Virtual reality hasn’t taken off as many had hoped, but Facebook is still forging ahead with its Oculus lineup. The previously announced Oculus Rift S (above right) and Oculus Quest (above left) are now available for pre-order, and they’ll ship next month. Fans of VR will have their choice of a PC-based headset or a standalone VR device that works without a PC. In both cases, pricing starts at an aggressive $ 399.
The Rift S is the successor to the classic Oculus VR headsets. It plugs into your computer via a DisplayPort and USB 3.0 — it’s basically a fancy monitor that you strap to your face. You’ll need a relatively beefy gaming system to run the Rift S, too. The company suggests at least a GTX 1050Ti or AMD RX 470. You’ll want to be a notch higher for optimal performance, though.
For $ 399, the Rift S comes with all the cables you’ll need, as well as a pair of wireless controllers. Unlike older VR headsets, you don’t need additional hardware in the room to orient your controllers. The Rift S can render AAA games with the power of your PC, and they should look sharper thanks to the boosted per-eye resolution of 1280×1440, compared with 1080×1200 in the last model. It uses LCD panels at a slightly lower refresh rate, but the upshot is a reduced “screen door effect” with the tighter sub-pixel array.
If you want your VR experience to be a little more portable, there’s the Oculus Quest. This standalone VR headset doesn’t need a PC — it renders games locally with its Snapdragon 835. That’s much more powerful than the older Oculus Go, but you won’t get PC-quality gaming. It plugs into the Oculus app on an iPhone or Android device, but it’s more capable that phone-based systems like Samsung Gear VR. The Oculus Insight tracking system allows for 6 degrees of movement, and the display is 2880×1600 resolution per eye. That’s even higher than the Rift S, but the refresh rate is a bit lower at 72Hz.
The Oculus Quest starts at $ 399 with two controllers and a charger. That version has 64GB of storage for games and other content. A 128GB upgrade is yours for another $ 100.
Pre-orders for both devices are live on the Oculus site right now. The company expects to ship both devices starting May 21st. For more details, read our sister site PCMag’s full Oculus Rift S and Oculus Quest reviews.