seem like you have some sort of fetish with little broke boys. You seem disappointed that no one wants to go along with your fetish. Must be frustrating for you.

          • Francesco Fazio

            Trenix I have had my debate too with this little troll which he lost insulting and calling everybody broke boys. Some kids should need to see a specialist imho

          • Robbie

            Because you are a broke boy and Trenix only makes a buck or two a week sucking off BBC’s.

          • care package

            Dude you’re like the scariest internet troll guy ever.

        • Francesco Fazio

          The Rift is the best HMD out there if you bought it and left it getting dust on a shelf either you like to trash money in a kind of perverse fetish way or you dont really shine sorry to say that.

          • care package

            No I like watching stuff collect dust in a kind of perverse fetish way. I don’t really “shine”? wtf is that? lmao.

          • Francesco Fazio

            What I meant is why spending the money to buy a bloody Rift if you dont use it ? You like spending money for nothing ? This is what I meant.

          • care package

            Who spends money on something with the intention of never using it? Ya no one. Lets try and use some common sense as to why I don’t use it ‘anymore’. I dropped a hint there.

    • care package

      You should work for Oculus. I can’t believe they didn’t toss this idea around at least once during all their round table meetings. It’s funny how the average consumer can know so much more than a whole company.

    • Francesco Fazio

      As a Rift CV1 owner exactly like you I dont find any HMD currently on the market worth it the money to upgrade to. All of them have a big downside.
      Until there won’t be a real break through device adding the features we all want since so long I will stay with my current setup. Buying the Rift S or Valve Index or HP Reverb would be just trashing my money without any real improvement.

  • Ian

    Please test it with a hdmi to display port adapter, lots of laptops (ideal for pairing with a quick to setup rift s…!) only have hdmi connected to the gpu. I want to know if it works, if it adds latency etc

  • AlanWake

    I would rather buy HP Reverb

  • Lucidfeuer

    The CV1 was obsolete at release, especially if you owned a DK1/2, so much the increment was low.

    Releasing a Rift S ie. the same headset in 2019 (with a better headband, cheaper build) is beyond madness for VR.

    As for the Quest, the incentive is that it’s analogous to wireless (wires being non-sense for VR) meaning that in terms of ergonomics you don’t have to plug anything, but the fact that it’s a mobile headset at a not-so-good price will bring it nowhere once the initial kool-aid indued latecomers have bought one.

    Almost none of the single people working in VR I know have even considered ordering one so much it’s non-news.

    • Dave

      I can’t speek of the DK2. but the CV1 was a fantastic headset and trying VR for the first time in the Rift was one of the best technological experiences I’ve ever had.

      The Quest has a different market but has a strong launch line up with the benefit of mininal changes to support the existing Steam and Oculus stores in a mobile device sounds pretty decent to me.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Sorry, but the CV1 was a MAJOR improvement over the DK2. Just like the vive was. I own a DK2.

      • Lucidfeuer

        Yup, but inopiniated people with zero expectation don’t matter in the grand market scheme…

    • DM

      I guess you never compared the DK2 to the CV1 then, because the CV1 was superior in every way that mattered.

      • Lucidfeuer

        I’m just not a gullible loser, that’s precisely because I use both that I can see how little difference and iteration there is between the two.

  • Brian Brown

    I’m so happy I purchased a Vive, a product that’s integrated into the SteamVR hardware ecosystem. Now that the Valve index is out, none of my equipment is obsolete, I can get a new headset, or controllers and they are interchangeable with my existing hardware.

    I don’t like how the new Oculus Rift S is very much a lateral move. Being a big fan of VR, I want improvements in tracking and framerate at the very least.

  • John

    Very complete review, but If you had a budget of 600$, What HMD would
    you buy for gaming? HP Reverb,Samsung Odyssey, Samsung Odyssey+ or
    Oculus Rift S. And in the hypothetical case that you only could have
    Rift or Rift S, which one would you choose? Thank you.

    • Dave

      Quite happy with my Rift for the time being. None of the above headsets float my boat but I feel we are close to getting second generation headset performance in 2020 I think – but who from?

      The Valve Index does peek my interest but only technically. As a Rift owner it’s far to expensive to get the knuckle controllers, Valve Index and Lighthouses which would cost well over 1000 dollars.

  • Fluke

    Small point where the eye relief is mentioned – the PSVR face gasket isn’t independent of the eye relief. It moves along with it.

  • Walextheone

    I don’t think Rift S is meant to be an upgrade but rather be the choice for new bros.

    • AndroidVageta

      Which would be fine if it didn’t lack ergonomic features like adjustable IPD or…was at least on the same level as the Quest…their other new and somehow BETTER headset..

    • Tiny Rick

      This is exactly it. It shares a lot of features with the PSVR which has sold 4.2 million headsets. I’ve owned mine since launch and it’s great.

    • Erilis

      There are some (I haven’t made up my mind on it) that believe rift s is just made to be like a “tester” for facilitating the development of quest games.

  • Trenix

    Would most of you people buy the Lenovo headset? Of course not. Yet with the Oculus label, you would. That should show what kind of people you are, followers and brain-dead customers. Have some self respect, Oculus is dead thanks to Facebook. Facebook has a different agenda and interest than your original Oculus founders. If you’re not creeped out that your social media giant is trying to get you in VR by any means necessary, then there is something wrong with you.

    • Cybis Z

      It’s not a Lenovo Explorer. It’s an overclocked Oculus Go with a PSVR halo and a bunch of tracking cameras bolted to it.. Not saying that makes it any better.

      Also, Lenovo Explorer sucks more because of shoddy controller tracking than display. Rift-S is a step up – albeit only a small step up.

    • Robbie

      Oh look its the broke dunce bucket speaking through his butt hole again…. c

  • Marco

    How does the headset-wobble compare to the Lenovo Explorer? I know the Lenovo Explorer has an issue of wobbling around too much when looking up/down or moving the head too fast.

  • HybridEnergy

    No thanks

  • MW

    All Oculus decisions have one purpose.

    No ipd regulation (one screen) = cheaper
    Inside-out tracking (less parts) = cheaper
    No headphones = cheaper
    LCD = cheaper
    No significant improvements of anything important (resolution, fov) = cheaper

    Although I understand this approach (it’s much better than VALVE downgraded/1200usd craziness), it will not serve well to VR or Oculus. Now is the time for breaking boundaries, not to regress in development. All of 2019 HMD’s have the same problem – companies are trying to create user base. But it’s much too early for that. No content, high prices, and insufficient hardware are still major problems.

    • care package

      enthusiast tech can’t keep VR alive, or at the least progress past the endless Indies. More adoption means simpler, cheaper, and great software, which right now Oculus is the ony one trying to do all three.

  • Trip

    My IPD is a little over 67 so there was no way this HMD was ever going to be good for me. I can certainly understand the move to this type of tracking considering what a PITA it was to set up room scale with four cameras on my Rift. Lighthouse tracking on the other hand is great, super fast and easy to set up and perfect tracking.

  • NooYawker

    Seems like people should just get a WMR which is even cheaper if they’re considering this thing.

    • Cybis Z

      Depends on how much you value touch controllers and whether they’re tracked outside of your field of view.

  • David Cole

    Honestly if you own the Original Rift there is no reason to buy this at $399. I think if they allow a trade-in Program that you can get $150 for the original Headset, Controllers and
    2 – Sensors or ($125 if you only have 1 Sensor) which nets the price down to $249 then it would be worth it. they could get the old Headset back refurbish them and resell them for $199 for new users that would be perfect game plan to get into VR with the best VR ECOsystem..

  • Francesco Fazio

    Guys the real news about all these new HMDs is that if you are already owning a top of the shelf device like Oculus Rift of VIVE there is absolutely no reason to upgrade. We gotta wait probably one or even two years before seeing something you can call a proper upgrade. These ones are slightly better for something and worse for something else at the same time ……

  • The new high end Rift looks cheap and stupid. Won’t be buying that. The stand alone isn’t powerful enough but the design is nice and similar to old Rift design. But, I won’t be buying that due to the power and chip constraints. I would say Facebook must have planned on destroying Oculus because it sure looks that way. Now with lower sales they will likely decide that they over estimated the market and will make the decision to pull back once again making wrong decisions and wrong evaluations of a market they do not seem to understand.

    • Robbie

      You wont be buying it because the only thing lining your pockets is (lint).

  • Anfronie

    Oculus needs to start putting more focus on media consumption. Games are fine but there is untapped potential for getting people watching movies, sports, concerts. A lot of what is out has to be streamed by someone or costs WAY too much for what you are getting. I absolutely love Bigscreen VR but we just need more in this space. Give people something else to do!

  • JesuSaveSouls

    So this article is well done and with no access at this time to steamvr using the quest I would have to say yes it’s a good approach and avenue to those new to vr or needing a replacement due to damage of their old units.But not a big deal for those looking for a upgrade.Not if the quest could remotely use steamvr and if the s had a fov like the pimax than yes. It is however a great time to enter vr and oculus made it affordable and simple.Just to now get full games on a standalone with no pc required at affordable cost is excellent.Jesus God’s Son is my Lord and Savior !

  • SeveronJ

    I wouldn’t undersell the improved lenses. I had the CV1 (sold it to buy the Rift S) and I have an Oculus GO. The lenses on the GO make a MASSIVE difference to the picture quality. Wait until you put one on (as I will) to draw final conclusions, but my expectations off of what I have heard so far we easily enough to make me dive in with both feet. Good.Bye.Sensors. #GoodRiddance

    I’m hopeful that aftermarket will bring new designs to the Rift S with it being so modular, like straps/audio options.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Yeah, we had a virtual ride through a brewery (Bavaria) on the GO last friday and I was very impressed with the visuals from the GO.

  • Michael Miller

    I received my Rift s today. Playing beat Saber, I’m actually very disappointed with the loss of tracking and reports of misses, far greater than my Rift. I am disappointed enough I may return it. My sole reason for upgrading was losing the external sensors. I’ll wait a few days to see if others report the same issues.

  • RationalThought

    Got my Rift S today. I noticed any game requiring close to the face motion Gorn ( Bow and arrow, Creed and Thrill of the Fight (boxing) all had issues with tracking since it required close to the face motions. Makes Thrill of the Fight play completely differently (worse). The visual quality is a HUGE upgrade. Like seriously. This is no minor visual bump. It feels like almost DK2 to Oculus CV1 level bump to me (almost). The sound is a HUGE downgrade. It’s so disappointing. I refuse to play Beat Saber with such CRAP sound. I turned it off after just hearing the song previews in the selection menu. No thanks. We need a sound alternative STAT. Clip on headphones just like Valve’s off ear solution please!
    So long story short …Only got one because my CV1 broke and was out of warranty. If I still had my CV1, I would be content with waiting for next gen ..at least until sound was on par with Rift. Proper quality 3d immersive sound is integral to the experience.
    Headband also is …myeh. As great as the visuals are now….the other negatives kind of make it a push. Give me my original Oculus with these screens and lens and I would be REALLY happy….. :( For now I am simply content to have another VR headset to replace what I had.

  • a247slacker

    weird I find I have to turn down the volume on the Rift S as its to loud for my ears, sounds pretty good to me but then again I sold my rift a while back because it did not work with my glasses and they fogged up all the time if I crammed them into the head set, the new design works much better with glasses more like the oculus go but not quite as good as the GO im also used to the audio on the go more because that is what I have been using sense Christmas. I am much happier with the rift S then I was with my rift I like not having the external cameras like the windows mixed reality and the fact that it works much better with my glasses makes it a huge upgrade for me!

  • Ninjai71

    I’m very lucky upgrading from the original Rift to the Rift S! The new one has a far betty image even with the slightly less dark blacks (only seen in situations were it’s total dark)
    Adding way more comfort using it and reducing the amount of needed cables and sensors (0) in the playing area. I really don’t regret the new purchase at all! :)