Oculus today announced a new VR headset, the Rift S. With a higher resolution display, integrated audio and other features, it's meant to improve on replace the original Rift while only raising the price by $50.
This isn't Oculus' first Rift followup--the company announced the Oculus Go in 2017 and revealed the Oculus Quest in 2018--but it's the first to follow in the Rift's footsteps by relying on a PC instead of a smartphone, like the Go, or standalone VR experience, like the Quest.
Rift S will rely on some of the tech introduced with the Go and Quest. UploadVR reported that the headset uses the same 2560x1440 LCD panel as the Go, which improves on the Rift by offering 40 percent more pixels with three subpixels each instead of two.
The new headset will also use the same lens technology as the Go and the Oculus Insight inside-out tracking, which Oculus announced alongside the Quest in September. However, the Rift S will use five cameras instead of the Quest's four. The controllers are also similar to Oculus Touch, but they've been redesigned to work in tandem with Insight.
The Rift S also features a new head strap, integrated audio and Passthrough+ technology that Oculus said "utilizes core Oculus runtime advancements, including ASW, to produce a comfortable experience with minimal depth disparity or performance impact."
The Rift S was co-developed with Lenovo, by taking feedback from the company's use of VR and augmented reality and gathering insight from the Lenovo Legion gaming community. Oculus said Lenovo helped design the headset "for increased comfort, better weight distribution and improved light blocking." It's also supposed to offer "a simple, single-cable system for a clutter-free experience," so long as you don't use the headphone jack.
The Rift S will be available sometime this spring--just like Quest--with a $399 price tag. That compares well to the original Rift, which settled at $349 after a series of price cuts. (Just remember that you'll also have to supply the gaming PC, of course.)
More information about the headset and the option to receive an email alert when it's available is on Oculus' website.
Rift S' system requirements are below/ You can also download the company's compatibility tool to see if your system is ready to go.
Oculus Rift S System Requirements
|Row 0 - Cell 0||Minimum||Recommended|
|Graphics Card||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti or AMD Radeon RX 470 or greater||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon RX 480 or greater|
|Alternative Graphics Card||Nvidia GeForce GTX 960 or AMD Radeon R9 290 or greater||Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 or AMD Radeon R9 290 or greater|
|CPU||Intel Core i3-6100 or AMD Ryzen 3 1200 / FX4350 or greater||Intel Core i5-4590 or AMD Ryzen 5 1500X or greater|
|Video Output||DisplayPort 1.2, Mini DisplayPort to Display Port Adapter||Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output|
|USB Ports||1x USB 3.0||3x USB 3.01x USB 2.0|
|OS||Windows 10||Windows 10|
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Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.