Oculus Debuts Next-Gen Rift S VR Headset With Higher Resolution Display, Onboard Tracking

oculus rift s
Facebook’s Oculus was one of the pioneers with respect to modern virtual reality (VR) headsets with the original Rift, and now the company is ready to deliver an evolutionary successor in the form of the Rift S. The Oculus Rift S represents a mixed bag on the specs front compared to its predecessor and was developed in conjunction with Lenovo.

This time around, the maximum resolution has been bumped up slightly from 1080x1200 per eye to 1280x1440 per eye. In addition, lens quality has been improved for better optics (and less eye strain/fatigue). Pupillary distance is no longer a manual adjustment; it is now down in software according to Oculus. Interestingly though, the refresh rate has been lowered from 90Hz to 80Hz. In addition, there has been a shift from the OLED panels used in the original Rift to LCD on the Rift S.

With that being said, there are now five onboard sensors using Oculus’ “Insight” inside-out tracking system. Other changes include updated Oculus Touch controllers, which are actually the same design that ships with the Oculus Quest.

The on-ear headphones have been taken away in favor speakers that are integrated into the headband itself (there is a headphone jack if you want to use your own headphones). Speaking of the band, it loses its flexible strap in favor of a rigid “halo” design that has the potential to be a bit more comfortable for users. This is where Lenovo lent its expertise, drawing on feedback from the Lenovo Legion gaming community. Not only is comfort up, but there is additional light blocking and better weight distribution for the headset.

Oculus is also introducing with it calls Passthrough+, which it describes:

We’re also enabling a true stereo-correct passthrough feature, Passthrough+. It utilizes core Oculus runtime advancements, including ASW, to produce a comfortable experience with minimal depth disparity or performance impact. It’s especially helpful any time you need to step or see outside of your play space.

According to Oculus, the Rift S will ship this Spring with a price tag of $399 (with included Oculus Touch controllers), which is a $50 increase over the first-generation device.