Best Oculus Rift S VR Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals & Sales 2021:

After 3 years of good and loyal service, the Oculus Rift, one of the pioneering headsets of virtual reality on PC, has been put to rest by its manufacturer. Here comes to replace the Rift S, with evolutions certainly subtle, but not insignificant.

Presentation

The Rift S, Oculus’ new virtual reality headset for P. C, may arrive on the market more than 3 years after the advent of consumer VR. The manufacturer wants to be particularly clear in its communication on a specific point. It is not a new generation helmet, but a simple incremental evolution of the Rift. Having the same functionalities and integrating into the same software ecosystem as its predecessor. The Rift S has for humble objective only to allow its users to access all these beautiful things with more ease and less constraints.

What do we mean by that? First of all, the Rift S gets rid of the external sensors which the original Rift used, which it swaps against 5 cameras integrated directly into the helmet, allowing it to locate itself in its environment, in the way that offers the Oculus Quest standalone helmet . Then it sports a new design using Lenovo’s “Halo” attachment system – itself inspired by PlayStation VR  -, promising significantly improved comfort. Last major change finally, the two Oled screens of the Rift (in 1080 x 1200 px by eye, at 90. Hz) are replaced by an LCD panel displaying a definition in marked increase (1280 x 1440 px by eye). At the price, on the other hand, of a slightly lower refresh rate (80 Hz).

This frequency is partly what allows the Rift S to be no more demanding than its predecessor when it comes to the computing power of the computer to which it is connected. The recommended configuration always consists of a GTX 970 or Radeon R9 290, an Intel Core i5-4590 or AMD. Ryzen 5 1500X processor, and at least 8 GB of RAM.

Best Oculus Rift S VR Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals & Sales 2021

1. Oculus Rift S PC-Powered VR Gaming Headset

2. Oculus Quest All-in-one VR Gaming Headset – 64GB

3. Oculus Quest All-in-one VR Gaming Headset – 128GB

4. Oculus Rift PC-Powered VR Gaming System (Refurbished) – PC

5. Oculus Quest All-in-one VR Gaming Headset – 64GB (UK Import)

Ergonomics

The consensus seems to be now fully accepted: when it comes to the comfort of virtual reality headsets. No one has yet done better than the very clever system developed by Sony for PlayStation VR. With its rigid headband coming secure to the head and to which the visor is simply “suspended” before the eyes of the user. This system, cheerfully imitated by Lenovo for its autonomous Mirage. Solo headset – for which the Chinese manufacturer had also been “invited” afterwards to pay a license from. Sony  – is now finding its way to the Rift. S … which finds itself to be the fruit of a collaboration between. Oculus and Lenovo in terms of hardware design. Everything is connected.

We can only rejoice, since this allows the Rift. S to be an extremely comfortable helmet to wear even during very long sessions. However, it is a little less easy to put on than the PlayStation VR; the reason for this is the facial interface, which here remains very similar to that of the original Rift: it is a foam that the user is invited to press very firmly against his face. The advantage of this type of interface is to guarantee as effective light insulation as possible. Even if, depending on the morphology of each, it is not uncommon for a little day to remain present at the level of the nose.

Its disadvantage is that it does not not escape the unsightly traces of ski goggles. That stick around the eyes for a few too long minutes when we remove the helmet. That said, they are still much less noticeable than those left by the first Rift, since the Halo system greatly reduces the pressure applied by the visor on the face.

Image quality

The screen fitted to the Rift S has many similarities to that of the Oculus Go . It is a single LCD fast switch with a definition of 2,560 x 1,440 px, or 1,280 x 1,440 px per eye. This is a very correct definition, significantly higher than that of the Rift – but slightly lower than that of the Quest or the HTC Vive Pro. We are content with no problem, even if we obviously would have appreciated a little extra finesse. The refresh rate, meanwhile, has been curiously lowered: from 90 Hz on the Rift, here it goes down to 80 Hz on the Rift S. Let’s be honest, it would be wrong to make much of that. The difference between the two is extremely tenuous, bordering on noticeable, even when comparing the two headsets in immediate succession.

But of course, it is especially the choice to use an LCD screen to replace the Oled which may seem surprising. This decision can however be justified: compared to Oled technology, and in particular the PenTile tiles (with 2 sub-pixels per pixel instead of 3) which equip the vast majority of virtual reality headsets, the LCD has the advantage by a very much higher ” pixel fill ” – in other words, the sub-pixels fill the surface of each pixel in a much more optimal way, making the interstices between the pixels almost invisible. This considerably reduces the famous grid effect.

Audio

As we said above, the Rift S abandons the Rift’s integrated headphones in favor of miniature speakers mounted in its headband. The solution is similar to that used on the Oculus Go and Quest , with one difference: the rigid headband allows the speakers to be placed much closer to the user’s ears, resulting in much better sound rendering. Spatialization in particular works this time surprisingly well, the binaural sound scene of the applications being reproduced with a precision and a completely honest naturalness.

That said, these speakers obviously do not work miracles either. And offer only limited power and a completely blank bass reproduction. So they do the trick as a workaround. But don’t provide a hearing immersion worthy of the “high end” virtual reality experience. That a PC headset like the Rift S is supposed to provide. The choice of this solution therefore seems all the more questionable here than it was on the Go and the Quest.

The Rift S can still be bought in part thanks to the excellent quality of its mini-jack output. It provides a very clean signal, with a stereophonic separation perfectly sufficient to reproduce in a perfectly rigorous three-dimensional sound scene of games and applications. Last but not least, the excellent current handling of this output allows you to connect even a somewhat demanding hi-fi or monitoring headset, while maintaining a dynamic and maximum volume that is more than respectable.

User experience

Failing to offer significant technical developments compared to the Rift. It is in terms of user experience that the Rift S makes the most significant progress compared to its predecessor. By introducing into the world of “fixed” virtual reality some of the technologies and interfaces developed for the Quest. Oculus Rift S VR has indeed designed the VR headset for PC by far the easiest and most pleasant to use. Without sacrificing anything in quality of the proposed experience.

The initial configuration of the helmet, more or less identical to that of the Quest, is thus greatly simplified. After connecting the headset to the PC, you are immediately invited to put it on your head. The latter then automatically goes into ” pass-through ” mode , allowing us, thanks to the front cameras, to see our environment. Then just grab the Touch controllers to calibrate the altitude of the ground, then delimit the available playing area. In just a few tens of seconds, we are already in the Oculus Home hub and assuming. That we have enough space, ready to embark on real experiences in ” roomscale ” (with movements in the play space).

The absence of external sensors also has the advantage of not imposing any constraint as to the orientation in which one positions oneself to play. In particular, it becomes possible, and even recommended, to configure the front of the play area so as to turn your back on the desk. We can thus naturally drop the cable in its back and prevent it from getting tangled in our legs when we move.

CONCLUSION

The Oculus Rift S revolutionizes absolutely nothing compared to the first Rift of the name; but while waiting for the real new generation of virtual reality headsets for PC. It stands out from the competition by establishing itself as the most practical and pleasant to use headset. If certain technological choices can certainly be debated, insofar as they sometimes sacrifice some of the strengths of the original Rift to make room for others, the compromises made are on the whole rational and relevant. Right now, it’s the safest choice for anyone looking to get into PC VR.

Related

1. Best Sony DualShock 4 Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals & Sales 2021
2. Best Sony PlayStation 4 Slim Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals & Sales 2021
3. Best Sony PlayStation 4 Pro Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals & Sales 2021