Oculus co-founder and Facebook’s head of PC VR Brendan Iribe is leaving the company amidst a TechCrunch report that Facebook cancelled its second iteration of Rift. Now, a new report maintains the company is heading in a different direction with a much less ambitious upgrade to Rift than the recent ‘Half Dome’ prototype would suggest.

Citing sources familiar with the matter, TechCrunch now reports that Rift 2, codenamed ‘Caspar’, was a “complete redesign” of Rift, but has been shelved in favor of a product refresh which includes modest upgrades such as higher resolution and the addition of inside-out tracking, like that seen on the company’s upcoming Oculus Quest standalone 6DOF headset. The name for the device is reportedly “Rift S,” and could release as early as next year.

TechCrunch’s source maintains that Facebook leadership have decided to focus on “more accessible improvements to the core Rift experience that wouldn’t require the latest PC hardware to function,” a clear bid to appeal to a wider audience.

SEE ALSO
Oculus Co-founder Departs Facebook Amidst Rumor of Rift 2 Cancellation

Iribe was reported to have left the company due to his disinterest in pursuing a “race to the bottom” in terms of performance, and was also reportedly unhappy with Facebook’s supposed move to offer “compromised experiences that provided short-term user growth but sacrificed on comfort and performance.”

Half Dome, Facebook’s high field of view (FOV) varifocal prototype headset, fits in a Rift-like size format, and contains a veritable wish list of features including eye-tracking, varifocal display, and a 140 degree FOV.

Image courtesy Facebook

Its varifocal display is undoubtedly the prototype’s biggest improvement, which better approximates natural depth cues—something Oculus says in a blogpost “work[s] seamlessly with both eye tracking and refined optics to advance the clarity and comfort of VR.” Healthy conjecture: this mention of “sacrificing comfort and performance” could suggest Half Dome was actually a prototype for the second iteration of Rift despite Oculus’ attempt at neutralizing the debate by stating that not all of the technologies seen in the prototype will make it to a product “anytime soon.”

If Facebook moves forward with a hypothetical ‘Rift S’, it will be following in the footsteps of HTC and Samsung, as both manufactures have produced headsets much closer to ‘hardware refreshes’ than true next generation devices—the HTC Vive Pro and the recently released Samsung Odyssey+.

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  • Engineer_92

    This is really good news in my eyes, but I doubt this will have the wider FOV. Also, I doubt there will be a proprietary wireless solution included, if not offered separately. The least they can do is lengthen the cable..

    • FireAndTheVoid

      Being a product refresh, it doesn’t sound like it will be native wireless or have a wider FOV. Having already gone wireless myself, I don’t know that I could go back to wired.

      • mirak

        I went back to wired after returning the Vive wireless adapter.

        When I bought the adapter, I was not complaining to much about the cable and could live with it, but I was happy that 2 years after buying the headset, I could make it evolve with a nice addition, so I just happily bought it.

        I loved it, it was working very fine, however I could only return it, since HTC was not communicating on the overheating problem.
        I once had to stop after playing 2 hours because it was so hot, and can’t trust having something that hot on the head.

        If they fix the temperature issue I will happily buy a new one.

      • MosBen

        I think that you’re right and it won’t be wireless, but something worth considering is that it would require three fewer USB ports to do room-scale VR. I know that simplifying setup to one HDMI and one USB cable sounds pretty nice, especially if you’re wanting to take a laptop and a Rift over to a friend’s house.

        • Andrew Jakobs

          But they’ll need some better tracking for the controllers, which have a 360 tracking or something (like an extra sensor at the back left/right for tracking the controllers when they are behind you).

  • George Vieira IV

    Personally I’m not planning on getting another headset until some sort of foveated rendering is implemented, that hopefully has a much larger sweet spot.

    • mirak

      That’s defintively the reasonable thing to do.

    • Lucidfeuer

      I don’t think that’s the right expectation, in fact FVR won’t change much about your experience at current specs. This is sad, but the priorities are lower and way more important, like higher res/FOV°, self-tracking, wireless/untethering, better ergonomics, see-through interfaces etc…

      • George Vieira IV

        This is really just a personal statement for my desires, as someone who plays sims and sculpts, more often than the more VR specific titles.

        Higher resolution screens, at the refresh rate you need for VR, on today’s specs, only makes sense if they get foveated rendering going.

        Higher field of view doesn’t matter to me unless the sweet spot is bigger. Stretching out the FOV on current resolutions and only having a sweet spot like the Rift would make a majority of the pixels rendered a waste, as most would be blurry due to lens distortion. Also higher FOV and motion can add to VR sickness.

        By self tracking do you mean full body tracking, face tracking, or what? Any improvements would be nice, but for me, and what I use the headset for a majority of the time, I don’t see this as a barrier to getting a new headset.

        I do think ergonomics could be improved on the Rift. Would like to see something like the PSVR HMD.

        Wireless is nice. Not sure about the added cost right now though. I don’t think I’d hold out for a wireless HMD if the rest of the specs were great.

        See through interfaces, like AR headsets?

  • Mateusz Pawluczuk

    If both Rift and Quest are going to have inside out tracking then why not just let users connect Quest to their PCs.

    Also 140 Fov with Eye Tracking and AI-generated peripheral vision sounds like a big win that would maybe put them Tensor Cores to some good use :)

    • FireAndTheVoid

      It sounds like it is a Quest that is connected to the PC. If so, then it will require less hardware to make and possibly be substantially cheaper than the Quest.

      As you point out though, it would be ideal to have a Quest-like headset that can connect to a PC.

      • sfmike

        But they would never price it to be cheaper than the Quest.

        • MosBen

          I could see them having the same price. $399 gets you a mobile version that’s not going to have the same graphics, or the desktop version which is tethered to a PC, and requires a graphics card, but has a sharper display and can present experiences with better graphics.

        • Andrew Jakobs

          Why wouldn’t they? Quest is for a different market than a PC connected headset. If they can drop the PC version of the Quest (so without a mobile soc) to $299 or less, than I think it will be a great sell. Still hoping it would have the new Samsung displays with the SDE reductionlayer..

    • Simon Wood

      I imagine it’s 100% certain that Quest will be able (official or un-official) to work with RiftCat/ALVR/etc. using wireless streaming to provide the video link.

      The wired connection is a lot more complicated that you might think; involving additional hardware costs, development time, certification, etc….

      I also think all these will (have to be) done for Rift-S (if that’s the name). The questions I would have is how much of a compromise they are making in the quality of the tracking to get this to market in 2019.

    • Albert Hartman

      FPS not the same

  • MosBen

    This is probably good news for the industry, though not likely something that I would pick up, which is fine. I’m sure that Oculus would prefer me to spend my money on software, rather than new hardware. But this lets them put out a new headset with some refined ergonomics that’s less expensive to make and is easier to set up. And it will work on basically any computer with a discrete graphics chip that’s three years old or newer. And 2-3 years later they can release a Rift 2 that makes some more significant improvements without only being usable by people with bleeding edge PCs.

    • Sandy Wich

      The PC community isn’t a console. It’s long term success as a single platform didn’t come from catering to old equipment for endless years on end, it came from innovating and doing at any given year what no other hardware on the planet could do. And everyone was happy to pay a small premium for that experience.

      The moment everyone started making cartoon games and stopped innovating is when sales for single products started to go up while overall interest in the PC market started to die.

      They traded long term success for short term gain.

      This, “modest upgrade”, will only hurt VR in the long run. People may buy it because they’re desperate for something better than the junk CV1 is, but people’s overall interest/belief in them will fade.

      I truly believe now that the future of VR isn’t with FB or what remains at Oculus. Their focus on trying to make VR explode by making it a cell phone without actually investing in it’s content shows how out of touch the entire company of FB is with consumers.

      • Downvote King

        Only a small percentage of PC gamers are buying premium hardware, and there are VR solutions coming to cater to them. The mainstream needs options too. The vast majority even of hardcore PC gamers are not dropping $1000 on a GPU. Headsets will have a console-like lifespan for the same reason as consoles.

        Once you develop and market a spec, software needs to match that, and production volume and sell through rates need to justify the whole process. This creates expensive R&D, marketing and sales cycles that need to be roadmapped for years out. Even still, there’s nothing stopping the hardcore fan from picking up a StarVR or PiMax 8K when they’re released if that’s what they really want. A Rift 1.5 doesn’t change that, it only offers a mainstream option, just like every mainstream option for a CPU, GPU, motherboard, RAM, etc. that’s the bread and butter market.

        All that said, I still expect a Rift 2 Half-Dome/Caspar to release in 2020/2021 along with nearly every other refresh of the console and headset market so I don’t believe this the Rift 1.5/S changes much at all.

        • kimdacosta

          “No existing or imminent RV hardware is good enough to be truly mainstream, even at a price of $ 0.00.”
          http://palmerluckey.com/

          • Downvote King

            I’m aware of Palmer Luckey’s thoughts on this. I don’t think he’s totally off base, but neither is he perfectly infallible, as evidenced by his removal as head of Oculus. It’s a sensational headline mostly, from my perspective. Regardless, it depends on your definition of “mainstream”; in this instance I refer to the mainstream of actual existing VR gamers, which is an already niche market. I do believe Quest could come awfully close to the true mainstream market though, approaching a Wii-like moment for VR, due to its positioning as a self-contained console that also offers true 6DOF movement and controls. It could very well be a watershed moment.

          • MosBen

            I don’t think that he’s right at all. Of course lots of people would take a Rift for free, or Vive Pro, or this Rift 1.5. The issue is that most of them would try it out for a bit and then set it down, where it would collect dust. VR’s biggest problem with a mainstream audience isn’t the quality of the hardware, but the need for content that appeals to people who aren’t hardcore gamers. Games like Beat Saber are fun for anyone, but how many people are interested in playing Serious Sam VR? Probably fewer than are interested in playing Serious Sam in 2d. VR needs more universal games like Beat Saber, as well as great non-gaming experiences. Finding engaging ways to be social through VR will probably contribute to its acceptance in the mainstream.

            But the number of people who would buy a VR headset if only they were truly 8k per eye is tiny.

          • Icebeat

            it is the quality of the hardware what stop not pro-gamers, the current units are uncomfortable, heavy, bulkiest, with very bad screen resolution (any VR unit, not only Oculus). if you give me a unit without this problems I will use it instead of my monitor. For work, watch tv, gaming or just read the news, the problem is that the current generation is a fucking shit.
            Games like Beat Saber are fun for anyone, true, but after a couple of hours you don’t play it anymore (unless you want to use it as physical activity), the same happened with the Nintendo Wii.

          • Skippy76

            Uhh.. I have over 100 hours in beat saber.. Over 500 hours in Onward.. Now im puting in a lot of hours for War Dust and Contractors!
            I Never play games on my 40 inch 4k monitor because the immersion in VR is worth the lower video quality. The HTC vive is super comfortable.
            I can play for over 3 hours straight

          • MosBen

            I just don’t think that the average person really cares that much about resolution. I mean, could they notice a difference between a CV1 and, say, a Vive Pro scree? Probably. Is that really the thing that is holding them back from a purchase? I haven’t seen any evidence that that is the case. I think that next generation HMDs will get upgraded screens just because the panel technology is developing anyway, but it’s not a major hurdle for VR adoption.

          • mirak

            I can say the same for a monitor, it’s uncomfortable and unhelethy to sit that long, the graphics are bad because it gives very bad distance perception, no bad depth perception, bad scale rendering, it’s like looking through an aquarium window instead of swimming in the aquarium.

          • mirak

            I disagree because I never saw the point of serious Sam in 2d because it was looking dumb and pointless.
            However in VR, after trying it, that’s another story, because blasting like crazy with hakimbo rocket launcher is just extremely fun.

            This exactly the same reason that beat saber is fun because it’s VR.

            I made try some games to my cousin which is a girl, she unexpectedly performed really good on Zombie Training Simulator and liked it.
            Of course she will not buy a Vive but someday when prices will drop a lot she might consider buy a psvr, who knows.

          • Skippy76

            He’s just a pessimistic moron!
            Just like MS saying console VR was a waste of time.
            Meanwhile Sony is raking in MILLIONS!!

        • mirak

          But maybe they shut need to recruit competent people.
          I mean some guys are doing Pavlov and onward alone.
          How can Valve, Bethesda and other can’t even port it’s own game to vr by just paying one guy ?

      • sfmike

        Trading long term success for short term gain is the crappy mantra of American corporations that have destroyed the country but made billionaires the new ruling class after their purchase of the US congress.

      • MosBen

        No, not everyone was willing to pay a small premium. Lots of people that play PCs play on older hardware, and that’s always been the case. That’s why game devs have to spend lots of time and money testing their games on a wide variety of hardware, not just Nvidia’s latest and greatest. It’s why MMOs usually have fairly modest graphics that don’t see huge graphical overhauls that often: lots of people only play MMOs and don’t keep their machines updated for new, fancy games.

        I’d be surprised if a majority of the sales of a Rift 1.5 were CV1 owners. As you point out, there’s not much that’s new about it. The people who might pick it up are people who don’t already own an HMD, or who own a Vive but are interested in the Rift’s controllers and exclusive games. For some people who don’t already own a Rift, the lack of a need to set up tracking base stations is a nice selling point, and it makes the Rift a lot more portable, especially when paired with a laptop with a discrete graphics card. It doesn’t open the audience up to a wider source of consumers, but it makes the product more appealing to people who might be wanting to give VR a try.

        VR’s success does not hinge on appealing to hardcore gamers that want bleeding edge specs. Those people are a tiny fraction of the population. VR’s success depends on finding a price and form factor that appeals to a broader audience, and they’re not as interested in having the latest and greatest specs as the hardcore community is.

        • But keep in mind the hardcore people deserve their own product as well.

          • MosBen

            I mean, do they? If there are enough hardcore enthusiasts to make the production of a high end VR HMD economically worthwhile, then some company will do it. It’s also possible that making a bleeding edge HMD is too expensive for the number of units sold, so nobody will do it, or it’ll fall to semi-professional crowd sourced products. I think that there will continue to be VR products targeted at the hardcore enthusiast market because those people are willing to spend lots of money to essentially beta test the latest and greatest products, but it won’t be because they deserve it.

          • NooYawker

            I’m going to say.. Yes, the hardcore deserve their own products because their high price purchases keeps the industry moving forward. Same way early adopters do, maybe even more so because the hardcore crowd keep doing it year after year.

            I used to buy every single video card that came out until it hit the $1000 price point. This allowed companies like Nvidia to have confidence people will buy their product, and it allowed them to lower the prices of their other products bringing them other gamers.

          • MosBen

            It’s not a question of deserving a product, it’s whether the market for such a product is sufficiently large to support development of the product. Nvidia has show, much to my dismay, that there are enough people willing to drop hundreds and thousands of dollars regularly on new video cards to justify them releasing their crazy expensive RTX cards. That may simply not be the case with the hardcore VR community; there may not be enough people willing to both buy expensive PC hardware as well as expensive HMDs to justify making the expensive HMDs. Who knows? Maybe the VR market will explode into the mainstream with some amazing new experiences available and the hardcore PC gaming crowd will become more interested in supporting a hardcore VR market. But it doesn’t seem like we’re there right now.

          • NooYawker

            Why dismay that people are willing to pay for the RTX cards? IF there wasn’t people willing to pay, the cycles would be much slower. it also pushes prices of the 1080Ti’s down.

            There’s a lot of promising tech in VR they’re all working on. We are literally on 1st gen, it’s basically the console equivalent of PONG or more realistically Atari 2600.

          • MosBen

            I mean, does it? Looking at PC Price Picker it doesn’t look like there’s been a significant drop off in the prices of any of the 10 series of cards. Sure, it pushes some older cards onto the used market, but it’s not like new cards result in lower retail prices for the old generation; the old generation just stops being made. The willingness of people to pay for RTX-level prices just means that Nvidia now knows that they can release cards at that price, so they will, rather than trying to find ways to deliver more horsepower for the same dollar.

            If anything, the price of the RTX cards is just an artifact of Nvidia dominating the video card market, with AMD not even really contesting them on performance. If Nvidia had some more competition they’d be forced to find a way to keep their prices lower.

          • NooYawker

            Oh damn, you’re right. 1080Ti’s are still damn expensive. What a sham!

          • MosBen

            I mean, it’s a shame for me, a gamer that likes upgrading but doesn’t feel the need to be on the bleeding edge or drop a grand on a piece of kit that will be outdated in a couple years, but from a VR perspective it makes it more likely that most next generation HMDs will target the 10 series of GPUs because that’s where the bulk of their potential audience will be. And that probably means a slight increase in resolution and maybe a slight increase in FOV, but not huge gains in either unless foveated rendering really comes through in a big way. That’s kind of a bummer for the hardware nerd in me, but the VR nerd just really wants VR to get into more homes, so the less that GPUs can be a barrier to people, the better.

          • They supported VR from the get to…

          • MosBen

            And how many units of VR HMDs have been sold? It’s amazing that we have consumer VR HMDs on the market today, but hardcore enthusiasts don’t “deserve” anything. That’s just not how products are created and sold. If there’s a large enough market in the hardcore enthusiast community for a company to reasonably expect that bleeding edge HMDs could be profitable, then they’ll make them. But if companies like Oculus decide not to push the envelope with bleeding edge HMDs, it will be because they didn’t think that it was worth the cost, not because they’re failing to give the hardcore crowd something that they deserve.

      • Jistuce

        “The PC community isn’t a console. It’s long term success as a single
        platform didn’t come from catering to old equipment for endless years on
        end, it came from innovating and doing at any given year what no other
        hardware on the planet could do. And everyone was happy to pay a small
        premium for that experience.”

        That is revisionist history at its finest.

        Until the turn of the century, the PC game market was largely focused on games that ran on everyone’s PC. Heavily optimized titles that did a lot with limited hardware. Titles that supported CGA, EGA, Hercules, and VGA, just to make sure they worked on everything. Titles that would play sounds on an AWE32 to the internal PC speaker. Titles that cut corners and used creative optimizations to fit a lot of functionality into a small amount of hardware.

        The first games that said “requires 3D accelerator” on the box were the heralds of a new era. An era of games that expected you to upgrade your hardware to play them. An era of games that asked you to spend hours tweaking options to gain performance on systems that weren’t top end because the developers couldn’t be bothered to optimize their code. An era that saw a slow but steady decline in PC game sales, as people opted NOT to spend hundreds of dollars on a fancy gaming graphics card.

        And as all this happened, as the purchasers of said games became more and more elitist about their platform, and even began trumpeting the biggest problems as strengths to be hailed.

        Twenty years of success thrown away so rich kids could brag on the internet about how 1337 their rig was.

      • care package

        My interest faded a long time ago, but I’ve been at it since DK2. Basically I’ve been looking forward to CV2 as my CV1 collects dust. As a gamer I’m interested in high performance. If VR eventually gives up on PC powered headsets, It wont be for me anymore. It does seem like FB is just going for the masses only now.

        • NooYawker

          FB’s business model is selling advertisement and personal data, so it makes sense they get their device on as many people as possible. Low priced and middle of the road is where FB wants their VR product to be. Like the Camry.

      • mirak

        It will not fade, because I still prefer play with resolution as long as I have this good tracking and this good presence that no monitor can ever give.
        Playing vr for graphics is just missing the point.
        It’s like reading a comic and saying it’s not as deep as a Victor Hugo book.
        You might not give up reading Victor Hugo books but that’s missing the point.
        If comics doesn’t have drawings like rambrandt you will not drop.the.comics, because that’s also missing the point.
        But someone might not like what makes comics, and that’s their business.

    • Not proceeding to next gen now would be a bad idea. The current resolation FOV etc. wont cut it.

      A modest upgrade is good, but next gen must not wait until its affordable by everyone.

      • sfmike

        So true, I don’t see VR going mainstream until FOV and resolution are upgraded. We live in an HD (now 4K) world but put on a HMD and watch a VHS quality 360 video and think the public finds this acceptable.

        • mirak

          Mainstream public was the one that bought shitty LCD flatscreen, with 720p resolution, ghosting and clouding, bad blacks, without HD Tuner, when you could get a 1080p TV for twice the price.

          Mainstream public will buy anything as long as it give them the feeling of belonging, and not be technologycally has been.
          It’s not the resolution of the HMD that would prevent that. It’s the price of HMD and the PC needed to run it.

          • MosBen

            And it’s not that the mainstream audience goes for less technologically sophisticated products because they’re dumb. My mom had a long and very successful career, but I have to make myself present for any major technology purchase that she makes because she just doesn’t care about tech details to put much thought into it. Any new TV would look good to her, especially when the comparison is to the relatively old 50″ LCD that they recently replaced. She cared about the size of the screen and that it was in her budget.

            People who visit sites like this are way outside the norm in terms of technical sophistication and what we expect from our interactions with technology. For people that aren’t as deeply interested, being affordable, comfortable, easy to use, and useful beyond being a cool new toy are all more important. That’s what needs to be figured out for the Gen 2 HMDs, not just how to bump some specs.

          • But bumping up specs is very important. Immersiveness is key to VR.

            As is modest upgrdes for lower end folks.

          • MosBen

            It’s very unlikely that Oculus, or any other major player, will release a new product that doesn’t have any upgrades over the current model. That doesn’t make sense. But they’ll likely be less significant upgrades than the hardcore folks would like because at this point in VR’s development it’s important to get as many people possible to incorporate it into their lives, and it’s not really the resolution, or other hardware spec that the hardcore is obsessed with, that’s holding VR back from broader acceptance.

          • You forget there are many cheap headsets from Windows MR.

            Immersiveness is part of whats gets folks into VR. Sony/Microsoft understood this.

      • MosBen

        The current resolution, FOV, etc. won’t cut it for whom? I know that I personally would love increased FOV, etc., but when I demo my Rift for people, not a one says that they would definitely buy it if only the panel resolution was better. I’ve actually never even gotten a complaint about SDE, or something that indicated that the panel was a problem for their enjoyment. The single biggest hurdle is that hardly anyone that I know owns a gaming PC, and indeed most use a laptop that’s a few years old and doesn’t have a discrete graphics card. Or they aren’t techie enough to want to set it up, or run cables around their house. It’s cost, ergonomics, and lifestyle issues that hold back the hardware, not resolution or FOV. And even more important, it’s that there aren’t that many experiences which are so good on their own that people feel that they NEED to go get a VR device. Beat Saber is as close as I’ve ever seen.

        But hardly anyone is sitting on an RTX 2080 thinking that they’d love to get an HMD if only there were a new product that really pushed their system.

        • brandon9271

          Hardly anyone you know owns a gaming PC… So what? What about all the millions of PC gamers that are out there according to Steam sales statistics? Facebook is trying to sell VR to everybody and their grandma but can’t even get most PC gamers to adopt it.. why? Because it’s just not that compelling of an experience. Both the software and the hardware are lacking. People might not be tech savvy enough to know the resolution or FOV aren’t sufficient. They just know they aren’t impressed but can’t articulate why. That doesn’t mean VR is ok as is and it definitely doesn’t mean low quality mobile VR is the key to winning everybody over

          • MosBen

            I tried to get that across, but I wasn’t clear enough, I suppose: it’s not just that people don’t complain specifically about resolution. It’s that they don’t bring up things that could be tied to resolution, like “I wish the text was sharper”, “I don’t like that grid that I can see”, etc. To a person, the experience itself is impressive; it’s things like needing to own a gaming PC, which they don’t own, the cost, etc. that keeps them from buying one for themselves.

            But you’re right that the software is lacking. I certainly enjoy some VR games, but very few are broadly appealing beyond the gamer demographic. Beat Saber is the best one so far; people pick it up easily and leave the experience talking about how they want to come back and play more. VR needs a half dozen more experiences like that, including some non-gaming and social applications, which will make people feel like they need to put the headset on on a regular basis, not just to experience some novelty.

          • brandon9271

            I think that developers should take more last gen games and convert them to VR. They also need not sell them at $60 like they did Skyrim. Taking some older games that run on lower specs but offer up a full AAA experience and selling them for $20-30 would help PC VR out a lot and it wouldn’t cost much. VR is plagued with a bunch of indie shovelware and barely functional tech demos. My Rift collects dust because most experience lack depth and are boring in a few hours or just don’t work correctly. I agree that higher spec hardware isn’t going to solve VRs most glaring problems. With any platform, software is key. People could overlook the high cost IF there was a killer app or two to justify the purchase. There’s not

          • Hivemind9000

            I agree with everything you have said, however I still think hardware needs to be continuously developed, not so much for more resolution/FOV (which is nice but is currently at the high end of performance), but also things like eye tracking and foveated rendering to help moderate hardware achieve better results.

            I don’t think Oculus is going to be that company. They’re becoming the Apple of the VR industry – selling well crafted, but moderately spec’d hardware to the masses. It unfortunately is going to fall to less well funded companies like Pimax and StarVR to push the hardware technology forward. I hope they can carve out a big enough niche to allow them to continue to innovate. Hopefully the big guys (Sony, Oculus et al) will be forced to keep up – albeit with a 12+ month lag behind.

            The VR industry could be entering dangerous waters. With resolutions not quite good enough yet, but beyond all but the best hardware, and price points still a little too high for technology that has yet to prove itself invaluable for daily use. We’re nearly there, but it’s going to take another 3-5 years of iteration to get there, at least. Hopefully the money (and R&D) won’t run dry before then…

          • MosBen

            I agree that there aren’t many killer apps for VR, though I do think that Beat Saber is one, but I don’t really think that conversions like Skyrim are really the way forward. Those games were not designed for VR, and while it’s neat, I think that it would be better to just give developers a few more years of working in the medium to really get good at playing into the VR experience. They’re still just learning what works and what doesn’t.

          • mirak

            Did you play Obduction.

          • MosBen

            I feel like I purchased it during a sale, but haven’t tried it yet. Good?

          • To the average person…but not to those who poured money into the high end VR w/ widescreen, etc.

            Plenty call the gen 1 VR tech crap…

            And many dislike the FOV.

            The more immersive the tech, the better the end result that cannot be reached w/o compelling software.

            Its best to serve the enthusists and he average folks who wont bring up issues you stated.

          • MosBen

            But there just aren’t that many enthusiasts. It’s a small, dedicated market, but it’s better for the industry to have a bigger user base. By definition catering to the enthusiasts instead of the mainstream audience’s desires will not help the tech go mainstream.

          • catering to both shall

          • MosBen

            It’s all about allocating resources. Right now, I’m sure that Oculus is mostly concerned with getting the Quest right because they view it as a product that could reach into a broader market than the Rift, and they’re probably right. I don’t doubt that they’ll eventually release a tethered system with wider FOV, etc., but I would be quite surprised indeed if they ever again release hardware that requires a top of the line PC in order to use it. That’s just too small a market.

          • mirak

            The only time were I consider the FOV to be a real limitation, is in a racket game like Holoball, where you can’t use peripheral vision to not hit the ball and watch were you want to put the ball at the same time.
            You kind of hit blindly.

          • vtid

            There are scores of games similar to Beat Saber, but weren’t afforded the luxury of expensive marketing. There are loads of great experiences on Rift and generally in VR. Have you never tried using vr apps/sims to learn real-life tasks, that are then transferable into the non-virtual world? Things you’d normally have to spend hundreds on equipment like dj-ing or genuinely-realistic sporting sims. Or simply games like Lone Echo, Echo Arena, Onward etc etc etc. I regularly use my Rift and have done for 2.5 years. If Beat Saber is the best vr app you can think of, it does make me wonder how far you’ve truly explored the VR software that’s out there. I’d love higher resolution, fov etc, but what I have now is still amazing. There are already so many things that I can do, albeit virtually, that weren’t possible before.

          • vtid

            I wouldn’t class myself as a big gamer, but certainly a vr enthusiast. I bought the cv1 from the beginning and bought it for the vr experience, rather than specifically for gaming or music or films etc. I’ve played hundreds of apps in vr but most of the vr stuff I do now is life-like sims to learn real skills that can be transferred into reality: Djing, table tennis etc. I hadn’t really considered this at the time I bought the Rift because I thought I’d mostly play games in vr, but I find such a wide selection of different experiences and ways to use vr than I had ever thought possible. My point being, most probably get into vr for gaming or have waited a long time for vr to actually arrive in consumer’s homes, but if people were told about all the other possibilities within vr, even today, this might have a positive effect on potential purchases. Although it also may make bugger-all difference!

          • MosBen

            That’s cool. What are your favorite edutainment experiences? The DJ-ing one sounds interesting.

          • vtid

            ‘Vinyl Reality’ for vinyl dj-ing. ‘Tribe’ for cdjs. The only other one would be ‘Eleven: Table Tennis’. A game I’ve not played in a year or so but I used to play it a LOT, and got good, and other players had said their skills transferred 99% onto a real-life TT table with no prior RL experience; I think it’s amazing that VR can do that.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      If they can put it on the market for like $299 or less, than I would certainly consider it. I would be glad with a Quest without mobile soc.. Or a quest with the option to connect it to the PC so you would have the best of both..

      • brandon9271

        I’d like to see a Rift 1.5 with inside tracking, oled panels as good or better than Vive pro and possibly have it been compatible with existing Touch controllers and available as HMD only for current Rift owners. However, If the whole kit is cheap enough the last bit won’t matter

        • MosBen

          Same here, with the addition of maybe some slightly improved lenses that reduce the god rays. That all seems doable. If they increased the FOV to, say, 120 degrees, that would be cool, but is probably hoping for too much.

    • mirak

      If they take 30% like steam apple and Google of course they will prefer you buy software.
      By they way probably oculus should have locked the rift like apple do with iPhones.
      I have a vive so I would not care.

  • Mei Ling

    “Half Dome was actually a prototype for the second iteration of Rift”

    This makes a lot of sense; they can have more time to work on R&D for the next full iteration meanwhile they can make incremental upgrades at lower cost to the existing Rift design and sell that as a product as well to appease the more “hardcore” fans of VR. Either way it seems to be a win-win.

  • airball

    Interesting. This is completely compatible with the idea that Rift 2 has in fact been canceled. Recall Oculus’ language in their retort was that they are “planning a future version of Rift”, which could just be this S model. It sounds like very carefully chosen words to me.

    • FireAndTheVoid

      If this is released in 2019, then it would seem to implicitly confirm the TechCrunch article. If this was a planned mid-cycle upgrade, then it would have been announced at this year’s Oculus Connect – which it wasn’t. A mid-cycle upgrade without a corresponding announcement would indicate that the Rift roadmap was changed at the last minute.

      • daveinpublic

        Still doesn’t mean they’ve cancelled Rift 2. We’ll get Rift 2, but not as our next step. They may be running out of money to create this futuristic version of the Rift in the near term. Facebook has billions, but investors have a limit to how much you can invest in unproven technology before they cry foul. Facebook is already dumping hundreds of millions into content, and releasing multiple different categories of headsets. Give them a little time to make some money from their investment into VR and they’ll have Rift 2 ready.

        • sfmike

          So true as investors are pulling out in droves at this point. The VR hype bubble has popped and we must hope we can carry on and not go the way of 3D TV and have manufactures pretend the tech never existed.

          • gothicvillas

            I love 3d films :( always get good one on blu ray, such a treat on large 120in screen. Every time I use my pj and 3d film, it blows my mind again and again

          • Andrew Jakobs

            Mine too, I love 3D movies on my 120″ screen.. I only whished I had a laserprojector and the glasses would be a bit larger (still think the ‘windows’ of most shutterglasses are too small).

          • MosBen

            Is there a good way to watch 3D movies on the Rift? And where would you get the 3D content to do that?

          • Andrew Jakobs

            Don’t know, isn’t there a 3d movie viewer in the oculusstore? And I guess 3d bluray’s would be your choice (or you know the iso rips/SBS/HOU versions).

          • MosBen

            I know that Oculus *JUST* shut down their official video rental store, but it’d be nice if there was an easy portal for that type of stuff without having to buy BR versions or download questionably legal copies from sketchy sites.

          • Andrew Jakobs

            Well, I don’t think there are many (legal) streamingsites that actually have 3D versions. Don’t even think there were any in the Oculus store (don’t know, never looked at that store). I personally have a large 3D bluray collection, but it’s not growing as large as my 2D collection, as the prices of 3d blurays are MUCH higher..

  • Sandy Wich

    This is what happens when a company who only knows how to invest in concepts that sell themselves tries to invest in something that can’t.

    Seriously they need to focus less on competing with Sony and trying to turn VR into a cell phone’s success story and start focusing on the evolution of the technology. A modest refresh ain’t going to cut it. If a Chinese kickstarter can top Rift 1.5, then Oculus has no future.

    Quest isn’t making VR better. It’s the same thing as before but letting you look stupid in your back yard vs your VR play space. Nobody’s going to buy this thing past the initial 500k fanatics who will support anything/everything VR blindly.

    Palmer was right. That thing could be free and given away to every person on the planet and nobody’s going to be using it 6 months from now if it stays at the level it is and has no real content.

    The best thing this company could do for VR is make a real Gen 2 headset, pull down their tragically retarded “PC walled garden”, they’ve built and instead of firing off/shooing the fathers of VR, maybe invest in giving a shit about this passion and helping be a part of it outside of Zuckerbergs secret VR lab?

    • What so fascinating about cell phone games?

      Boring…

      • mirak

        Snake is a very fun game.

    • sfmike

      The problem is they aren’t seeing the quick profits the tech gurus were promising two years ago and the VR bubble has broken. Profits are ALL that matter to these billion dollar companies. We will be lucky to survive.

      • NooYawker

        Why are you coming to this VR site to push bullshit, like “VR bubble” and tech gurus promising profits.

        Who the fuck is “we will be lucky to survive”

        You are obviously a VR hater, I don’t get your agenda.

    • mirak

      Please stop with Pimax, they have proven nothing at a large scale.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Pimax hasn’t proven anything, the consumer headsets of Pimax are much more expensive as they kickstarter price. If Oculus can target a $299 price with their new headset (essentially Quest without mobile soc), than they have a good chance of selling a lot of units.
      You have to accept that these companies are not targetting the very small elitist VR enthousiasts who can afford a GPU that can drive a Gen 2 headset (even the current 2080 have problems driving a 4k per eye headset with AAA graphics on high/ultra), they are more down to earth and recon that it still takes years for the GPU prices to come down to mainstream PC’s with the power needed for drive those gen2 headsets.

    • MosBen

      The “has no real content” bit of your post is doing a lot of work there. Hardware isn’t holding VR back from wider adoption. The number of people sitting on RTX 2080s hoping for Gen 2 VR and twiddling their thumbs in the meantime is tiny. What’s holding people back is primarily a lack of a compelling reason for why the need VR. Everyone that I demo my Rift for is impressed, but before Beat Saber not many of them were talking about really wanting to come back to play again. The industry needs non-gaming experiences that people will use on a regular basis, hopefully something social. And they need to release games like Beat Saber that are easy to pick up and appeal to non-gamers.

      And people care about price (including the price of having a PC to run VR), and ergonomics, and ease of use. Building the Rift 2 to appeal to the people with the best video cards is a sure-fire way to sell just as many units as they sold in 2016, when their minimum spec was a GTX 970.

      • vtid

        Stop banging on about beat saber! There are hundreds of better apps out there, and many more that are just like beat saber too if that’s what floats your boat.

        • MosBen

          When the history of this ear of VR is written, I have a strong suspicion that Beat Saber will be remembered as a pivotal early VR game. Yes, there are other music-base VR games, but Beat Saber is the best game that I’ve tried at just feeling right and good, especially with new players. Sure, most people fail the first level that they load, but they almost immediately understand why, and are propelled into playing some more. And it’s the game that has had the most people tell me in a different social context that they want to come to my house again to play Beat Saber some more.

          Of course there are other good games out there, but Beat Saber clicks in a way that I think is a sign that it really understands the medium in a way that not all early VR games do.

          • vtid

            :) Sorry if my response sounded a bit harsh, but I don’t like the hype for Beat Saber. In Audio Shield (2-3 years old?) you can choose any song from your pc or youtube, song or video. For me that flexibility of songs makes all the difference in this genre.

          • MosBen

            I mean, obviously tastes vary, but it’s the immediacy of swinging light sabers to the music that really works for Beat Saber. I’ve only played Audio Shield as a 2d game, but it never quite clicked for me as well as other music games like Rock Band or Beat Saber.

  • HomeAudio

    For me:
    – inside-out tracking disqualifying headset
    – next my vr headset definitely will have wide FOV (170 degree or higher)
    – fovetal rendering and/or lower screen door effect could be nice addition for my next vr headset (but it is not key factor for me).

  • ivan

    Article is ok, except that it contradicts last Mark Zuckerberg message about Oculus Quest, that it close first generation for Oculus

    • Thomas Van Iseghem

      Yeah I was thinking that too, the CEO himself essentially confirmed that following headsets would be next gen so i’m confused now

  • So much for being leaders of the VR industry…

  • So much for being leaders of the VR idustry…

  • Nerd Man

    I predict that the next major upgrade will happen in 4 years based on Michael Abrash’s keynote at OC5. All of the “predictions” were 4 years. (This talk is likely just their future product road map).

  • kimdacosta

    “No existing or imminent VR hardware is good enough to go truly mainstream, even at a price of $0.00. You could give a Rift+PC to every single person in the developed world for free, and the vast majority would cease to use it in a matter of weeks or months…” Palmer Luckey
    http://palmerluckey.com/

    • mirak

      But that’s bullshit.
      I mean people were playing snake on their dumb phone.
      They got a phone because it was usefull to call communicate with people.

      About the HMD, I work in software development, and have coworkers who never tried an HMD.
      I showed them a netflix show in the Gear VR with a cinema app, and they loved it.
      Of course some of them noticed pixels, but what they liked was beeing able to watch a movie like in a theatre.

      I think they are doing a big mistake by not creating headsets dedicated to watch movies, considering how much people watch tv shows now.

      • MentalParadox

        Playing Snake on a phone is quick, easy, and free of hassle. Very different from using any current-gen VR headset.

        • mirak

          Not even plugging a home cinema is simple.
          But people do it anyway.

          If VR is not bigger it’s because it’s not indispensable yet.
          Because people don’t see the usages yet.
          It’s like people resisting mobile phones because they did without it since now.
          Resisting flatscreens because it’s to big and associate it with rich people.

          With vr it’s rather they think it isolates, or that you look ridiculous with it, or that it’s geek stuff.

          Most resistance as nothing to do with the technology itself.
          People are sheeps, and will first mentally resist innovation.

          • MentalParadox

            Installing a home cinema is something you do ONCE. Starting a VR session is something you’re expected to do every time, and takes way more steps than just taking out your phone and playing a quick game. I think you’re severely underestimating the importance of convenience.

          • mirak

            I install VR once.
            I start the computer if it wasn’t started.
            I take the two controllers, push the button to power them on.
            I put the headset on, and it’s done, I am in VR.

          • Gregory Martin

            With Oculus’ Rift core 2.0 … I pick up my controllers and put on the HMD.. pretty nice actually…

          • Tharny

            Me starting a VR session: Boot up pc -> put on HMD -> done

      • MW

        That’s the truth. Deal with it. Wishfull thinking or facts. It is not the time for VR yet.

        • mirak

          The time for what ?
          You must not have unrealistic expectations.
          In the eighties not everyone had a computer at home.
          Was anyone saying it was not personal computer time ?

          It all depends of someone agenda.

          Who was really thinking that in 2 years VR would be as popular as phones ?

          • MW

            Are you crazy…? What you have/want it’s your business. What masses have/want – that matters. People expect what people expect – you (as engineer/salesman) have to deal with it. Period. And now we know – years with modern VR shows, that HD-based-VR does not meet the expectations of the masses. It looks like crap (compared to modern monitors).
            It have nothing to do with time. Product is too weak to be popular. And requires unbelievably large amount of money to make it better – so it’s dead, for now.

          • Skippy76

            Dude. You’re clueless!
            VR looks AMAZING and its 100times more immersive than pancake monitors! Look up War Dust. Its basically battlefield in VR!
            I setup my htc vive once and it just works amazingly! All i need to do is open Steam, press the power button on my controllers and strap the HMD on my head. The wireless adapter also makes the experience even better!! Play skyrim on the PC, then play it on the vive and i garantee you will pick Vive! You’re really there in the world!
            People that don’t like Vive are either LAZY gamers or just too poor to buy it.

          • care package

            You sound new to VR. Mine collects dust. When I had the DK2 I swore I’d never play flat screen gaming again, yet now only play flat screen gaming. The novelty of it wore completely off. Flat screen gaming is still more comfortable and prettier. Feeling like I’m in a virtual theater wasn’t worth the res hit anymore. Also, people still buy the Vive over Rift at this point? lol.

          • Skippy76

            I am most definitely not new to VR, i’ve been an enthusiast since it came out in the 90s. I’ve owned my vive for over 2 years now and waiting for my vive pro and wireless adapter.
            The only reason I dont play more is that life gets in the way. Im in the Onward master league and compete every week. Prizes are $25000 and we get lots of cool swag and loot. There are so many types of room scale games theres no reason to go back to monitor gaming.
            BTW the Vive is a far better headset. Oculus tracking is shit unless you have 3+ sensors. Which requires a lot of long USB cables. Terrible design!

          • care package

            Lol. Ok. People are doing fine with 2 sensors, especially if they’re set up correctly. Most get more sensors to increase play area. The bullet points for the Rift far outnumber the dev kit called the vive imo. Def glad I went with Rift. Absolutely cannot do ext headphones either

          • Skippy76

            Theres a difference between doing fine and precise tracking.
            The only thing I find better on the oculus is the controllers. Which the knuckles will hopefully address. Dev kit? Why do you think arcades are using Vives over Rift??

          • care package

            Because for the first year Oculus didn’t have motion controls, so Vives got commercially adopted early on for that reason. It certainly doesn’t have anything to do with Rift sensor unreliability.

          • paul

            I love my 3 sensors. Tracking is amazing.

          • Pre Seznik

            Talking about wishful thinking. VR is far from dead, it doesn’t even make sense to talk about it in those terms.

          • JustNiz

            VR is far from dead but Oculus aren’t.

          • mirak

            We are the people. Even if we are not the masses.
            The masses do not all buy force feedback wheels or Hotas, or 2080ti.
            But they do exists and are not going away.

        • Dave

          VR is wonderful, I absolutely love it. Each to there own. What you’ve said has nothing to do with PL statement which is about true global adoption like the mobile phone; that may never happen – this is where AR will have an advantage as it will have more pratical use cases but that is decades away.

        • JustNiz

          Bullshit. Ive been a happy Vive user since it first came out, and am very much looking forward to receiving my backed Pimax soon. I tried them at the LA meetup, The Pimax headsets are amazing.

      • Dave

        Palmer Luckey spot on. The market you are targetting already has the Go and Quest. I think it’s sensible to do a refresh in the short term. I’ve said a million times we’re not ready for a second generation yet. No one has produced what I would call a second generation headset so maybe we all need to think smaller increments.

        • JustNiz

          > we’re not ready for a second generation yet.

          Sure we are. The Pimax 8K broke the Kickstarter record as by far the most funded project ever, and that was more than a year ago. The demand is definitely there.

  • wcalderini

    I think it’s kind of a shame. Having just plunked down my $700 for a Pimax 5k Plus, I worry about the current state of VR. The bitcoin craze put a SERIOUS dent in early adoption. Instead of the price of admission slowly falling enough for the masses “interest” to converge with affordability the skyrocking GPU prices and availability made it an even more expensive prospect. I really liked what I was seeing with Half-Dome as well, as a lot of good ideas were set to be implemented. I’ll try to keep my optimism that this is just a “peed-bump” and not a new direction, but I don’t think Iribe would have bailed if it was just a a “delay” and not a death stroke. We’ll see. There’s a big old VR innovation ball laying around out there. Guess we’ll see who has “nards” to pick it up.
    (Just my 2 cents, and I wonder how long it will take my Pimax to ship)

    • mirak

      I tried to play Pavlov on my old R9 280X, along a I5 4690, and it’s working pretty fine.

      The R9 280X is equivalent to a GTX 1050.

    • MosBen

      I think that what VR needs most is to just give the community of developers a few years to really figure out some uses for VR that can hold the interest of a non-hardcore gamer outside of the cool new toy phase of ownership. Beat Saber is probably one of those uses, as it just grabs everyone that plays it. But hopefully in a few years we’ll see half a dozen more releases that make people want to come back to VR because the experience is not just novel, but compelling. Then they can release a true Gen 2 unit (probably in 2021 or so), when they’ll be able to deliver slightly better graphics, a bump in resolution, a modest increase in FOV, without a significant increase in the minimum specs.

      I’m sure that the goal is that anyone with a graphics card 5 years old or newer or a PC without a discrete GPU with a processor 2 years old or newer to be able to use a VR HMD.

      • mirak

        I don’t understand why people expect vr to explode without going through years of normal steps like trying it at friends place, and stuff like that.

        At the time I had to try PS1 at my cousins place to want to buy one.

        • MosBen

          The concern, and it’s not unreasonable, is that if several years pss without the VR industry starting to bring in lots of money, no company will continue to invest in it, and it’ll just die a slow death from lack of software support leading to lack up updated hardware, etc. And then one day nobody is really talking about VR outside of a dedicated fan base, like what happened from the 90s through the early 2010s. I don’t think that this is likely because the hardware is much better and much cheaper than it was in the 90s, and even if it’s not quite good enough for mass adoption it’s close enough that some of the bigger players like Facebook will probably want to keep the development of the tech going so that when it finally does break through they are positioned to be leaders in the area.

          That said, it’s a fairly critical period for VR, and hopefully software developers will really figure out what makes it great and put out some games or experiences that people just have to play.

          • mirak

            No it won’t die.
            It’s like saying force feedback wheels or hotas would die because not many people have one.
            There is too many people now than can’t play without a VR headset, and who just disdain regular games now.
            Same as people would never play a racing game or a seem with a joypad.

          • MosBen

            I mean, I think that that’s an open question. If developers don’t continue to make money selling VR software, they’ll go on to make other things; phone games, 2d games, etc. CCP games got out of the VR business because it wasn’t growing fast enough for them. Similarly, hardware manufacturers need to see enough sales to justify all of the upfront costs of setting up supply chains, etc.

            Maybe VR is like the market for racing wheels, with a large enough dedicated community to provide just enough profit to ride out the lean years until VR becomes more widespread. But I don’t know that we know for sure if that’s going to be the case.

          • JustNiz

            Yes, there’s a big risk that VR will go the way of 3D TVs, just another fad that never really took off beyond a few enthusiasts. Note how 3D TV was supposed to be the next big thing only like 4 years ago, yet hardly any of this years TVs even support 3D.

  • gothicvillas

    Oh well, leave it to Sony and PS5.

    • Lucidfeuer

      Maybe even before the PS5…

  • Andrew Jakobs

    If they’ll put it on the market for $399 or less, than it’s a very viable option. It’s a more down to earth decision. Yes ofcourse enthousiasts want wider FOV, 4k per eye etc, but the current mainstream GPU has problems already with the current Vive and Rift to drive them with the settings people expect for AAA games (ultra/high)..
    I wouldn’t even be suprised if it’s just the quest without the mobile soc and for a price like $299 or something like that. That would be a great headset, hopefully employing the new samsung displays with the SDE reducing layer..

    • HomeAudio

      Fovetal rendering will allow to current generation of graphics cards to work properly with headsets with wide FOV and 4k per eye.

      • Andrew Jakobs

        It MIGHT work, but it requires good eyetracking for a decend experience. And (good) eyetracking adds another hefty price to the headset. And even current generation mainstream GPU’s (which the 1070 is at the TOP, even the 1060/6GB is not really mainstream with it’s 260+ euro pricetag). You really have to consider that these big companies aren’t really interested in only a niche market, that’s for the small companies who target big businesses/industry who don’t mind spending $10.000+ on a headset and computers.

        • HomeAudio

          “You really have to consider that these big companies aren’t really interested in only a niche market, that’s for the small companies who target big businesses/industry who don’t mind spending $10.000+ on a headset and computers.”

          And here I see very important mission of FB/HTC/Microsoft/Samsung/Lenovo/Acer. They should somehow convince NVidia/AMD to work on hardware implementation of fovetal rendering. Not bad eye-tracking solutions already exists and with bigger volume it can be cheeper and cheeper in production.

  • LANFEUST DAYTONA

    It’s a good decision but they should keep in mind that Pimax and Samsung have serious hardware.
    To be competitive Oculus should give us the best possible image quality
    and comfort. Hand tracking should be implemented too and taking
    advantage of the new RTX cards. We need serious OLED panels and lenses.

    • HomeAudio

      Hand tracking is only funny nevelity in VR. To operate with anything in VR you will have to watch your hands all the time – other than that you will not know if you are touching something or not. Still for variety of scenarios good controlers (or VR gloves with sense of touch) still are the best solution and I suppose will be only solution for long time.

      • HomeAudio

        *novelty

      • jj

        have you tried leap motion yet? because the way that you say that makes me think you havent…. of course itll be nicer with resistance and feedback but lm works great

        • HomeAudio

          I have to admit that I haven’t. So… can you explain me how you will grab some things from table (in virtual space) not seeing it (for example looking in different direction)? I am very curious what gives you know that you grabbed this thing that you wanted?

    • JustNiz

      Oculus are clearly not actually interested in the PC VR market anymore. They want the crappy low-end standalone market, and as far as I’m concerned, they can keep it.

  • Ombra Alberto

    FOV FOV FOV
    sharpness

    • HomeAudio

      100% agree.

  • Meow Smith

    Looks like Oculus is lagging behind HTC on the pc front, what ever gains they have made so far are going to be lost once HTC releases their 2nd gen if it comes out sooner than theirs.

    • JustNiz

      Oculus is now effectively dead in the PC VR world. The Vive Pro was little more than a smallest possible refresh of the Vive, so HTC aren’t much better. The real innovation is now coming from smaller companies like Pimax, StarVR and Valve.

  • Eddie Barsh

    This is a terrible decision and its bad for VR. I’m a VR junkie but the headsets we have are junk. All of them. They’re all junk. You can’t convince me otherwise despite what anyone says. They’re too big, they’re too costly, the resolution is low, the FOV is crap, no eye tracking, no finger tracking for many of them and for headsets like the PSVR the tracking of the headset itself is trash. We need HTC and Oculus to release a true 2nd Gen headset NOW and amaze ppl with much higher quality and that’s how it will go mainstream. The only thing that will save Oculus is the Quest and all other future standalone headsets. That will keep them relevant. But they are going to lose alot of customers when HTC and various other manufacturers start releasing headsets that put the Rift S to shameshame. I think that’s one of the main reasons VR is struggling to latch on is because they’re not punching out 2nd gen headsets fast enough. We should have already had a Rift, Vive 2.

    • HomeAudio

      “NOW” will work ONLY if NVidia/AMD seriously will be involved in VR industry. Hardware implementation of (not fixed/adaptable) fovetal rendering is key element for serious progress in terms of visual quality of headsets. Additionally big companies involved in LCD/OLED screens productions also should make serious progress in direction of VR. Without involving biggest technology companies progress of improvement of VR Headsets will be very slow. FB is not hardware company, HTC best time has behind… Samsung is going into direction of mobile VR… Microsoft as usually has strange ideas…. chinese headsets are not polished in many aspects…

      • mirak

        Nvidia is involved in VR since a long time, and are doing research really ahead of it, with lightfield displays prototypes. ( Made with parts of the Sony hlmz-t1 )

        I think they support foveated rendering already, but almost no game engine does.

    • jj

      oh ok theyll just press their magic generate hardware button and pair in their new software plugin so it just magically all works today for you. or better idea if you know how things should be better than everyone else why don’t you hop onto one of those teams and help out.

    • gothicvillas

      I think the issue is in GPU. We simply don’t have cheap means to move the graphics you talk about. VR will take off when we can have Quest type headset with equivalent GPU to RTX2080.

    • mirak

      I am still amazed by what made me want to buy a Vive after trying it 2 years ago on the Arizona Sunshine and Job Simulator demos.

      The precision of the tracking and the 1:1 rendering.

      Graphics, fov, eye tracking, are secondary.
      This is not where is the real breakthrough and innovation.

      Maybe the problem with VR is that tracking is so perfect and transparent that people take it as a given without appreciating it.

    • JustNiz

      > We need HTC and Oculus to release a true 2nd Gen headset NOW

      Yeah good luck with that. the 2nd gen is actually already here, but coming from smaller more agile companies like Pimax and StarVR.

  • dk

    so the Rift S will be exactly a 90hz Quest ….without the phone hardware processing inside and without the fixed foveated rendering
    …..makes sense to be the same so it’s cheap to produce….but the price will be the interesting bit

  • 3872Orcs

    I guess this is good for people who want an upgrade, though the competition was there first. I already have 1.5 hardware with the Vive Pro and Wireless and hopefully in some months I’ll get my Pimax5k+

  • Oculus are not looking to upgrade existing VR users. They want to capture new users. Having 3 products all at (what we consider) the bottom end is odd though. Maybe they want to redirect VR content development to the inside-out, low graphics end.

    They now have a 3DOF mobile headset, a 6DOF mobile headset and a Rift S (Simple?) that will be joining the Windows Mixed Reality (WMR) club.

    This leaves existing VR users that enjoy full tracking with no refresh for several years other than the prosumer market which is Vive Pro, Pimax, StarVR (maybe? too silent).

    There is an empty void between Rift/Vive and Vive Pro/Pimax that nobody is filling and I think that is where cash ready existing VR users exist.

    • HomeAudio

      “They want to capture new users. ”
      “This leaves existing VR users that enjoy full tracking with no refresh for several years ”

      Unfortunately they will lost old users. If next VR headset from Oculus will not satisfy me than (for sure) I will buy something different (maybe Pimax 5K+).

    • JustNiz

      > They want to capture new users.
      They’re not going to do it with a warmed-over 1st gen headset, especially with other companies such as Pimax, StarVR and Valve releasing far better/more innovative options.

      • Get real. Pimax will not pull in new users, they are after existing users that want more and willing to pay maximum cost for it, also they are targeting enthusiasts. StarVR is still stuck in a prototype stage and Valve is 99% rumor based on a few photos.

  • polysix

    Twats. Good on Brendan (and Palmer’s recent post) for sticking to VR ideals .race to the bottom is right .VR won’t work out that way .

  • NooYawker

    If they keep it at the same price point then why not? Give new consumers a slight upgrade since the products been out 2 years already.

    • JustNiz

      Because VR is still immature so people want more than a slight upgrade still based on the first gen. Other companies are out there like StarVR and Pimax that are actually delivering far better. Oculus are effectively now dead in the water as a serious VR company.

  • MW

    VR I dead. For now. Insufficient hardware (insufficient compared to mass expectations), that’s all (like in 90’s). I mean not entirely dead. Dream is alive. And niche of enthusiast exists.

    But poor hardware = too few users. Not popular hardware = poor software. Poor software = even less users. And circle of death is complete. Furthermore, times have changed. It’s very difficult to get to the masses with new product.

  • The Power-Gap between high-rez HMD’s and GPU’s is a real problem. If Eye-Tracking isn’t on the list of things for the Rift S, then the Rift S isn’t going to help at all. FOV rendering is the only hope for high-rez VR a reality anytime soon.

  • paul

    If the rift headset gets an upgrade, I am in. I want a bit higher res, and sound that doesn’t fail after 6 months this time, headphones are only amazing if wires don’t ruib inside and fail.

  • JustNiz

    Thanks, now I’m even happier that I’m a Pimax backer.
    It was obvious that Oculus were already struggling to really innovate, with Iribe gone and now this, Oculus are clearly gonna be bottom-feeders that only compete with no-name chinese Walmart specials.