The Oculus Rift S will be sailing into the sunset for good sometime next year, so if you want to grab this PC-based VR headset before it goes off sale then now is absolutely the time to do it, as Oculus have chopped £100 off its price until the end of the year while stock lasts.
Normally £399, the Rift S now costs exactly the same as the Oculus Quest 2 at a wide variety of retailers, making it the cheapest this PC-based VR headset has ever been. Before the Quest 2 arrived in October earlier this year, the Rift S was my top VR headset recommendation for the masses, as its excellent display, comfortable design and built-in tracking were head and shoulders above what you get on the HTC Vive Cosmos. It was the next best thing to buying the expensive Valve Index in my books, although the improvements Oculus have made to the Quest 2 do put the Rift S in a rather more precarious position now.
Indeed, even at its new deal price of £299, you may still prefer to opt for the standalone Quest 2 so you can have the option of going wire-free whenever you please. After all, you can still play Rift and other PC VR games on the Quest by connecting it to a PC via Oculus Link, although I would recommend finding the lightest USB cable possible, as the big thick one I bought for it does tend to make it rather top-heavy.
Where to buy an Oculus Rift S in the UK:
- Oculus Rift S - £299 from Oculus (down from £399)
- Oculus Rift S - £299 from Amazon UK (down from £399)
- Oculus Rift S - £299 from Overclockers UK (down from £399)
Where to buy an Oculus Rift S in the US:
- Oculus Rift S - $299 from Oculus (down from $399)
- Oculus Rift S - $299 from Amazon US (down from $399)
- Oculus Rift S - $299 from Newegg (down from $399)
It's also worth pointing out that with Oculus shuttering all of their PC VR efforts when Rift S sales end in 2021, it's unlikely we'll see many more big exclusives get released for the Rift S, at least through Oculus' own store. You'll obviously still be able to play Rift S compatible games on other platforms, such as SteamVR, but I'd imagine the Rift's own store will start to dry up with new releases pretty fast, however much Oculus insist that the Rift platform as a whole "isn’t going anywhere".
If you're new to Oculus' VR hardware, you'll also still have to log in to the Rift S with a Facebook account, so it's not like buying a Rift S over a Quest 2 will help you get around that problem either.
It's a tricky one, to be sure. From a pure hardware perspective, I'd probably opt for the Rift S at this price, as its halo headband is way more comfortable than the default one you get on the Quest 2 (instead, you'll have to pay another £50 / $50 for the currently unavailable Elite Strap to match the Rift S' comfort levels), and it has a higher resolution display. Sure, the Rift S' refresh rate tops out at 80Hz rather than stretching up to 90Hz on the Quest 2, but I never found this to be a problem when I had one in for testing.
However, I also can't ignore the wider picture surrounding the Rift S, and the option of not having to deal with any wires at all on the Quest 2 is very compelling. I can't make up your mind for you, though, so you'll have to go with your gut. Whichever way you cut it, this is likely going to be your last chance to buy a Rift S if you want in, but just bear in mind that this is a product at the end of its life. If you'd rather get a more up to date VR headset for PC, then you're better off saving up for the Valve Index.