We all knew that 2019 will be a special year for virtual reality (VR), since three years have passed since the appearance of original consumer headsets, and the time has come to bring something new to the industry.
HTC Vive did it with the Vive Focus Plus and Vive Pro Eye, while Facebook and its Oculus Quest headset are on the way. However, this Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2019 presented a surprise. Oculus Rift S is now officially announced.
Rumors first appeared in November last year, arguing that the Oculus Rift S would not be a new model, but rather an update to the headset with minor improvements. From what has become known today, the “small improvements” do not even scratch the surface of what has been done.
First, the Oculus Rift S is still a headset tied to a computer, and the head of the Oculus VR, Neith Mitchell, said that: “We do not think that wireless communication is suitable for the Rift S at the moment,” referring to the weight and balance when adding batteries. The device had the expected higher resolution display updates, offering a resolution of 2560 × 1440 and improved optics to make the immersion experience even better, with new ergonomics. It was obtained through a partnership with Lenovo. It no longer has a mechanical IPD adjustment.
One of the biggest changes from the original Oculus Rift is that the Rift S now has an internal tracking system — so there are no more external sensors. It will include five sensors — one more than Oculus Quest to provide a larger tracking area.
Thanks to the software, applications, as well as games for Oculus Rift, Rift S and Oculus Quest will be cross-platform.
When it comes to controllers, the Oculus Rift S is identical to the Oculus Quest, and both of them will work with the original Oculus Rift. However, the original touch controllers will not be compatible with new virtual reality helmets.
Oculus will focus heavily on Rift S and Quest this year, and Oculus Rift has recently become harder and harder to find in retail.
“We are in the process of phasing out the original Rift right now,” said Mitchell.
The launch of the Oculus Rift S is scheduled for spring 2019, with a retail price of $ 399 USD. With a headset competing with the Oculus Quest at the same price, it will be interesting to see how the market develops.
“We believe that this price and the equipment that is suitable for the audience right now,” commented Jason Rubin, vice president of content at Oculus.
VRcue will keep you updated with all new information as soon as it appears.