Oculus’ brand new VR headsets are on sale today with the Oculus Rift S and Oculus Quest offering two distinct flavours of virtual reality for enthusiasts, at a price that doesn’t make you grasp for your wallet in terror.
Virtual reality has long had three significant problems: the high price point, including the cost of a decent PC, the need for an excessive amount of space that requires a permanent installation of sensors for room-scale VR, and the sheer amount of cable that’s required from PC to headset, meaning it’s a pain to keep it all set up.
Both the Oculus Rift S and Oculus Quest are huge improvements here, although they diverge in different ways. They both tackle the pricing issue head-on, however. Getting one of these new Oculus headsets is just £400, and comes with Oculus’ touch controllers.
Related: Best VR games
The Oculus Quest is an entirely wireless experience, a self-contained headset that can offer six degrees of freedom as soon as you slap it onto your bonce. Pair this with inside-out tracking amd
“Pick-up-and-play convenience coupled with the affordability of an all-in-one system make the Oculus Quest the very best virtual reality headset you can buy,” said our computing writer Ryan Jones. “If VR is ever going to hit the mainstream, this is the headset to pull in the masses.”
At preview, I was similarly impressed, playing Beat Saber and SuperHot on the console with no problems, with the tracking nearly flawless.
The Oculus Quest seems to be the best way to get into virtual reality from a standing start currently available, and it’s so simple to set up and use that it’s hard not to see families embracing virtual reality.
Related: Best Oculus Quest Games
On the other side of that, the Oculus Rift S is a phenomenal performer that you use in tandem with your PC.
The Rift S also has inside-out tracking, so you don’t need to dot sensors around the room, and while you do need a pretty beefy PC to run it, you’re only connected to your rig by a single cable now, meaning there’s the minimum amount of set-up. With just the bare minimum of cables connecting the headset and the PC.
Writing our preview, associate editor Jake Tucker (that’s me!) said: “If the Oculus Rift S is an evolution over what has come before it, at this point it looks set to become VR’s apex predator. This is one to watch.”
While it’s not as convenient as the Oculus Quest, the Rift S is a powerhouse with a noticeable upgrade on the Rift CV1 headset that came before it.
Oculus Rift S has a fast-switch LCD display for optics that should reduce the glare and screen door effect in combination with Fresnel lenses that are now standard across Oculus’ entire range. With 2560×1440 total resolution (that’s 1280×1440 per eye), Rift S delivers a 42 percent increase in more pixels over its predecessor