It's official! The new generation of Facebook's Oculus VR headsets are now available to purchase. Both the Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift S will be available starting from $399 USD but each offers a very different kind of VR experience.
Both headsets benefit from Oculus Insight, a feature which leverages the onboard inside-out tracking sensors to map out your real world surrounding and let you actually see what's around you while wearing the device. This makes it easy for users to define their play area and safely navigate their environment. This is a welcome feature for both standalone and PC-tethered VR use alike, but new buyers should pay attention to the differences between each product.
Oculus Quest: standalone VR for the masses
The first all-in-one VR package from Oculus is the real game-changer here. We've had iffy standalone VR headsets appear on the market before, but Quest looks to be the real deal: a complete pick-up and play virtual reality system with no need to cable up to a PC or strap a high-end smartphone to your face, and no external sensors required. The headset is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC and comes with the excellent Oculus Touch controllers.
Oculus Quest comes pre-loaded with five preview demos to play right out of the box. These include some of VR's greatest hits to date: rhythm slash-em up sensation Beat Saber, boxing sim Creed, adventure game Journey of the Gods, a tennis match in Sports Scramble and frantic wave shooter Space Pirate Trainer. A good mix of content right out of the box, and you can check out the 50 confirmed launch titles and upcoming apps and games here. The Quest also supports casting (in a beta version) to the Oculus mobile app on your smartphone or to the TV.
The default version of Oculus Quest with 64 GB storage costs $399, but there's a 128 GB version available for $499. But there's more: since you'll likely be wanting to transport this headset to your friend's homes or other locations, there's also an Oculus Quest Travel Case for sale, priced at $40, to offer convenience and protection for your VR kit on the go.
If the Oculus Go brought the visual aspect of VR to a whole new audience, Quest is ready to get everyone moving and exploring virtual worlds. Ready to pick up and play straight from the box and boasting asolid content library, Quest removes many barriers to entry that previously put off consumers. We've had our hands on the exciting new device, and will be bringing you a detailed review in the coming weeks.
This doesn't mean that no compromises have been made to make the experience compact. For the best in high-end VR graphics and big, cutting-edge games, you may want to consider the Rift S.
Oculus Rift S: PC gamers get an upgrade
Oculus Quest may become the VR headset for the mainstream but Oculus hasn't forgotten its original base of PC gamers. For those with a Windows 10 PC and dedicated graphics card, the Rift S is an improved version of the Oculus Rift for those who want the most immersive and graphically beautiful experience possible.
Owners of the Rift S can immediately access the same library as the original Rift, but the new headset boasts improved optics and a higher resolution display, as well as inside-out tracking technology called Oculus Insight that does away with the need for external sensors. Oculus Insight on the Rift S will also allow for an improved mixed reality like experience on your PC headset, overlaying VR content onto real surroundings.
The Rift S will allow for the best experience for playing upcoming Rift-exclusive VR games such as Stormlands and Asgard's Wrath. In this case, the investment in a high-end gaming PC will pay off for those chasing the cutting edge of consumer VR. Oculus Rift S has more competition in the PC VR space, but tempting exclusives, Oculus Touch controllers and ergonomic design make this his new offering a worthy contender.
Where to buy?
You can pre-order Oculus Quest and Rift S at oculus.com and get it wherever Oculus products are sold, such as Amazon, Best Buy, Newegg, Walmart, and GameStop in the US. In the UK and EU, this includes Currys, PC World, FNAC and MediaMarkt. The Rift S can also be bought at the Microsoft Store. Shipping for both products begins May 21.
Are you tempted to get the Oculus Quest or Oculus Rift S?