Oculus Rift S starting to make VR accessible

Blake Prasch, Staff Writer

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Virtual Reality, at least to me, has seemed far away from becoming affordable to the average person since the release of the original Oculus and HTC Vive. Even if you were to obtain one of these VR sets, there would still be a multitude of problems to be faced. Difficult set-ups, uncomfortable headsets, fuzzy images, and to top it off, virtually no full-length games to play.

I’m happy to say that things have changed since then. New versions of both the Oculus and Vive have been released. Seeing that the price for the Oculus Rift S was no more expensive than the original, I was able to snag one on Cyber Monday for only $350. Today, I’d like to share my thoughts regarding the Oculus’s quality and the current state of VR.

Visuals

This is easily the greatest improvement from the original Oculus. The first time I tried the first Oculus Rift, I was thoroughly disappointed with the resolution. In addition, a grid pattern was visible at all times. Most users refer to this as the “screen door effect.” Luckily, the Rift S saw incredible improvements to the resolution, and the screen door effect was nonexistent.

Sure, there’s still room for improvement. Faraway images still look fuzzy, and the colors aren’t as vibrant as the average monitor, but this is a huge step in the right direction. One of the most impressive parts of the Oculus S is the realistic depth perception.

Setup

Setting up the Oculus Rift S is easy, especially when compared with its competitors. All you need to do is download the software from the official site and plug it in to your computer. It doesn’t require the placement of cameras around the room because it uses six small, internal cameras to track your head movements. The hand controllers are wireless and only take a single AA battery each. Of course, like with any VR set, you’ll need to have an approximate 6’5” by 6’5” space free of obstacles.

Comfort

The Oculus Rift S is well padded and easily adjustable with the dial on the back. Unlike previous models, the S allows for glasses to be comfortably worn under the headset. The Oculus headset is also relatively light. However, there is a bit of flaw in the S’s design. Because of all the padding, the headset traps in heat a lot of heat.

Audio

This time, the Oculus S comes with built in speakers and a microphone. The speakers use accurate surround sound, allowing players to locate the sources of sounds from any direction. Unfortunately, the audio quality of the built-in speakers is far from top notch. The Oculus S struggles with bass and low-pitched sound effects.