Oculus unveils new Rift S headset at GDC 2019

March 20, 2019 – Today at GDC, Oculus has unveiled the Oculus Rift S, the company’s new VR headset that combines built-in Oculus Insight tracking technology with the full power of a PC.

Rift S is built on the Rift platform and features improved optics and display technology, which the company states will deliver a sharper picture with higher pixel density. Oculus partnered with Lenovo to design the Rift S, drawing on their experience in the VR and AR space and feedback from the Lenovo Legion gaming community. Lenovo co-designed the Rift S for increased comfort, better weight distribution, and improved light blocking, and also included a single-cable system for a more clutter-free experience. The Rift S features the same integrated audio system as Oculus Quest and Oculus Go, which comes with a headphone jack that lets the wearer use their own headphones.

Also like Quest, the Rift S features Oculus Insight, the company’s inside-out tracking technology, which removes the need for external sensors and markers. According to the company, Oculus Insight captures, traces, and navigates physical spaces in real time through the use of computer vision algorithms. The Rift S headset features five sensors to maximize tracking volume in support of the existing Rift library. Oculus Touch controllers, which have been redesigned for inside-out tracking, also allow for familiar hand presence and input, allowing users to grab, point, and gesture.

Oculus is also enabling a true stereo-correct passthrough feature, called ‘Passthrough+’. It utilizes core Oculus runtime advancements, including Oculus’ Asynchronous Spacewarp (ASW) frame-rate smoothing, to produce a more comfortable user experience with minimal depth disparity or performance impact, according to the company.

As Oculus Rift and Rift S share the same core platform experience, current Rift owners will be able to take advantage continued software updates, as well as access to the same games that are currently available, and those coming in the future.

The company gave a launch date of Spring 2019, with a price tag of USD $399.

Video credit: Oculus/YouTube

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Sam Sprigg

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 seven years.