The concept of virtual reality (VR) came into existence in the early 1970s. But, around the beginning of 2010, the next generation of VR was work in progress. Oculus was among the first companies that wanted to take the VR concept to the next level, literally. And, Oculus Rift S is a live example of their efforts.
When the Oculus Rift entered the scene, people were absolutely ecstatic about what it did. It allowed you to witness an alternate reality in the form of virtual reality, right from where you really stood.
But, as you know, in today’s time, if you do not upgrade and update, you fall behind the pack. Similarly, with brands like HTC and Sony coming into the VR space to give Oculus competition, Oculus had to take matters into its own hands. The brand did so by launching two standalone VR headsets, Oculus Quest and Oculus Go.
Not just that, they took upon the task of improvising their much sought-after VR headset, Rift. They named this upgraded product: Oculus Rift S. Of course, the “upgrades” weren’t just to the product, but the price too. So, our experts decided to find out whether the Oculus Rift S is an upgrade to the Oculus Rift. Let’s see the results in the detailed Oculus Rift S review!
About the Oculus Rift S VR
Out of the various types of VR gaming headsets on the market, Oculus Rift S is a tethered VR headset. To operate it, you need to connect it to a PC using wires (a DisplayPort and a USB 3.0 port).
While many people prefer standalone VR headsets, tethered VR headsets come with benefits of their own. Being attached to a powerful machine like a PC allows these headsets to give you a better VR gaming experience by putting you inside more advanced VR setups.
Therefore, Oculus improved upon the Oculus Rift to bring forth the Rift S. After our testing, we concluded that Oculus Rift S is more of an Oculus Rift 1.5 than an Oculus Rift 2. This means that even though we did see some significant upgrades to the original Rift, we didn’t find it to be the “Next Generation” model.
Oculus Rift S will set you back by about $399 but in comparison to other tethered headsets like the HTC Vive and the Valve Index, it is a cheaper option.
Who Can Use the Oculus Rift S VR?
Oculus Rift S is suitable for people who use PC for gaming as it is only compatible with PCs. Users with some experience of VR gaming will find this VR gaming headset perfect for their gaming sessions. For VR gaming beginners and newcomers, we would rather suggest the Oculus Go, which is cheaper and easier to understand as a first.
Oculus Rift S Review – Feeling Virtual!
Unboxing the Oculus Rift S VR
The gorgeous dark-themed box contains the Oculus Rift S headset, two AA battery powered touch controllers, a 5-meter long headset cable that connects to your PC, a display cable adapter and a pair of AA batteries for the touch controllers.
The design of Oculus Rift S when compared to its predecessor is without a doubt, top-notch. It is similar to the Sony PS VR in terms of the wearing style, with a plastic ring-like head strap to secure the headset around your head.
There is a generous amount of foaming around the strap so as to give the users a comfortable feel while wearing this headset. The head strap has a circular dial at the backside for users to adjust the head strap.
Coming to the weight distribution, the Oculus Rift S is no exception to the ‘feel something is on my face’ feeling. In fact, the Oculus Rift S is a heavier model than the predecessor. But, the reason behind the same makes it bearable.
The Rift S has cameras embedded inside the headset. There are 2 cameras in the front, 1 camera each on either side and 1 camera on top of the headset. These cameras allow motion tracking that was previously done using external sensors. Therefore, this is the key reason why Oculus Rift S feels heavy.
For sound, Oculus decided to eliminate the over-ear headphones from Oculus Rift and move toward in-built directional speakers for Rift S. These speakers give you a more realistic feel of stereo sound in the virtual world, while also allowing you to keep abreast with what’s happening in your real-world surroundings.
However, the speakers have some drawbacks. Firstly, they have a dull bass that can be a put off for some users. Secondly, there is sound leakage that can be somewhat annoying for people around you. It does have a 3.5 mm jack on the side in case you wish to use your own headphones.
Oculus has made definite tweaks to the screen specifications of Oculus Rift S. They have gone from using a dual OLED screen to using a single LCD screen.
The LCD screen should allow for a sharper image output by bumping up the screen resolution to 2560 x 1440. Though, Oculus has compromised a little bit on the refresh rate, bringing it down to 80Hz from 90Hz. This has been done so as to maintain the price level similar to that of the original Oculus Rift. Lower refresh rates can lead to motion sickness. But then again, this is more of a subjective aspect.
Paired with a good PC, you should be able to enjoy games and movies to your heart’s content. Being compatible with SteamVR, Oculus Rift S allows you to enjoy a variety of games such as Skyrim, Lone Echo, Fallout, etc.