In May 2019, Facebook took the Oculus Rift VR glasses off the market and replaced them with Oculus Rift S. Fans and testers reacted cautiously to the device because they expected a major technical leap. Instead, Facebook focused on usability, convenience, and aggressive pricing. You can find out in a long-term test whether the bill works.
- Where the strengths and weaknesses of the Oculus Rift S are,
- What alternatives are there to the Oculus Rift S,
- Whether an upgrade from Oculus Rift or HTC Vive to Oculus Rift S is worthwhile.
In this oculus rift s unboxing and review article:
Scope of Delivery
The package includes:
- Oculus Rift S
- A left and a right touch controller of the second generation including safety loops
- A five meter long PC cable with connections for DisplayPort 1.2 and USB 3.0
- A Mini Displayport to Displayport adapter
- Two AA batteries for the touch controller
- Two instructions
Optics and Processing
Visually, Oculus Rift S does not give much. The housing including the head holder is bulky and consists almost exclusively of cheap-looking plastic. The surface has a matt sheen and fortunately rejects fingerprints very well.
The VR glasses were designed by Lenovo. You miss the Apple-like Oculus elegance of Rift 1. The chunky design of the case with its stepped front looks clumsy and awkward. The Rift S model can only dream of the noble surfaces of the original Rift.
Weight and Comfort
The original Rift was still clamped between the face and the back of the head, but at 470 grams it is also lighter and, above all, smaller. Oculus Rift S takes up a larger area of your head due to the new holder. The result: the overall wearing comfort is narrower.
The S model weighs 561 grams without a cable, which is almost 100 grams more than the Oculus Rift.
The fact that the higher weight is not noticeable is due to the redesigned ring-shaped head holder, which is known from Playstation VR and the Windows Mixed Reality devices.
If the original Rift was still clamped between the face and the back of the head so that it always pressed against the face, Oculus Rift S rests on the center of the head thanks to the new head holder. This distributes the weight of the VR glasses more evenly over the head. With a button on the underside of the VR glasses, the distance between the housing and the face can be continuously adjusted if the device presses against the face.
The face pad is generous, feels pleasant on the skin and neutralizes to a certain degree sweat, so that moisture and odor do not permanently settle.
If you pass the VR glasses around a lot and do a lot of VR sports, you can play it safe and buy washable covers from the company VRCover . If the face pad is worn out, you can order a replacement for 29 $ including shipping costs in the Oculus online shop .
Thanks to the new head holder, Oculus Rift S is comfortable and non-slip . However, the ring-shaped carrying system with locking screw on the back has a few fundamental disadvantages compared to the old head holder.
On the one hand, you need two hands and a few more steps to put on the VR glasses than with the original Rift, which you could put on like a baseball cap. On the other hand, the feeling of wearing with the new head holder is a bit more claustrophobic, since the VR glasses cover more head space overall. Visually, the holder promotes the massive appearance of the VR glasses.
But what about ergonomics? The VR glasses fit well on my rather narrow face. For the maximum focus range, however, I have to adjust the housing so that it presses lightly on the nose and cheekbones. Since face shapes are very individual, you should try the VR glasses in the shop or at a friend’s.
Connection and Setup
Oculus Rift S is connected to a VR-compatible PC with a five meter long, proprietary cable. Proprietary means: only Oculus produces this cable. Anyone who damages it must order a replacement cable from the Oculus online shop . Cost: 89 $ with shipping. The cable is connected to the PC via the display port and a USB 3.0 input.
For VR-compatible laptops with a Mini Displayport input, a Mini Displayport to Displayport adapter is included. You should n’t lose that : According to Oculus , the included adapter is the only one that is certified for operation with Oculus Rift S.
If you only have an HDMI input on your computer or laptop, you cannot use Oculus Rift S. According to Oculus, there is currently no working HDMI to Displayport adapter.
After connecting the VR glasses and installing the Oculus program , you will be guided step by step through the setup of the Oculus Rift S. This includes the coupling of the touch controller and the firmware update. The process is self-explanatory.
Unlike Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, with Oculus Rift you don’t have to install external sensors or base stations in the room or lay cables. Thanks to integrated tracking cameras, these steps are no longer necessary on the S model, which is a huge gain in user-friendliness.
Next you have to determine the orientation and the play area, which is completely done in virtual reality. For this purpose, a camera view is activated, with which users can perceive their physical surroundings.
In this viewing mode (called “Passthrough +” by Oculus), the image of the two front cameras is streamed to the displays in black and white. This gives you almost the feeling of being aware of the environment.
With this camera view, you can set the orientation of the VR glasses, the height of the floor and the personal play area by simply drawing them in digitally. The following video illustrates this process.
I recommend setting the orientation point of the VR glasses, unlike in the video, so that it points in the opposite direction from the PC. This means that the cable running to the rear is less of a problem later.
If you get close to the drawn boundary while playing, a digital grid is displayed so that you become aware of the boundary and can go back to the center of the play area. This “Guardian” (German: Wächter) protection system is designed to prevent injuries to the environment while playing or damage real objects.
Practical: The view mode can be activated at any time to look around in the real environment. The corresponding option can be found in the settings.
The following video shows how to put on, clean and use the VR glasses with the right glasses.
Ease of use
The design of the Oculus Rift S shows that Facebook focused on usability. The technical specifications and functions are subordinate. From comfort to tracking system to software: everything is designed for maximum user comfort and a trouble-free VR experience.
Thanks to the new headgear, the VR glasses can be worn more comfortably and much longer, even if they are a bit more complicated to set up. The new tracking system makes setup a breeze and the VR glasses are more mobile and flexible to use (see section “Tracking system: Constellation vs. Oculus Insight”).
On the software side, Oculus makes getting started in virtual reality as easy as possible : The proximity sensor on the inside of the Oculus Rift S registers when you put on the VR glasses and automatically starts the Oculus program so that you can go straight to the PC after booting up Virtual Reality is transported. Monitor, mouse and keyboard are not required.
Thanks to an advanced and user-friendly Rift operating system, the software operation of the device is mostly a smooth experience. The interface was developed from the ground up for virtual reality and, if desired, can display the desktop as a virtual monitor at any time.
It is operated a bit cumbersome with the touch controllers or mouse and keyboard. Oculus Rift S does not yet support optical hand and finger tracking .
The audio solution of the Oculus Rift S is a major annoyance when it comes to ease of use . Facebook omitted integrated over-the-ear headphones for Oculus Rift S and instead integrated narrow loudspeakers into the head holder, as with Oculus Go and Oculus Quest.
The advantage of this solution is that the headphones no longer press on the ears and generate heat. You also get to see more of your surroundings. The disadvantage is the significantly poorer sound. For optimal immersion, you have to use either in-ear or shell headphones, which increases the preparation effort and brings more cable spaghetti.
Display and Resolution
Oculus Rift S has installed a single LC display that has a resolution of 1,280 by 1,440 pixels per eye. The VR glasses are therefore below the resolution of more expensive devices such as the HTC Vive Cosmos (1,440 by 1,700 pixels) or Valve Index (1,440 by 1,600 pixels).
The new image is still neat and significantly reduces the fly screen effect known from the Original Rift and Original Vive (both offer 1,080 by 1,200 pixels per eye) , so that individual pixels and their gaps no longer stand out as much and cloud the image impression.
The better picture is not only due to the higher resolution: Oculus Rift S has installed an LC display with a complete RGB sub-pixel matrix – each pixel consists of three sub-pixels. The VR glasses of the first generation still rely on OLED displays with a pentile pixel structure. It only offers two subpixels per pixel and a pixel arrangement that enhances the fly screen effect.
With Oculus Rift S, this unsightly optical phenomenon is no longer so prominent. The fly screen in the S model becomes a fine mesh that gives the image a material texture. This is particularly noticeable when putting on the VR glasses, it hardly disturbs you while playing.
If you upgrade from an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, you will notice a clear leap in terms of image clarity and sharpness , from which font in particular benefits. The following comparison video between Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Oculus Rift S illustrates the visual difference.
With all the pixel counting, one should not forget that the performance of your own computer has an influence on the image quality that should not be underestimated. If you have a fast computer and can activate supersampling in games with a tool like the Oculus Tray Tool, you can look forward to a much nicer, softer picture.
Black levels and refresh rate
The disadvantage of LC displays compared to OLED screens are the significantly poorer black levels. Unfortunately, this also applies to Oculus Rift S, where black appears as light gray.
This is particularly negative in dark scenes and horror games , which noticeably lose their atmosphere. In terms of the color representation, I did not notice any noticeable deterioration in comparison with Oculus Rift.
The refresh rate of 80 Hertz is below the standard of 90 Hertz of the first VR generation , which also helped to define the original Rift. I didn’t notice any difference, but more sensitive eyes and stomachs could bother me. With the Valve Index, there are now VR glasses that support an (experimental) refresh rate of up to 144 Hertz – so Oculus is lagging behind.
Lenses And Field of View
Oculus Rift S uses the same Fresnel lenses that are used in Oculus Go. They are supposed to contain the so-called “God Rays”, which are disturbing light rays in high-contrast scenes. In fact, this optical effect is greatly reduced compared to the original rift, but not completely eliminated.
Speaking of lenses: the field of view is similar to that of the original Rift, so the diving mask effect is far from being eliminated. If you look to the left or right, you can clearly see black borders. However, this limitation is also bearable if you do not pay attention to it or if you are used to VR glasses with a larger field of vision such as Valve Index or Pimax devices.
The distortion-free focus area of the field of view, the so-called “eyebox”, is quite large with Oculus Rift S thanks to the new lenses , so that the image and writing only distorted noticeably towards the edges of the field of view. This is desirable because you want to move your eyes instead of your head for a natural visual impression.
The relatively large focus range is guaranteed even if the VR glasses slip slightly. In the VR technical language, one speaks in this context of a generous “sweet spot”. It ensures that you don’t have to adjust the VR glasses every few minutes or find the perfect fit for a long time.
Lens Distance Controller
Unlike its predecessor, Oculus Rift S does not offer a manual controller for adjusting the lens distance.
This control is important in that the eyes should ideally look directly through the center of the lenses. Since the eye relief varies greatly from user to user, the distance between the lenses can be set manually for many high-quality VR glasses, but not for Oculus Rift S.
The lens distance on the S model is fixed at 63.5 millimeters and, according to Facebook, is ideal for people with an eye relief between 61.5 and 65.5 millimeters .
For users who are outside this range, blurring, a weaker 3D effect and the associated headache can result. However, this is by no means the case for all users and is not necessarily the case: I have an eye relief of 59.5 millimeters and use Oculus Rift S without the problems mentioned.
At least the virtual eye relief can be set in the Oculus program . Here a software correction should replace the missing hardware controller. A range of 58 to 72 millimeters is supported. The setting can be found under “Devices” if you click on Rift S and Touch and scroll down in the window that opens on the right to the “IPD” option.
The shielding against incident light has significantly improved Oculus. With my face shape there were no flashes of light inside the case from external light sources. The light gap in the nose area has been reduced so much compared to the original that you can no longer see outside.
This has advantages and disadvantages: In camera view mode you can recognize the surroundings, but the resolution is not sufficient to decipher messages on the smartphone display. While you could still look through the nasal cleft of the original Rift, you have to lift the VR glasses with Oculus Rift S.
Glasses Friendliness And Lens Inserts
Oculus Rift S is designed more glasses-friendly than its predecessor. However, glasses should not be wider than 142 millimeters and no higher than 50 millimeters, otherwise they will not fit in the case.
As with all VR glasses, however, there is always the risk of scratching the lenses. With the button on the right underside of the case, the distance between the VR glasses and the face can be infinitely adjusted.
If you want to prevent the risk of scratching or do without your nose bike under VR glasses for convenience, you can resort to lens inserts. The US company Framesdirect is an official Oculus partner and produces corresponding stakes from $ 79.99 (excluding shipping costs).
German customers get lens inserts from the VR optician (test) easier, faster and cheaper . The following video shows how easy it is to insert the lenses.
Tracking System: Constellation vs. Oculus Insight
The biggest difference between Oculus Rift and Oculus Rift S is the tracking system.
The original Rift used a tracking system called Constellation. VR glasses and touch controllers had built-in infrared LEDs, the pattern of which was recorded by up to four external sensors. From these point constellations, the connected PC calculated the spatial position of the VR glasses and the touch controller.
The disadvantage of this tracking system is that you had to install several sensors in the room and connect them to the PC using a USB cable, which, depending on the number and arrangement of the camera, resulted in too much cable laying.
With Oculus Rift S this is over. The new tracking system Oculus Insight calculates the spatial position of the VR glasses with integrated sensors. That is why we speak of “inside-out tracking” in this context.
A total of five cameras are installed in the Oculus Rift S housing: two at the front, two on the sides and one on the top . They capture distinctive points and lines in the area, from which the spatial position of the VR glasses can be calculated.
The following video illustrates how Oculus Insight works using the example of the Oculus Quest, which uses the same tracking system but with four cameras.
The touch controllers are still recorded according to the principle of the constellation tracking system, but with the help of the cameras integrated in the housing.
The advantages of Oculus Insight compared to Constellation are immense: users no longer need to install external sensors in the room and no longer have to lay cables. And VR glasses are becoming more mobile: if you want to show Oculus Rift S to friends, you simply take them with you. It is connected to the PC or notebook with just one cable.
In addition, you can move around freely with the VR glasses because you are no longer out of the field of view of external sensors.
Tracking: Precise, Reliable, Simple
The precision, stability and latency of tracking is on a similar level to constellation tracking with three sensors.
A disadvantage of Oculus Insight is that tracking dropouts can occur if the controllers get out of sight of the cameras. This happens, for example, when you move the controller behind your back or point your hands in one direction and head in the opposite direction.
In such cases, the tracking system no longer knows where the hands are after a few seconds. Only when you hold the controller back in the field of view of the cameras will their spatial position be recorded again.
Since the field of vision of the cameras is wide and there are hardly any games that require such movement patterns, this technical limitation is hardly noticeable in practice.
Valve’s SteamVR tracking, which is used with VR glasses such as Valve Index and HTC Vive Cosmos Elite, does not have this problem and is generally more reliable and precise than Oculus Insight. However, you have to distribute at least two external tracking stations in the room.
Oculus Insight also needs light and striking dots and lines in the room. At dusk or in the dark, or in an unfurnished white room, the tracking system lacks visual clues. Then it stops working.
However, it does not have to be daylight. According to Oculus, a brightness at which you can still read a book is sufficient. I can confirm this with my test, since I often play in the evening with dimmed light.
VR Controller: Still the gold standard
Oculus Rift S comes with revised second generation Oculus touch controllers.
The biggest difference to the touch controllers of the original Rift is due to the tracking system: The tracking ring on the new touch controllers points upwards instead of downwards, so that the integrated tracking cameras of the VR glasses can better detect the infrared LEDs. If the old tracking ring still looked like elegant ankle protection, the new one protrudes prominently, but should not be a problem when playing.
The second-generation touch controllers are also a bit smaller and lighter than the old touch controllers, and they are made of a new plastic that looks less high-quality and robust.
Now it happens with motion-intensive games that you accidentally hit the wall or another object with the controllers. This happened to me a few times with the first generation touch controllers. They never suffered any damage, apart from superficial scratches.
Pictures of torn tracking rings appear again and again in forums of the new touch controllers. So more caution is needed here. If a controller breaks down, you can order a replacement for a hefty 79 $ including shipping costs in the Oculus online shop (see also section “Accessories”).
From an ergonomic point of view, the new touch controllers are a tad worse in hand than the originals , even though I can still reach all the buttons and the analog sticks. I’ve got used to the lower weight and the smaller design. Oculus Rift S is designed for long gaming sessions and it is advantageous that the controllers are light.
If the devices are still too small and light for a long time, you can get special protective covers ( Amazon link ). They also offer greater slip resistance, protection against contamination and prevent the battery compartment from opening in the heat of the moment – which has never happened to me personally.
Otherwise there is not much to complain about. The new touch devices are still the gold standard for VR controllers, as they successfully combine motion detection and the input options of a gamepad and in this way build a bridge between new and old.
Valve Index’s index controllers offer more complete and accurate finger tracking, but their benefits are limited, as only a few developers have so far optimized their games for this function. The few exceptions include Boneworks (test) and Half-Life: Alyx (test) , but they can also be played well with Oculus Touch.
Audio: Headphone Compulsion for Full Immersion
If the original Rift still had high-quality headphones installed, you have to be satisfied with the S-model with two speakers similar to Oculus Go and Oculus Quest housed in the head holder.
They sound weak and tinny: If you want to immerse yourself in virtual worlds for more than a few minutes, you cannot avoid connecting your own headphones to the VR glasses. This in turn increases the preparation effort and inhibits spontaneous VR use. This is the exact opposite of what Oculus intends to do.
This thoroughly unsatisfactory audio solution is the biggest drawback of the Oculus Rift S and the clearest sign that Facebook wanted to save manufacturing costs. This failure is all the more surprising since the company has always emphasized in the past how important good sound is for immersion .
I myself use cheap in-ear headphones. They insulate sounds from the outside world and let me dive into virtual worlds far better than the integrated mini speakers. If you want to use shell headphones, you should first try out whether they fit the Oculus Rift S and sit comfortably.
Dedicated clip-on headphones are an easier and more convenient solution . They are reminiscent of the integrated headphones of the original Rift, but are relatively expensive to buy at 130 $.
Oculus has dispensed with a volume control on the housing, although Oculus Go and Oculus Quest offer this convenience function. So users have to call up the Rift interface or game menu every time to adjust the volume.
Software: Leader in Interface Design and Exclusive Content
Good hardware without good software is worth nothing. Facebook knows this and is investing heavily in the development of a rift operating system .
With Oculus Rift and Rift S you navigate through “Virtual Reality” via “Oculus Dash” . Oculus Dash is a clearly designed 3D interface that was developed for virtual reality and can be called up at any time if you want to jump between applications, the app store, the game library, an internet browser and a fully configurable virtual home. The platform also offers a variety of social functions, for which a Facebook account is required .
It is useful to be able to call up the desktop at any time or to be able to arrange and pin individual Windows windows like virtual monitors around you in the room. In VR games, for example, you can simultaneously operate Spotify, watch YouTube videos or surf the Internet.
The monitors are operated with the touch controllers or mouse and keyboard. Oculus Rift S does not yet support the optical hand and finger tracking available for Oculus Quest (all information) . It is uncertain whether it will come .
Another advantage of the Oculus ecosystem is the exclusive content . Game highlights include titles such as the narrative and atmospheric space adventure Lone Echo (test) , the mega-role-playing game Asgard’s Wrath (tests ), the cloud shooter Stormland (test ), the World War II game Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond and that Paddle stealth game Phantom: Covert Ops .
Although these games can also be played with other PC VR glasses using the Revive hack , compatibility and performance problems may arise which require optimization by the user.
The two major alternatives to the Oculus platform are Valves SteamVR on the one hand, and HTC’s Viveport on the other. They combine the VR platform and the App Store and, unlike the Oculus ecosystem, they are built openly and support all common PC VR glasses including Oculus Quest via Oculus Link (Info Guide) . Half-Life: You can only buy Alyx on Steam, but you can play with a variety of VR glasses, including Oculus Rift S.
The Oculus platform is currently the leader in terms of functionality, stability and ease of use, even though Valves SteamVR is gradually catching up . Some well-known VR ports such as Skyrim VR, Fallout 4 VR, Doom VFR and Borderlands 2 VR are only available on Steam.
Viveport, in turn, attracts VR players with its Viveport Infinity VR subscription, which is unique in the industry . Here you can get access to hundreds of VR content, including games, films and experiences, in Netflix style for a monthly fee. Alternatively, you can buy VR content permanently, as in the other app stores, for example if it is not included in the Infinity subscription.
Conclusion: Price-Performance Winner With Some Compromises
When Oculus Rift S was officially launched in March 2019, fans and critics were disappointed. On paper, Facebook’s new VR glasses seemed to be a side step or even a step backwards rather than a leap forward.
Sure: No one expected an Oculus Rift 2 that would be released in a few years at the earliest . As the name suggests, Oculus Rift S was intended as an intermediate step and not a device that ushered in the next VR generation.
But Oculus’ compromises were still heavy, read enthusiast forums. The resolution? Has hardly been improved. The display? Offers poorer black levels. The refresh rate? Is lower than the industry standard. High quality headphones? Nothing. A manual controller for adjusting the lens distance? Also deleted.
It is more comfortable, the S model, but the plastic bomber looks rather deterrent compared to the classic elegance of the original Rift.
Oculus Rift S shows that the VR market situation has changed radically. The Oculus Rift, released in 2016, was a high-gloss product that hardly made any compromises for its time, was very expensive and cumbersome and accordingly found few buyers . Facebook didn’t want to make the same mistake again.
Instead of bringing another luxury device to the market for a handful of enthusiasts, Oculus designed VR glasses for the largest possible number of users, which shines through high ease of use, mature software and aggressive pricing instead of technical specifications.
In this respect, Oculus Rift S is the best PC VR glasses on the market, almost a year after its launch – despite the sometimes painful compromises that Oculus made in the design.
The weaknesses and strengths of the Oculus Rift S
What annoys me most is that Oculus Rift S does not offer a high-quality audio solution. The VR glasses remind me of this every time I use it again because I am forced to connect my in-ear headphones.
I’m happy with the jump in resolution. Especially when switching from Oculus Rift and HTC Vive to Oculus Rift S for the first time, the clearly clearer picture is impressive . After a certain time, however, you get used to the higher resolution and perceive the pixel structures more strongly again.
The Rift S is still a long way from a perfect VR display, which is also due to the rather weak black levels. The result: horror games develop less atmosphere with the S model. I didn’t notice the lower refresh rate negatively, but other users could notice a difference. That depends on personal sensitivity.
It is still completely incomprehensible to me how Oculus could do without a manual lens distance controller, especially since the equally expensive Oculus Quest is equipped accordingly. If you are outside the recommended IPD range of 61.5 and 65.5 millimeters, you should test the VR glasses in advance or buy them with the option of a return. Otherwise, it can happen that you pay 450 $ for a blurred image, a weaker 3D effect and a headache.
Fortunately, I myself had no problems – despite an eye relief of less than 60 millimeters. Testers should not forget to adjust the virtual eye relief in the settings before putting on the VR glasses.
The strengths of the Oculus Rift S include the simple set-up and mobility of the VR glasses, which is largely thanks to the new tracking system, the wearing comfort, which also allows longer game sessions, the precise head and hand tracking, which are still great VR controller and the mature and rich software ecosystem that comes up with exclusive games, films and experiences.
Oculus Rift S is for you if you …
- Looking for a PC VR entry-level device with a good price-performance ratio,
- Don’t want to install tracking cameras in the room,
- Want to experience virtual reality as uncomplicated as possible,
- Intends to spend a long time in virtual worlds and
- Want native access to mature software and Oculus-exclusive titles.
Oculus Rift S is not for you if you …
- Want the best possible VR experience and have the necessary change (see Valve Index),
- You do not have a VR-compatible PC or travel a lot and want to use VR on the go (see Oculus Quest),
- You cannot get a clear picture due to an exceptionally small or large eye relief,
- You definitely don’t want to connect headphones to the VR glasses,
- You would like to play horror games and value excellent black levels.
Too Expensive? Too Cheap? These are the PC VR alternatives to the Oculus Rift S
With this complete package, Oculus currently offers the best price-performance ratio. But what if 450 $ is still too much? Or do you want to spend more money for a higher quality VR experience?
Windows Mixed Reality
If you aim lower in price, you end up with the Windows Mixed Reality devices (see test) , some of which are available for as little as 200 $. The main disadvantages of these VR glasses are poor tracking, non-ergonomic VR controllers and the WMR platform , which is hardly maintained by Microsoft , and which also does not offer native access to exclusive Oculus titles.
The higher quality WMR glasses include the Samsung Odyssey Plus, which is not officially sold and does not have to be imported in Europe, and the high-resolution HP Reverb (see test) , which at 600 $ is significantly more expensive than Oculus Rift and still has the disadvantages mentioned above .
If you have a lower budget and only want the best of the best , the Valve Index is recommended. It beats Oculus Rift S in almost every aspect: The VR glasses offer the industry’s best tracking system, a high-quality audio solution and unique VR controllers that capture every finger and the pressure intensity.
Valve Index also has a lens distance controller. A higher resolution display, a refresh rate of up to 144 Hertz and a larger field of view round off the VR luxury package.
The main disadvantage of the Valve Index is that two external tracking units have to be installed in the room and connected to a power socket. This makes the setup more cumbersome and the VR glasses less flexible. You can only access Oculus exclusive titles via Revive hack – without guarantee that they will work properly.
The quality standard of the Valve Index comes at a price: Valve is calling around 1,080 $ for the VR glasses, VR controller and two base stations.
Another, but not quite as expensive alternative to the Oculus Rift S is the HTC Vive Cosmos, the official successor to the HTC Vive. HTC is calling 830 $ for the VR glasses with inside-out tracking similar to Oculus Rift S.
VR glasses had a bumpy market launch last October. In initial tests by Vive Cosmos , the controller’s battery hunger and weak tracking were particularly criticized. This was partially improved with subsequent software updates, which the Oculus Rift S does not (yet) come close to. Since tracking is at the heart of a VR system, this point of criticism weighs heavily.
Advantages of the Vive Cosmos over Oculus Rift S include a higher resolution display, integrated headphones and the manual lens distance control. In addition, you can expand the VR glasses with the Vive wireless adapter (test) to a wireless device . However, the wireless upgrade costs around 400 $.
The Vive Cosmos will soon be expanded to a modular Cosmos product family . The Vive Cosmos Play, which will appear in the second quarter of 2020 and is expected to cost between 500 and 600 $, will be interesting for bargain hunters. There are currently no tests for the device. The Cosmos glasses also have no native access to exclusive content of the Oculus ecosystem, with the Revive hack as an alternative.
If you are on the go a lot, like movement-intensive VR games and are generally disturbed by cables, you should consider the self-sufficient VR glasses Oculus Quest (test) as an equally expensive alternative to the Oculus Rift S.
Oculus Quest has installed the computing unit in the housing and does not require a PC player. This makes them the most flexible VR glasses ever if you play native quest games. If you want to play high-quality PC VR titles, you can connect Oculus Quest to a VR-compatible PC using a USB cable (see Oculus Link Info Guide ). After that, it basically works like an Oculus Rift S.
The biggest advantage of Oculus Quest over native PC VR glasses is the ability to take them anywhere and play without cables. The game library is significantly smaller without a PC connection and the games are graphically simpler, but there are also many PC VR classics such as Beat Saber, Superhot VR and Job Simulator for Oculus Quest.
The self-sufficient VR glasses also offer a lens distance controller and an OLED display, with a more pronounced fly screen, but more beautiful colors and better black levels.
The biggest disadvantage of self-sufficient VR glasses compared to Oculus Rift S is the lower wearing comfort . Oculus Quest uses the same headgear as the original Rift. The VR glasses’ front weight helps to make them uncomfortable after a while.
Last but not least, the Chinese VR glasses manufacturer Pimax has a whole range of high-end VR glasses on offer that shine with particularly high-resolution displays and an exceptionally wide field of view .
In terms of comfort, however, they cannot keep up with the top-of-the-range Valve Index model, and the wide field of view comes with compromises in image quality in the form of distorted effects at the edges of the field of vision. How strongly they stand out depends on the settings. Pimax is suitable for users with a preference for exotic hardware and willingness to do handicrafts.
The VR devices are located in the upper price segment. You can currently get the Pimax 5K Plus ( Amazon link ) for 950 $ and the Pimax 5K XR ( Amazon link ) for 1,150 $ from Amazon . In Pimax shop , there are more choices.
Is the Rift S Upgrade From Oculus Rift and HTC Vive Worth it?
I used the original Rift and HTC Vive for three years before Oculus Rift S.
The advantages of a Rift-S upgrade are:
- a significantly sharper image and a significantly reduced screen screen effect (especially compared to the HTC Vive)
- A simpler set-up, less cable laying and greater flexibility due to the inside-out tracking system
- Better wearing comfort thanks to the new head holder
- No problems with overcrowded and error-prone USB ports (in the case of the Oculus Rift)
- More modern VR controller with Oculus Touch (in the case of HTC Vive)
- Access to exclusive Oculus games (in the case of HTC Vive)
The disadvantages of a Rift-S upgrade are:
- No manual lens distance controller
- poorer black levels and lower refresh rate
- No integrated headphones (in the case of the Oculus Rift)
- A less powerful tracking system (in the case of HTC Vive)
This list can be used to consider whether an upgrade is worthwhile, whether you are investing in a larger leap and higher-quality VR glasses like the Valve Index or waiting for second-generation VR glasses , the functions such as sophisticated eye detection and new display and Lens systems should bring with it.
However, such devices could be two or more years away . So if you want to invest in VR and not too much, you are well served with Rift S – despite the aforementioned weaknesses. For More Details : oculus rift s review reddit 2020
|Recommended VR system requirements Oculus Rift (S)||VR minimum system requirements Oculus Rift (S)|
|graphic card||NVIDIA GTX 1060 / AMD Radeon RX 480 or better||NVIDIA GTX 1050Ti / AMD Radeon RX 470 or better|
|CPU||Intel i5-4590 / AMD Ryzen 5 1500X or better||Intel i3-6100 / AMD Ryzen 3 1200, FX4350 or better|
|random access memory||at least 8GB RAM||at least 8GB RAM|
|Video output||DisplayPort 1.2 (Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort adapter included)||DisplayPort 1.2 (Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort adapter included)|
|USB ports||1x USB 3.0||1x USB 3.0|
|operating system||Windows 10||Windows 10|
|website||Oculus Rift (S) on Oculus.com|
Buy Oculus Rift S.
Last update on April 24th, 2020 / Affiliate Links / Pictures from the Amazon Product Advertising API / Price incl. VAT, plus shipping costs
|Publication||May 21, 2019|
|Display||Single 5.5 inch LC display with RGB sub-pixel matrix|
|Resolution and refresh rate||2,560 by 1,440 pixels (1,280 by 1,440 pixels per eye) at 80 Hertz|
|Field of view||about 110 degrees|
|Fixed lens distance: 63.5 millimeters. Interpupillary distance is digitally adjustable (58 – 72 mm). Ideal for users with an eye relief between 61.5 and 65.5 millimeters.|
|Tracking||Oculus Insight (optical inside-out tracking with five integrated cameras)|
|Input||Oculus Touch (second generation)|
|Audio||Integrated speakers / optional jack connection for headphones|
|connections||Displayport 1.2 (Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort adapter included), USB 3.0, optional jack connection for headphones.|
|electric wire||5 meters|
|size||27.8 x 16 x 21 cm|
|Weight||561 grams (without cable)|
|Price||704 $ ( Amazon link )|
|website||Oculus Rift (S) on Oculus.com|