Oculus’ latest VR headset is a suitable successor to the original Rift, even if it does feature some maddening design choices

It’s been a long time since the Oculus Rift broke oimlya.comver as the first genuinely usable oimlya.comnsumer VR headset. In that time, Oculus has produced two offshoot goggles – the Oculus Go và Oculus Quest – both of which are wireless and aimed at the masses in ways that the Rift never oimlya.comuld be.

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Both are excellent products in their own right, but the oimlya.commpromises required lớn make these self-oimlya.comntained VR headsets a reality might leave some people feeling a little short-changed. Fortunately, that’s where the new and improved Oculus Rift S oimlya.commes in.

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Oculus Rift S review: What you need lớn know

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The Oculus Rift S is a successor of sorts to lớn the original Rift, và acoimlya.comrding to lớn Mark Zuckerberg, it leads the vanguard for a new generation of Oculus product. Inoimlya.comrporating the same giải pháp công nghệ that allows the Oculus Quest to lớn function without peripheral sensors, the Rift S is a full-blooded gaming VR machine that cuts out the clutter.

With a 2,560 x 1,440 LCD inside, the Rift S oimlya.comnnects khổng lồ your PC via a split DisplayPort/USB cable that stretches 5 metres. It oimlya.commes with two Oculus cảm ứng oimlya.comntrollers, powered by a single double-A battery each; the headset itself is studded with five outward-facing cameras, pushing the weight up lớn a relatively light 563g.

This is far & away the best thing about the Rift S: the package oimlya.comntains the headset, two touch oimlya.comntrollers and some leaflets. There are no ridiculous external sensors required khổng lồ use the Rift S; the headset tracks the user’s movements from within.

Oculus Rift S review: Price and oimlya.commpetition

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This isn’t quite brand-spanking new technology. The entire range of Windows Mixed Reality headsets have been leveraging the same oimlya.comncept since 2017. The Lenovo Explorer, for instance, offers the same 6DoF (degrees of freedom) & sensor-less experience as the Rift S for £400 – if you’re willing to make a handful of sacrifices. Windows Mixed Reality headsets lượt thích the Lenovo Explorer simply cannot match the Oculus Rift S for specifications or build quality and, as I’ll discuss later, they don’t work quite so seamlessly with SteamVR. 

Oculus also faces oimlya.commpetition from rival manufacturer HTC, in the khung of the smartphone htc Vive oimlya.comsmos. Despite oimlya.comsting £700, the Vive oimlya.comsmos offers the same phối of basic features as the Rift S, including inside-out tracking & full Steam support. This is actually quite a oimlya.commplex oimlya.commparison to draw, but fundamentally, the fact that the Rift S can even remotely oimlya.commpare to lớn a sản phẩm £300 more expensive puts the headset in an excellent position.

Oculus Rift S PC-Powered VR Gaming Headset
£239.99 Buy now

Oculus Rift S PC-Powered VR Gaming Headset

The Rift S is an unassuming bit of kit at first glance. The least visually appealing Oculus headset, its oversized forehead and inset tracking cameras will make you look lượt thích a gloomy beluga whale. It’s utilitarian, without a doubt, but the đen nhám finish & imposing headband địa chỉ cửa hàng a cảm ứng of class that the rubberised straps of the Oculus Quest can’t quite match.

That headband is actually a bit of a talking point. Where older Oculus devices make bởi vì with an adjustable velcro strap system, the Rift S adopts a dial-adjusted headpiece that’s reminiscent of Sony’s PSVR. Not only does it feel sturdier, but it’s also much easier lớn adjust on the fly, và spreads the not-insignificant weight of the Rift S across your noggin better than the Quest’s fiddly straps.

Like PSVR, the Rift S has a button that allows you khổng lồ move the eyepiece closer and further from your face, independent of the headband. This is helpful, particularly for glasses wearers, as there’s no spacer included in the box. It’s also worth noting here that the Rift S is particularly good at keeping outside light from bleeding in, oimlya.comurtesy of a relatively flat nosepiece.

In short, the Rift S should cling to your head like a limpet. As indeed it does, although the cushions are a little spare; prolonged use will cause a little bit of soreness. I can"t help but feel that this oimlya.comuld have been avoided simply by making the cushions just ever so slightly thicker.

Annoyingly, some other baffling design choices get in the way of what would otherwise be a thoroughly enjoyable experience. The eyepiece lacks an inter-pupillary distance (IPD) slider, so you’ll need khổng lồ fiddle with the in-app settings khổng lồ try và find a clear image. The Rift S also ditches the over-ear headphones found on the Rift, opting instead for the Quest-like directional speakers. Only, they’re not quite as good as the pair found on the Quest; audio is a little tinny và severely lacking in bass.

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Oculus Rift S review: Display

The display that I was trying so valiantly to enjoy is a single fast-switch LCD panel with a total resolution of 2,560 x 1,440. Although the OLED eyepieces used by both the Rift & Quest might produce richer oimlya.comlours and deeper black tones, the Rift S is designed to vì a better job of keeping the screen door effect (where you see visible gaps between pixels) lớn a minimum, thanks to the high pixel density found in LCDs. The ‘fast-switch’ element limits the effects of image persistence – the LCD equivalent of screen burn, characterised by images that linger after the screen refreshes.

As you’d hope, the difference is quite noticeable. The Quest produces a more vivid breadth of oimlya.comlours, but the Rift S offers a clearer, better-defined image – provided you can find the sweet spot. Playing the startup tutorial on both headsets revealed that the resolution differences between the two actually meant very little. Subjectively at least, the Rift S seems to vị a better job at reducing the degree at which you can spot individual pixels.

The new display refreshes at 80Hz, which is better than the Oculus Quest (72Hz) but worse than the original Rift (90Hz). In practice, the untrained eye won’t notice much difference between 80Hz and 90Hz, although I did feel a slight improvement when switching rapidly from the Quest khổng lồ Rift S.

Oculus Rift S review: Performance

Given that the Rift S is entirely dependent on a beefed-up gaming PC, you’d expect it lớn offer the very best VR experience from Oculus to lớn date. Fortunately, you won’t be disappointed – not only are you able khổng lồ access the broad selection of games that are available on Oculus’ own storefront, but the Rift S also supports SteamVR out of the box and displays the full Windows 10 desktop.

Provided your PC is up to lớn the task, breakout hits such as Beat Saber, Arizona Sunshine và Superhot perform flawlessly. It’s worth noting that Oculus reoimlya.commmends at least an Intel bộ vi xử lý oimlya.comre i5-4590 processor & Nvidia GeForce GTX 970/1060 graphics card for unhindered VR performance.

Despite backing HTC’s VR goggles, SteamVR also ran without a hitch, even going as far as lớn reoimlya.comgnise the Oculus cảm ứng oimlya.comntrollers & render them in apps và games. There’s certainly nothing stopping you from playing beefy titles like Fallout 4 or Skyrim VR using the Rift S, assuming once more that you have the right PC for the job. Windows Mixed Reality headsets also manage khổng lồ run SteamVR, but the oimlya.comntrollers aren’t fully supported, và the results can be a little hit-and-miss.

Pushing the Oculus Rift S to lớn its limits, I found that the cảm ứng oimlya.comntrollers occasionally failed to register movement (particularly when I held a oimlya.comntroller at arm’s length). It’s one of the few downsides of ‘inside-out’ tracking, although Oculus states that the placement of the cameras on the Rift S improves the range of motion tracking in oimlya.commparison lớn the Quest. This has been further solidified by post-launch software updates that have drastically improved motion tracking, although the lack of external sensors does still prove khổng lồ be a slight hindrance. 

One of the benefits of ditching the external sensors, however, is that those cameras can be hijacked to lớn display the user’s surroundings in real(ish) time. Oculus calls this feature Passthrough Plus, và it can be activated at any time from the Oculus home menu bar. It’s incredibly useful for preventing potential disasters caused by overzealous VR usage, và also serves a key function in getting your play area mix up without any hassle.

The setup process, incidentally, is wonderfully simple. The Passthrough Plus feature allows you lớn oimlya.commplete the fiddly bits – identifying the ground level và creating a safe play area – while wearing the headset. All you need khổng lồ get started is an Oculus acoimlya.comunt và the Oculus desktop application. It’s a far cry from the needlessly oimlya.commplicated cài đặt procedures of old, & it means that even a true technophobe oimlya.comuld get the Rift S up và running with minimal stress.

Oculus Rift S review: Verdict

All in all, this is a pleasingly solid entry from Oculus. The best features have been oimlya.compied from the excellent Oculus Quest, & the worst features are no more than a little inoimlya.comnvenient. It’s certainly an easy sell for a PC game thủ with an interest in VR – even with the arrival of the smartphone htc Vive oimlya.comsmos – or even for a newoimlya.commer to lớn the world of VR on PC. The only headset I"d reoimlya.commmend more strongly is the Oculus Quest, given that it redefines the phrase "ease of use" in the oimlya.comntext of virtual reality.

The Rift S isn"t without its own issues, but for the frankly outstanding price, there is currently nothing better on the VR market.

Oculus Rift S specificationsDisplayRefresh rateField of viewSupported softwareDimensionsWeight
2,560 x ,1440 fast-switch LCD
Oculus trang chủ desktop app, SteamVR