FACEBOOK HAS TAKEN the covers off the Oculus Rift S, a virtual reality (VR) headset that replaces the original Oculus Rift that it acquired back in 2014.
As one would expect, the Oculus Rift S sports a higher resolution display than its predecessor through the use of a 2,560x1,440 LCD panel with an 80Hz refresh rate. There are also design tweaks to the Touch motion controllers with the tracking ring moved to the top of the controllers.
Unlike the Oculus Quest, the Rift S will still need to be plugged into a decently-powered PC to push virtual worlds and environments to the wearer's peepers.
But the big difference over the last-gen Rift is the use of inside-out tracking, much like the aforementioned Quest. By using a suite of five external cameras, the Rift S can track where it is in an environment without requiring a user to plonk additional eternal sensors around their room.
This should not only make setting up a VR space easier, but it should also prevent the Rift S from gobbling up USB ports on a PC or powerful laptop. It's not exactly revolutionary, as the likes of the HP Reverb offer the same tracking, but it's a handy addition.
It also allows for a feature called Passthrough Plus, which means one can toggle between seeing a virtual environment and the real world without taking off the headset.
The design of the headset has also changed, as the Rift S has been made in partnership with Lenovo which has already tried its hand at VR headsets.
There's now a halo-like strap to keep the Rift S on a wearer's bonce that looks pretty much like the strap design you'd find in Windows Mixed Reality headsets. The goggles bit of the headset also looks more refined, though it's not a night and day difference.
Set to launch in springtime, the Oculus Rift S will set buyers back $399 (around £300) which puts the new headset at the same price point as its predecessor.
And all in all, it looks like a neat upgrade to the old Rift. We're not convinced it's the next step up in VR hardware, but it's a step in the right direction at least. µ
Much a (dil)do about nothing
Neither the time nor the face
The tiny tweaks are coming thick and fast now
Gitting more secure