Though Oculus touts the Rift S as its “most advanced, PC-powered gaming headset,” the headset is notably trailing other Oculus headsets (including the original Rift) in customer ratings on Amazon. Meanwhile, Quest has taken the lead as the most favorably rated Oculus headset, ranking as high (or higher) than major game consoles.
Rift S and Quest launched on May 21st, with the former being the company’s second PC VR headset, and the latter being the company’s first standalone headset with 6DOF tracking.
Though Rift S definitely brings a handful of improvements over its predecessor (like 360 room-scale tracking with no external sensors, higher resolution, less SDE, and improved lenses) it also comes with a handful of downgrades (like no IPD adjustment, weak audio, worse contrast, and a lower refresh rate).
While Oculus has made clear that Rift S is about drawing new users into the PC VR ecosystem, their current PC VR customers base seems largely comprised of early adopter enthusiast types, many of which have been waiting for a worthy upgrade to the original Rift which launched three years ago. Despite Oculus showing off some impressive headset R&D in the intervening years, the Rift S doesn’t feel like three years of progress over the original Rift.
That may partly explain why the Rift S is the lowest rated Oculus headset on Amazon, currently sitting at 3.7 out of 5 stars against 187 reviews. That’s lower than the original Rift (which Oculus discontinued), which currently holds a 4.2 out of 5 star rating after some 1,400 reviews.
Surprisingly, even Oculus Go—the company’s least capable VR headset—is beating the Rift S on ratings at 4.1 out of 5 stars.
Oculus Quest, which launched on the same day as Rift S, has vaulted ahead of all other headsets (Oculus and non-Oculus alike), presently rated at 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon after 170 reviews. That’s just under one full star higher than Rift S, but much more significant than it seems at first glance—anything above four stars is good, but it’s exponentially more difficult as a product approaches five stars.
Tellingly, a 4.6 out of 5 ranks Quest right up there with the world’s most popular gaming consoles: PS4 (4.6 out of 5), Switch (4.5 out of 5), and Xbox One S (4.2 out of 5). It also puts Quest just ahead of PSVR (which is, to our knowledge, the best selling VR headset so far) which ranges from 4.2–4.5 out of 5 stars, depending upon which one of the headset’s many bundles you look at.
To what extent Amazon reviews are truly representative of a product’s desirability or value is surely up for debate (fake reviews notwithstanding) but at a minimum we could surmise that it functions as a ‘first impression’ for potential buyers of the world’s leading online storefront, which makes it an important metric no matter how you slice it.
Despite being the lowest rated Oculus headset on Amazon, Rift S still appears to be selling well relative to other headsets, according to Amazon’s Best Sellers list for VR headsets (which is updated hourly, but appears to be holding a consistent order of Quest, Rift S, Vive, then Go among the top four headsets). It surely would be interesting to see where the original Rift would fall in the list—if Oculus hadn’t discontinued it.