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Oculus Rift S isn't the Rift 2, but no external sensors is a big thumbs up

The hardware news just keeps coming from GDC this week, with today’s big headline courtesy of Oculus. They’ve just announced the Rift S, a new VR headset for PC that has a higher resolution display and built-in tracking to make it even easier to jump into your favourite VR games – and they’ve partnered with Lenovo to build it.

Priced at $399 and arriving sometime this spring, the Rift S is a bit like what the Vive Pro is to the regular Vive – a better version of the same headset that still works with all the same games and the same Rift platform as before. So it’s not really Rift 2.0, per se, but more of a refinement of the existing technology.

Still, what a refinement it looks to be. With five built-in sensors packed with Oculus’ Insight tracking tech, the Rift S means you can now chuck your external sensors in the bin, as its new little front-facing eyeballs (d’aww) have everything they need to do room-scale VR right off the bat.

Or at least it will once you combine it with a new pair of Touch controllers, as these have also been redesigned for the Rift S to accommodate even more sensors to make that room-scale VR possible without having to resort to external ones. From the looks of things, though, the new Touch controllers will be included with the headset, so fingers crossed they won’t bump up the final cost when it eventually launches.

The Rift S also has a higher resolution display crammed inside it, too: 1280×1440 per eye for a total of 2560×1440. That’s a nice bump from the original Rift’s resolution of 2160×1200, but still not as high as the Vive Pro’s 2880×1600 resolution. Nonetheless, any increase in resolution is always welcome.

Oculus are also promising improved light blocking with the Rift S, courtesy of their partnership with Lenovo, who helped design the headset for increased comfort and better weight distribution. Their nip and tuck alterations have also resulted in a new headband for the Rift S, which features a new halo-dial design not unlike the PSVR’s headband. The Rift S also only requires a single cable to be plugged into your PC, which should help cut down on potential trip hazards even further.

And best of all, the Rift S has the same minimum and recommended hardware requirements as the original Rift, so you won’t need to upgrade your PC in order to take advantage of it.

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Who am I?

Katharine Castle

Hardware Editor

Katharine writes about all the bits that go inside your PC so you can carry on playing all those lovely games we like talking about so much. Very partial to JRPGs and the fetching of quests. She's also RPS' resident deals herald.

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