In Spring of 2019 Oculus will be releasing their new Rift S headset to the public. As you probably know, the original Oculus Rift was the device that kickstarted modern VR revolution. A new model of the flagship headset has been long overdue.
The current Rift that’s for sale to the public is known as the CV1 or consumer version 1. That’s to set it apart from the developer version that was initially sold before all the kinks had been worked out.
Oculus fans have been expecting a CV2, a true overhaul of the original headset that would bring the Oculus back up to par with all the new generation headsets that have thoroughly surpassed it. While Oculus reportedly was working on a proper CV2 headset, that has been out on ice as far as we know. Instead this new “S” model of Rift represents an evolution of the original hardware.
The New Hotness
As great as the original Rift is, there was a lot of room for improvement. The display technology wasn’t very high res by modern standards. The lenses too were good but not great. Oculus has addressed both of these issues in this new model.
The biggest improvement to the S is the inclusion of inside out tracking. We were blown away by this technology when we tried it on the Microsoft Mixed Reality platform last year and now it is finally here for the tethered Oculus. Goodbye external sensors.
The display technology has changed from OLED to LED. That is a quality downgrade, but LCD tech has seriously narrowed the gap with OLED since the CV1 was launched. While the resolution is a bit higher, the refresh rate is 10 hz less at 80hz.
The overall effect of these changes is an improvement in image quality and a lower price. The S is expected to sell for about $399. The same amount the all in one Oculus quest currently costs.
The five sensors on the headset drive Oculus Insight. The 3D mapping technology that allows for room scale VR with no external trackers. This also means new motion controllers.
Sadly this is not a wireless system as we are now starting to see come to market. It is however compatible with existing Rift titles, which means the improvement should be plain to see in your favourite games.