Oculus Rift S Review: VR Headset for VR Ready PCs

Oculus Rift S Review

If you’re interested in VR hardware, unless you’ve spent the last year as a hermit deep in a cave, you’ve probably heard of the Oculus Rift S VR headset and its VR promises. How about Oculus Rift S price?  Its price, of $329.75 at Amazon for the pack with 2 Oculus Touch controllers and 2 sensors, does not seem to be a deal-breaker for VR fans.

Introducing the Oculus Rift S

The Oculus Rift S thus has two Oled screens (one per eye) each displaying 1080 x 1200 pixels. The field of view is 110 degrees with a display frequency of 90 Hz.

In addition, the VR headset has the advantage of offering integrated audio, thanks to headphones of the supra-aural type that it is possible to remove. The interpretation of movements is done via several technologies: an integrated gyroscope and accelerometer, as well as an infrared camera which identifies the position of the virtual reality headset in space.

Oculus Rift S

Image Source: amazon.com

Everything is connected to the PC.

PC which should, moreover, be quite high-end since Oculus recommends an Nvidia GTX 970 or an AMD Radeon 290 at least, as well as an Intel Core I5 ​​processor and 8 GB of Ram.

Design and Ergonomics

When you discover the box, it is like the helmet: black, solid, and sleek in appearance. The Oculus Rift S seems robust and displays a very correct weight of 500 grams. In addition to being light, the weight is very well distributed and you just need to adjust it well thanks to the adjustable temples and the scratch on the top of the head.

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Unlike VR headsets where you mount a smartphone, a cable connects it to the PC. It is long enough not to get in the way during use. This single cable is separated into two tips, a USB and an HDMI; we can therefore see that the size of the cables is really reduced to a minimum and so much the better because we already have enough like that behind a PC desk!

On the helmet, there are integrated headphones, but it is possible to remove them and we can therefore if desired, use our own headphones, which is rather well regarded.

We then find an infrared camera that we place in front of us, and which allows us to perfectly adjust our positioning. It is relatively discreet, mounted on a metal stand, and connected to the PC by USB

The virtual reality headset is also accompanied by a small remote control that allows us to navigate the various menus of the Oculus application in a very simple way and all the buttons are obviously recognizable by touch.

The area around the lenses looks quite fragile; indeed, Oculus Rift S has chosen a flexible fabric, certainly very comfortable but whose resistance seems quite relative. And, if it is possible to adjust the distance between the lenses, it is on the other hand impossible to adjust the distance which separates them from the eyes. This will force eyeglass wearers to keep their binoculars on the tip of their nose, resulting in a small loss of user comfort in this case.

To put an end to the accessories, the Oculus Rift S is initially supplied with the Xbox controller and it is a very good choice because it is quite simply one of the best pads around. But in the configuration tested, I had the Oculus Touch controllers and it is clear that they are very ergonomic and above all very responsive. Not to mention that they give access to better VR games as well as 3D drawing programs for example. The only downside is that the vibration systems are very noisy.

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Installation

When opening the box, the first surprise is not to find a manual. Panic onboard! No, no panic, a small manual is downloadable and the steps to follow are very simple.

2 things to know:

  • You will need 3 USB ports and an HDMI port to connect everything
  • For the recognition of the VR headset by the infrared camera, it must be on your head so that the presence sensor located inside activates the Oculus Rift S.

Once this has been integrated, all you have to do is connect the infrared camera to your favorite PC via the USB cable, set it up about a meter in front of you, then let yourself be guided step by step through the connections to be made.

Oculus Rift S Performance

You must first be aware that this Oculus Rift S requires a fairly powerful PC. If you have an old 1998 bike, you can drop the deal right away. To find out if your PC is compatible, you will find information on the brand’s official website.

Right now, the main flaw in VR headsets (whether it’s this one or the HTC Vive) remains the limited screen definition. Indeed, a display of 2 160 x 1200 pixels is still too weak, insofar as the eyes are very close to the screens. You won’t escape pixelation and sparkles. On the Oculus Rift S, this is particularly visible on certain games, which also highlight some chromatic aberrations. However, the rendering varies a lot depending on the application used and the time the developer has spent optimizing this aspect.

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Conclusion

Certainly, virtual reality still has progress to make, the fault of a resolution that still lacks a little precision; but the Oculus Rift S still delivers a very nice virtual reality experience mainly focused on gaming and above all, it offers irreproachable ease of use. The VR headset is well designed, light, and easy to install, it is quite possible to use it for hours.

And let’s be honest, apart from its price which can put off more than one and we understand it, there is nothing better, at the moment, in terms of comfort and immersion. Thanks for reading this Oculus Rift S review article.

Strong Points of Oculus Rift S

  • Comfort in use
  • Good quality built-in audio
  • Some very good launch games
  • Good screen colorimetry

Weak Points of Oculus Rift S

  • High price
  • The resolution still a little weak
  • Requires sensors in the room

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