Oculus Launches Rift S: $399, Fewer Cameras, Higher-Res Lenses

by Linda Olson March 22, 2019, 1:26
Oculus Launches Rift S: $399, Fewer Cameras, Higher-Res Lenses

Oculus announced the Oculus Rift S earlier today during GDC 2019. The Oculus Rift S will come packaged with two Oculus Touch controllers and will run gamers $399, striking what the studio hopes will be a "sweet spot" of affordability for VR enthusiasts.

Oculus has released other virtual reality headsets since the original Oculus Rift launched to consumers in January 2016, but now we have its true successor. See their launch video below. In a surprising twist, Facebook worked with Lenovo to manufacture the device, speed up production and improve on the original Rift design.

And best of all, the Rift S has the same minimum and recommended hardware requirements as the original Rift, so you won't need to upgrade your PC in order to take advantage of it. Oculus says that it'll be sharing more details on the Rift S in the coming weeks, so we'll definitely be keeping an eye out for those.

The latest Rift sports five onboard sensors, which are built to make this seamless tracking setup as accurate as possible. The Rift S also switches from OLED to LCD, with the refresh rate dropping from 90hz on the Rift to 80hz.

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The Oculus Rift S VR headset is equipped with a brand-new display featuring a higher pixel density than before as well as an all-new optics with improved Fresnel lenses for more vivid colors.

I spent some time with the Oculus Rift S playing viking action game Asgard's Wrath as well as the colorful and quirky Vacation Simulator, and the experience was great - if not a bit familiar. This, however, comes at a cost: The redesigned headset no longer comes bundled with any headphones at all, and those who do not want to shell out extra for a pair are left using built-in speakers which pipe sound through the head straps. Your eyeballs also get an upgraded experience, with each eye having a 1280x1440 display, though as of yet Oculus have not changed to AMOLED screens. To be clear, this Oculus headset requires a connected to a PC to operate.

Initial reviews of the Rift S are tepid.

Statistics suggest that Sony's VR headset has the dominant market share with about 43% of all headsets bought to work with the PlayStation 4 console.

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