Facebook's Oculus Rift S, Oculus Quest launch on May 21 for $399 each

01 May 2019 | Rasmus Larsen |

At its F8 event, Facebook announced that pre-orders for the two new Oculus VR headsets are live, each priced at $399 / €449. The new PC-tethered and standalone VR headsets will start shipping on May 21.

New Oculus VR headsets

Rift S is not the second generation of Oculus Rift but rather a refinement of the original version. It must still be connected to a PC but features improved optics, a higher-resolution screen, and room-scale tracking without sensors.

Oculus Rift S abandons the OLED displays of the original Rift in favor of a fast LCD display with 2560x1440 resolution. The company argues that "next-generation lenses and a sharper display deliver bright, vivid colors and reduced 'screen-door' effect". On the other hand you will get a less contrast-rich VR experience and the refresh rate has been reduced from 90 to 80Hz.

The Oculus Quest is a standalone headset powered by a Snapdragon 835 chipset. It has room-scale tracking that does not require external sensors. It features a pair of OLED displays with 1600x1440 resolution per eye and a lower 72Hz refresh rate. The Oculus Quest was unveiled in September 2018.

 Oculus Rift S and Oculus Quest

It has been 6-7 years since Oculus launched its Kickstarter campaign and 3 years since the original Rift launched, and here we are. Rift S is a modest improvement rather than a generational leap forward. That may be disappointing to some VR fans and as a whole the VR market has seen less succes than industry players had anticipated.

Facebook now sells the Rift, Go, and Quest headsets but VR has yet to transition into the mainstream. Facebook's main competitor is Valve who has just announced its own Index VR headset. Sony is also selling the PlayStation VR headset.

Facebook has started accepting pre-orders for Oculus Rift S and Oculus Quest. Both are priced at $399 / €449 and both will start shipping on May 21. More information can be found on oculus.com.

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