Oculus Rift S Pc-powered Vr Gaming Headset Review


At the time I assessed the PC VR headset from Oculus, I had a question I continuously asked myself and that is if anyone actually desire the Rift S. Even though it is not a continuation of the former rift which initiated the current VR generation tremendously, it isn’t a gradual upgrade either because it features some new technology such as the built in sensors which is extremely bad than the rift in certain areas. Since the Rift S might be suitable for VR beginners with a gaming PC, I think it might be better to get a cheaper rift.


The Rift S introduces Oculus desktop VR into the new era even though it doesn’t have much advancement compared to the Rift. The display quality is much more outstanding than before. The built-in sensor performs very well but if you are looking out for something different and special from Oculus, then you should take a look at the Quest.


The Oculus Quest seems to be better than the Rift S in certain ways , thus making the Rift S look old and outdated. The Quest is completely wireless and more self contained unlike the Rift S that still needs connection with a computer, even though it has less wire work than the former headset. You get to benefit a lot more challenging VR adventure controlled by strong processors and suitable graphics card just by giving up portability. Even though a wireless transmitter such as TPcast’s can actually remove the Rift’s wires but you still have to be around the PC while making use of it.

The Oculus collaborated with the Lenovo brand towards the creation of the Rift S. The company mentioned that the collaboration enabled them to release the device much more faster than if they had done the whole work themselves and moreover since the Lenovo were skilled on the production of headset VR and AR headphones. But the end result wasn’t cool at all, the Rift S was almost like it lacked identity since the previous model (like most of the VR headset owned Apple and Sony) had a neat and cool design, it felt like it was rushed, unrefined and really not necessary . The Rift S resembles nearly all the VR headsets available and that’s not a good thing because as the first device of the company owned by Facebook, we had expected something far better

There are some good features that were observed on the Rift S though, The most distinct feature is the Oculus insight tracking system which keeps track of either your head or hand movement using 5 in – built sensors. Arranging the sensors on the Rift S properly wouldn’t give the stress getting an additional sensor which has given Oculus the opportunity to compete with Microsoft Mixed Reality headphones which features identical six degree of tracking unlike the Rift which featured two table- top sensors and if you want to increase the tracking capacity, you will have to purchase an extra sensor to keep at your back and as such generates a long wire to Pc and if you collide with one of those sensors, then there would be much problems.

When I reviewed the Rift earlier, I had to purchase a USB hub to connect my other devices due to the fact that the headset occupied everything on the main board. The Rift S has requires far less wire, all you have to do is to plug it into your DisplayPort connection on your video card and a USB 3.0 port. Previously, you had to get the HDMI port, a USB 3.0 port and a USB port for each of the sensors. The Rift S features the same revamped motion controllers unlike the Quest. These motion controllers require just 1 AA batteries but they are a little bit smaller and performs as good as the previous model.


The Rift S features a resolution of 2,560X1,440 pixels. This resolution is higher than that of the Rift, but it has a fast switching LED panels rather than OLED. And to make matters worst, the refresh rate was reduced from 90Hz to 80Hz. Even though the resolution is higher than that of the Rift, it is low when compared to the Oculus Quest. While assessing the Rift S I noticed that it was more clear and sharp than the Rift and hence the refresh rate didn’t bother me anymore including the display. Instead of a lens adjustment slider, it has a pupillary distance software that enables you to adjust using your eye distance. This may not actually benefit some users since the lens are not adjusting. It has internal speakers rather than a convenient on – ear headphones, but you can actually plug in an external headphone into the 3.5mm port.


The Rift S features an advanced head strap. Lenovo made use of the  halo head strap design seen on the HoloLens and PlayStation VR. To place it over your head, turn the rear dial and tighten it around your head Via the other direction. The soft bumper at the top and back felt pillow like including the foam around the eyepiece. The material isn’t  exactly hard and hence it’s more softer on my face than that of the Rift, but nevertheless the material could tear or spoil easily since it’s not sturdy enough. Generally, the Rift S is easy to wear even though it is much heavier than the Rift

The Rift S allows you to see things around you much better (pass through +) without even taking the headset off unlike the Rift. It is slightly sharper than the Quest and features depth sensitivity which gives you about extra three-dimensional view of the world. I was asked to configure the Guardian boundaries to prevent me from colliding with the walls and chairs in my office. Firstly, I kept the controller on the floor so it could record the floor level, then I tracked a boundary around the open space at the front of my desk. I really missed the freedom offered by the Quest, while I was trying to create space for VR in my small home office. The Guardian system performance of the Rift S is similar to that of the wireless headset. When I was the edge, transparent blue walls were seen and as I looked through them, I got the passthrough+ version of my apartment.

I assessed some of my favorite VR experiences on the Rift S to know if the Rift S is worth it. Firstly, I assessed the superhot which was more sharper and has clearer colors. Even though it’s a conceptual game, the Rift S made me feel like I was actually in that world fighting and dodging bullets from the bad guys. Next up was the thumper, the thumper was faster and exceptionally good and hence the Rift S had no difficulty in tracking my terrible beat saber sessions. After assessing the Quest for a long time, I was upset that I had to manage the wires and end up being in front my PC always but it isn’t  a bad idea for vastly superior graphics.

The forest world of moss for instance was so clear and actually felt like I was playing in real life unlike when I played it on my PS VR and Rift. The black levels of the headset was not so dark when compared to that of the previous OLED screens. The additional subpixel featured on the new display enhances the details generally. Even though the Rift S’s screen didn’t surprise  me as the Samsung’s Odyssey Mixed Reality headset did, but but of them features a high resolution OLED display. I was actually surprised that I wasn’t much bothered about the Rift S’s low refresh rate but I think that was because it never left me dizzy or misty-eyed which I experienced while dealing with the VR refresh rates. Even though the Rift S features a clearer text, more pronounced colors and extremely consistent motion tracking, I’d rather prefer all these features on the Quest or even the Oculus Go because I’ll like the freedom of watching them from anywhere

The Rift S looked way better than before with its extra large video and other VR experiences as well such as the creepy Gymnasia Stop motion short. Even though the Rift S features a clearer text, more pronounced colors and extremely consistent motion tracking, I’d rather prefer all these features on the Quest or even the Oculus Go because I’ll like the freedom of watching them from anywhere

The Rift S looks like a stop gap solution in a lot of ways. It was said according to a TechCrunch report that the Oculus withdrew all their plans for a true Rift follow-up and that was the reason why the Co-founder Brendan Iribe left. It has added more weight behind the Quest instead, which has the ability of getting the VR more customers. The company says that it is still devoted to high end computer based VR and if this is so, I’m very much worried about it.


As there is competition between VR companies, valve just publicized their index headset with a cheap price. This means going towards the Vive direction, with thousands of external sensors for room scale tracking. It also offers huge features like the 120/140 Hz screen for extremely smooth VR and even the valve’s awaited knuckles motion controllers. There are also good Windows Mixed Reality headsets on board, like the HP Reverb which offers a high clear resolution of 2, 160X2,160 per eye.

If you desire a new PC VR headset, I would suggest you hang on for a little while to see how some of this new features look like or you could grab the Rift while it is at a cheaper price just like during the holidays but now that we have the Rift S, I bet it’ll be even more cheaper.


If you are looking for a new headset and you don’t want to deal with sensor problems, then you should take a look at the Rift S, even though it would have been better if had purchased it last year. Now that it’s been 3 years since the Rift was launched, I guess the Oculus fans are looking out for their next latest device which I think won’t be possible at the moment since the Oculus is more concentrated at the Quest

Last update was on: July 26, 2020 10:39 pm

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