If you’re looking to buy a PC virtual reality headset but don’t want to drop a small fortune, the Oculus Rift S may be the best alternative. The headset is a refresh of the original Oculus Rift product and was launched in May 2019, making the CV1 obsolete.
You end up getting better resolutions, with the headset providing a resolution of 2560 x 1440 at 90Hz refresh rate. While it’s not as large of an upgrade as what HTC did with the Vive Pro, the S changes the game in many ways.
You also get inside-out tracking for the headset and Touch Controllers, much like what you get with the Quest.
I’ve found that the tracking is a bit sharper than the Quest, as the cameras on the headset don’t seem to get “lost” like it’s sister headset.
Speaking of the controllers, the Rift S uses the same style Touch Controllers that the S has, so you can’t use the old-school controls (with the loop underneath) with the new headset. The Oculus ecosystem is the cleanest I’ve come across, and the trend continues with the Rift S. Things are just so much easier to navigate here.
Roomscale VR is available, and while it’s not as great as the Vive’s setup, it’s still pretty cool.
You end up setting up a “guardian” system, where you draw the outlines of your play space. If you end up getting close to the edge of the space, gridlines appear. If you put your head through the space, you get a black and white video showing you your surroundings in real-time.
For the price point, the Oculus Rift S is an excellent option, as you could buy more than two whole devices for the price of one Vive Pro HMD. Of course, you’re still going to end up having a gaming PC to power the software, which is a hefty investment to have to make.