Oculus Rift S gets a release date, pre-orders are now available

Stock Photo of Oculus Rift S
Oculus.com

The Oculus Rift S finally earned a release date at Facebook’s F8 Conference on April 30: The company is now taking orders, and shipping is scheduled to begin on May 21. The Oculus Quest is also available for pre-order, with both headsets listed at $399 — a considerable step up from Facebook’s more affordable and portable option, the Oculus Go.

A successor to Oculus’ original virtual reality headset was first announced at the 2019 Game Developers Conference. On March 20, the VR company debuted its newest headset, the Oculus Rift S. Despite its simple name, the headset will offer a number of new features and improvements including an increase in resolution, improved tracking, and a feature called Passthrough Plus.

As TechCrunch notes, the Rift S offers an increase in resolution but not by much, shifting from 1,080 × 1,200 pixels per eye to 1,280 × 1,440. The Rift S has also pivoted from using an OLED display to LCD panels. It features inside-out tracking as well, and uses five built-in cameras rather than relying on external ones.

According to The Verge, the Rift S has a feature called Passthrough Plus that allows you “to view the real world around you as you set up your space using Oculus’ Guardian tool (the blue mesh barrier that prevents you from walking into your desk or tripping over a chair).”

Other notable features of the Rift S include a halo-style strap, a lowered frame rate (now 80 Hz), an integrated audio system, and a headphone jack for those who prefer an external audio option. A pair of Oculus Touch controllers will also ship with Rift S. The overall design of the Rift S was a result of a partnership with Lenovo, part of an effort to create a more comfortable VR experience.

According to Oculus’ own announcement, the Rift S will also work with the original Rift platform, so customers can expect access to games like Asgard’s Wrath, Defector, and Stormland, and other favorite Rift titles.

To be one of the first to get one, get your pre-order in now on either Amazon or the Microsoft online store so yours can be a part of the first round of shipments on May 21. Before pre-ordering though, we suggest heading to the Oculus website and downloading the compatibility tool to see if your Windows PC “is VR ready.”

Updated on April 30, 2019: The Oculus Rift is scheduled to release on May 21. 

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