April 30, 2019 – Facebook’s F8 developer conference started today, and the company has announced that both the Oculus Quest and the Rift S will begin shipping on May 21. The Quest is a standalone device that delivers the freedom of untethered movement in VR. For users with a Windows 10 PC and graphics card suited to PC gaming, the Rift S tethered option will run VR off of PC hardware.
The company’s first all-in-one solution, Oculus Go, opened up the possibilities of VR to a wider audience, and with today’s announcement, Oculus stated in a blog post that the two products will further “lower the barriers of entry to fully immersive 6DOF VR”, and added that “Quest offers the easiest entry point to 6DOF VR, while the PC-powered Rift S delivers the most cutting-edge content and next-gen graphics. Together, they’ll continue to drive a rapidly maturing 6DOF ecosystem where established studios and indie devs can reach a growing audience across the board. Quest and Rift S will push the industry forward—and that’s good for everyone.”
Both Quest and Rift S use Oculus Insight software – the company’s computer vision technology that enables inside-out tracking with sensors built into the headset. By mapping the world around the user, as well as their position in it, Oculus Insight allows the wearer to navigate virtual and physical spaces in real time.
Oculus Insight includes a passthrough mode for both Quest and Rift S to help keep the wearer safe in VR by showing them a glimpse of their surrounding physical environment while still inside the headset. Rift S takes this a step further too, with Passthrough+, a true stereo-correct passthrough feature that Oculus states will allow users to take advantage of core Oculus runtime advancements like Asynchronous Spacewarp (ASW), and use it with Oculus Dash for their own mixed reality-like experience. With Rift S, users can also utilize the same library as the Rift, with the same software stack, only Rift S comes with improved optics and a higher resolution display.
Quest runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset, and is ready for immediate use in any location. Users can also share their experience by using a casting feature (in beta on Quest), which allows for screen casting to the Oculus mobile app or to a TV.
The launch lineup includes 50+ titles, and the Quest comes pre-loaded with the following five preview demos that can be played out of the box: Beat Saber (Beat Games); Creed (Survios); Journey of the Gods (Turtle Rock Studios); Space Pirate Trainer (I-Illusions); and Sports Scramble (Armature).
Both headsets start at USD $399, and are available for pre-order now at oculus.com/quest or oculus.com/rift-s. Quest and Rift S are also available for pre-order wherever Oculus products are sold, as well as through the company’s retail partners Amazon, Best Buy, Newegg, Walmart, and GameStop in the US, and Currys PC World, FNAC, MediaMarkt, and more in the UK and EU, plus Amazon in Japan. Oculus also announced the Oculus Quest Travel Case to go with the headset, which is priced at USD $40, with more accessories coming soon, according to the company.
Image credit: Oculus/Facebook
About the author
Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past five years.