Facebook-owned virtual reality business Oculus is ending sales of the Rift S headset next spring. It’s retiring the PC-based VR device to focus on the standalone Oculus Quest 2, which can also be tethered to a computer through Oculus’ Link function.
Mission 2 product supervisor Prabhu Parthasarathy calls the Quest 2’s release “the best moment for us to transfer to a single headset.” Link, which uses a USB-C cable television to support PC VR games on the Mission, was launched experimentally for the original Quest in2019 The function will emerge from beta later on this year, formally making the $299 Quest 2 a dual-purpose headset.
The Quest 2 will connect to PCs through the very same Oculus app as the Rift. And Parthasarathy says Oculus will keep supporting PC-based VR as a distinct platform from the standalone Quest system. That consists of supporting the Rift for the near future. “The old Rift is something individuals continue to utilize and take pleasure in,” Parthasarathy acknowledges. The Rift S will likewise continue to support visiting with a non-Facebook Oculus account until 2023, unlike the brand-new Quest 2, which needs a Facebook login.
The Rift S– a successor to the initial 2016 Oculus Rift– came with compromises, consisting of lenses with no focus adjustment. Facebook just recently discontinued its Oculus Go headset, and a Rift retirement isn’t always unexpected.
It is, however, the end of an era. Kickstarter backers promised nearly $2.5 million toward the original Oculus Rift prototype in 2012, launching a boom in customer VR. Facebook acquired Oculus in 2014 and turned the Rift into a high-end device that took on Valve and HTC’s Vive headset and Sony’s PlayStation VR.
These companies’ paths have diverged since2016 HTC has catered to specialty and business markets with its Vive Pro system, although it also produced the Cosmos headset for house gaming. Valve launched its own PC VR gold requirement, the $999 Index headset, last year. And Sony has drifted on strong early sales of its PSVR, providing little detail about a new headset that may work with the upcoming PlayStation 5.
That included the Samsung Equipment VR, a plastic shell that fit around a smartphone to develop a cheap mobile VR headset, as well as the Oculus Go, a fully self-contained headset that didn’t consist of movement controllers or enable users to stroll around. The Rift introduced with an Xbox gamepad, however it quickly added full-fledged motion controllers called Oculus Touch, following the lead of HTC’s Vive.
The Mission, first revealed as “Santa Cruz” in 2017, used what Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg called “the essential attributes of the ideal VR system.” It likewise marked a push to make VR cheap and available to a mass market, something that was challenging to do with a PC-based system. In 2015, Oculus launched its second-generation Rift, the Rift S, however it was more of an upgrade than a full generational shift, including essential Mission features like self-contained, inside-out electronic camera tracking.
The Rift S’s retirement might push some PC VR lovers toward the Valve Index, HTC Vive Universe, or upcoming HP Reverb G2 headsets. These headsets don’t require Facebook integration and have special advantages like Valve’s “knuckles” controllers and the Reverb G2’s high-resolution display.
But Facebook is relying on the truth that those devices cost substantially more and won’t use access to Oculus’ storefront. “We believe that Mission 2 is the best of both worlds when it pertains to VR experiences,” says Parthasarathy.