Oculus Rift S

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Oculus Rift S
DeveloperOculus VR (device), Lenovo (strap)
ManufacturerOculus VR
TypeVirtual reality headset
Release dateMay 21, 2019
Introductory price$399.99
DisplayFast-switch LCD 2560×1440 (1280×1440 per eye) @ 80 Hz
  • Integrated speakers
Input6DOF inside-out tracking through 5 built-in cameras
Controller inputOculus Touch motion tracked controllers (redesigned)
Camera5 cameras
ConnectivityDisplayPort 1.2, USB 3.0
Mass1.1 lb (500 g)
Compatible with software developed for the original Oculus Rift
PredecessorOculus Rift
WebsiteOfficial website

Oculus Rift S is a virtual reality headset created by Oculus VR, a division of Facebook Inc., announced on March 20, 2019. The device is posed to replace the first-generation Oculus Rift and targets the same price-point of US$399, requires the same hardware and is compatible with the same software.[1][2][3] However, the original Rift is still supported "for the foreseeable future."[4]


In June 2015, Oculus VR co-founder Palmer Luckey revealed that Oculus was already working on a successor to the original Rift and planned to release it in around 2–3 years from the original Rift release. The headset would feature higher-resolution screen and inside-out tracking and would enable room-scale experiences.[5]

In October 2018, Oculus VR co-founder and former CEO until 2016 Brendan Iribe left Oculus VR over clashing views. According to TechCrunch, Iribe was overseeing the development of the second-generation Oculus Rift, which was canceled the week prior. Sources who spoke to TechCrunch claimed that Iribe and the Facebook team had "fundamentally different views on the future of Oculus that grew deeper over time."[6][7] Iribe wanted to deliver comfortable VR experience competitive on the high-end market while Oculus leadership aimed to lower the VR gaming entry barrier. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Oculus parent company Facebook Inc., repeatedly stated that Oculus goal is to bring a billion users into VR.[8]

Oculus Rift S was announced during GDC 2019 on March 20, with shipments expected to start in the spring of the same year. Oculus Rift S is an iterative upgrade to the original Rift and therefore is called "Rift S" and not "Rift 2."[1]


Optical system: screen and lenses[edit]

Rift S uses a single fast-switch[2] LCD panel with a resolution of 2560×1440 with refresh rate 80 Hz, down from CV1's 90hz. These specs are the same as the panel used in the Oculus Go standalone headset. The screen in the Rift S is expected to deliver higher detail image with reduced screen-door effect compared to the original Rift.

Also, compared to the original Rift, the Rift S uses "next generation" lens technology, introduced in Oculus Go, which almost entirely eliminates god rays. The field of view is 115º, compared to 110º on the Rift CV1. The headset features software-only inter pupillary distance (IPD) adjustment,[2] because it uses a single screen.[9]

Oculus Insight[edit]

Unlike the original Rift, which used outside-inward tracking with Constellations, Rift S uses inside-out tracking, called Oculus Insight, similar to the stand-alone headset Oculus Quest. The system relies on five cameras built into the headset: two on the front, one on either side, and one looking directly upwards.[2][1]

The device can pass through the video from the built-in cameras onto the display so that the user can navigate the real world without taking off the headset. Oculus calls this feature Passthrough+ and claims that its technology called "Asynchronous SpaceWarp" will produce a comfortable experience with minimal depth disparity or performance impact.[2][1][3][5]


The Rift S does away with the headphones found in the Rift CV1. Instead, there's a pair speakers integrated into the headband, two inches above the user's ears.[10] This change in the device's audio output has been described as one of the biggest downgrades of the Rift S compared to the CV1, in terms of quality and directionality. That said, the device includes a 3.5 mm minijack, which gives the user the option to use their own headphones.[11]

Halo headband[edit]

Rift S features a halo headband which, according to Oculus, has a better weight distribution, better light blocking, and will be more comfortable overall. The headset was co-developed with Lenovo, incorporating their experience in the VR and AR space and feedback from the Lenovo Legion gaming community.[1][3] The device has a knob at the rear of the band which brings the device forward and backward. The top strap is there to make it snug on the wearer's head, while a slider underneath the right side of the headset is used to bring the physical lenses closer or farther from their eyes. The device lacks physical adjustment for inter-pupillary distance (IPD), but this setting is supported in software, according to Oculus.[2]

Redesigned Oculus Touch controllers[edit]

Oculus Touch Right Hand Controller

Oculus Rift S uses the same controllers as Oculus Quest, which are similar to the original Oculus Rift controllers, except with the tracking ring on the top (to be seen by the headset's built-in cameras) instead of being on the bottom (to be seen by the Constellation cameras).[1]


Software compatibility and Cross-play[edit]

Oculus announced intention to support every existing and future game on the Rift platform for the Rift S and the original rift.[12][4] Furthermore, a game purchased for one device can later be played on another (that is, say, a game bought on Oculus Quest can be played on Rift S). Multiplayer games that support both platforms will let players play with one another regardless of their devices.[12]


Oculus Passthrough is a feature of Oculus Rift S and Oculus Quest which allows user to see the real world via the built-in cameras. This is used during the initial setup process for defining the Guardian tool (the blue mesh barrier that prevents user from walking into physical objects like walls and furniture) and the level of the floor. During the setup process, the surrounding is displayed as a black and white representation.[13][12]


Response to the announcement[edit]

Upon announcement, Rift S received mixed reviews. Wired magazine described the device as a "giant half-step" that brings Oculus closer to the modern "virtual realities" yet stops short of the competition.[14]

Software-only IPD adjustment[edit]

Palmer Luckey, a co-founder of Oculus VR and a co-creator of the original Rift, said that he can not use the Oculus Rift S comfortably because the device does not accommodate his 70mm IPD. Based on IPD data published in the Proceedings of SPIE journal, Luckey estimates that the Rift S IPD will only be suitable for around 70% of the population. In comparison, the original Rift was designed to support any IPD between the 5th and 95th percentile (58mm and 72mm, respectively), making the device comfortable for 90% of the population. Luckey noted that not all aspects of the IPD adjustment can be achieved via software and software-only adjustment is not comparable in any way to an actual physical IPD adjustment mechanism.[15]

Hidden messages in Touch Controllers[edit]

On April 12 2019, Nate Mitchell, co-founder of Oculus VR and head of VR product at Facebook, explained via Twitter that "some 'easter egg' labels meant for prototypes accidentally made it onto the internal hardware for tens of thousands of [Oculus Quest and Rift S] Touch controllers." The messages on final production hardware say 'This Space For Rent' and 'The Masons Were Here,' while a few development kits contained 'Big Brother is Watching' and 'Hi iFixit! We See You!'[16][17][18][19][20][21][22]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Oculus Rift S Is Official: Higher Resolution, 5 Camera Inside-Out, $399". UploadVR. 2019-03-20. Retrieved 2019-03-21.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Statt, Nick (2019-03-20). "Oculus unveils the Rift S, a higher-resolution VR headset with built-in tracking". The Verge. Retrieved 2019-03-21.
  3. ^ a b c Rutherford, Sam. "The New Oculus Rift S Stops Short of Being Truly Exciting". Gizmodo. Retrieved 2019-03-21.
  4. ^ a b "Original Oculus Rift Will Be Supported 'For The Foreseeable Future'". UploadVR. 2019-03-20. Retrieved 2019-03-25.
  5. ^ a b "Oculus Already Working on the Second Consumer Version of the Rift, Says Palmer Luckey". UploadVR. 2015-07-07. Retrieved 2019-03-21.
  6. ^ "Oculus co-founder is leaving Facebook after cancellation of 'Rift 2' headset". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2019-03-21.
  7. ^ Rutherford, Sam. "Oculus Co-Founder's Departure Could Mean Bad Things for Facebook VR". Gizmodo. Retrieved 2019-03-21.
  8. ^ "After canceling 'Rift 2' overhaul, Oculus plans a modest update to flagship VR headset". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2019-03-22.
  9. ^ "Oculus Explains Why Rift S Doesn't Have Mechanical IPD Adjustment". UploadVR. 2019-03-20. Retrieved 2019-03-25.
  10. ^ "Should you upgrade to the Oculus Rift S from Rift CV1?". WindowsCentral.com.
  11. ^ "Oculus Rift S Review – A Good Choice for VR Newcomers, a Difficult Choice for VR Vets". RoadToVR.
  12. ^ a b c Statt, Nick (2019-03-20). "Oculus unveils the Rift S, a higher-resolution VR headset with built-in tracking". The Verge. Retrieved 2019-03-25.
  13. ^ "YouTube video of Unboxing and Setup of Oculus Rift S".
  14. ^ Rubin, Peter (2019-03-20). "Oculus Takes One Giant Half-Step With the 'Rift S' Headset". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 2019-03-25.
  15. ^ Lang, Ben (2019-03-25). "Oculus Founder: Rift S Suitable for Only About 70% of Population Due to IPD". Road to VR. Retrieved 2019-03-25.
  16. ^ Mitchell, Nate (2019-04-12). "Unfortunately, some "easter egg" labels meant for prototypes accidentally made it onto the internal hardware for tens of thousands of Touch controllers. [1/3]". @natemitchell. Retrieved 2019-04-13.
  17. ^ Robertson, Adi (2019-04-12). "Oculus says 'tens of thousands' of its new controllers include secret messages". The Verge. Retrieved 2019-04-13.
  18. ^ Bankhurst, Adam (2019-04-12). "Facebook Accidentally Hid Phrases Like 'Big Brother Is Watching' in Oculus Touch VR Controllers". IGN. Retrieved 2019-04-13.
  19. ^ Meek, Andy (2019-04-13). "Facebook's latest mishap involves bizarre messages printed on Oculus controllers". BGR. Retrieved 2019-04-13.
  20. ^ Rivera, Joshua. "Oculus Accidentally Hid Creepy Messages In Thousands Of VR Controllers". Kotaku. Retrieved 2019-04-13.
  21. ^ Brown, Shelby. "Facebook mistakenly prints Oculus Touch controllers with cryptic messages". CNET. Retrieved 2019-04-13.
  22. ^ "New Oculus VR controllers accidentally include bizarre hidden messages". SlashGear. 2019-04-13. Retrieved 2019-04-13.

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