The Next-Generation Oculus Rift Headset is Here

Oculus VR has unveiled their next-generation Rift S headset, which they’ve created in collaboration with Chinese electronics firm Lenovo.

The Oculus Rift S improves on the design of the original Rift with a higher resolution, an inside-out tracking system, slightly upgraded Touch Motion controllers, an integrated audio system, and a more comfortable design. What’s more, Oculus have decided against a price-hike – which means the Rift S will retail at the same $399 price tag as its predecessor.

The most important difference between the Rift S and the Rift is the new high-fidelity display. Whereas the original Rift had a 1080 x 1200 per eye resolution, the new model has a massive 1280 x 1440. Aside from this new super hi-res display, the Rift S also includes an extra sensor. According to the company’s heads of VR product Nate and Rubin Mitchell, this is to “increase tracking volume to maximize compatibility with the existing Rift content library.”

Furthermore, all the existing and future Oculus games will be playable on both the Rift and Rift S. The Rift and Rift S will also have full multiplayer compatibility, so you can take on your friends regardless of which headset they own. Plus, Oculus is enabling cross-play features, so if you decide to upgrade later down the line, your game library will remain intact.

When it comes to the design, Oculus and Lenovo have created a more comfortable halo-style strap. This redesigned headset also features a knob at the rear which allows users to dial the device backward and forwards, while a top strap allows for a more secure fit. Underneath the headset on the right side is a slider which allows you to adjust lens distance. Alternatively, the lens distance can also be adjusted through Oculus software.

Alongside the new headset, the company also plans to release several exciting new games. These include a Western-themed first-person shoot called Dead & Buried 2; a new combat game based in Norse mythology called Asgard’s Wrath; and Stormland, a game where players explore an alien planet as an artificially intelligent robot. Although these games require a lot of PC-power to run, the demos shown at their Connect conference last year suggest the visuals are pretty amazing.

Although Oculus has yet to reveal the launch date for the new model, it’s unlikely that gamers are going to have to wait long. Currently, industry insiders are speculating that the Rift S might launch at Facebook’s F8 developer conference on April 30th.

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