Facebook unveils the Oculus Rift S

The replacement to the flagship Rift quietly arrives following reports of internal conflict over the direction of the Oculus brand


After months of teasing its release and widespread reports of internal conflict about the design, Facebook has unveiled the Oculus Rift S, featuring a number of changes to the flagship Rift VR headset including a higher-resolution screen.

Like its predecessor, the Rift S is powered by a PC and uses Oculus's inside-out 'Insight' camera tracking system.

Unlike the Rift, however, the new model was designed in partnership with Lenovo in a move that surprised some and caused TechCrunch to report "the Rift S seems to have strongly inherited Lenovo's design ethos for its VR products, for better or worse".

It boasts a resolution of 1,280 x 1,440 pixels per eye (2,560 x 1,440 in total), a refresh rate of 80Hz and a field of view that, according to RoadtoVR,is "slightly larger than Rift". Unlike the earlier model, the Rift S does not require external tracking sensors but uses five onboard cameras, two at the front, one on each side and one at the top.

The new product is being touted as a replacement to the Rift, rather than a sequel product, hence the 'S' in the name as opposed to a '2', despite Oculus co-founder Nate Mitchell calling the Rift S an "evolution not a revolution".

The new product has had a noticeably muted entrance following Facebook's decision to cancel last year's 'Rift 2' overhaul which was planned to be a "complete redesign" of the original headset in favor of focusing on more accessible improvements to the Rift experience. This led Oculus co-founder Brendan Iribe to decidingto leave Facebook in October 2018, in part due to his "fundamentally different views on the future of Oculus".

The Rift S is set to arrive in Spring 2019 for a price of $399.

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Image: Oculus

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